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One of the oddly undiscussed side-effects of growing up in a very conservative faith is that I never wore red lipstick, or nail polish, because red was… tacky, basically.

It called for attention. It insinuated. It wasn’t modest and quiet like A Young Lady Should Be.

All that from a color? Yep.

An Auntie I adore always wears brilliant red polish on her very short, squared-off nails, and I remember a less than charitable comment I overheard that her nails looked bitten down to bleeding. I keep short nails (no longer bitten… mostly) and know myself to be prosaic, hardworking, no-frills, no fuss, no nonsense. Not someone unserious who flaunts a red lip or polish, right?

So stupid. One of the worst things about clarifying one’s own beliefs is how often I find other people’s thoughts substituted whole-cloth for thoughts of my own. I grew up never wearing a red lip or a red nail, because that was the next best thing to Jezebel (like we actually even know what that murderous woman wore)… but, that isn’t ever what I thought. If I’m in the right mood, I LIKE red. I like most colors, if they’re in the right shade. (Why else do I have both teal and turquoise shades of tights??)

Last week, Tech Boy brought me a lipstick that’s redder than anything I’ve ever worn (Colourpop Sessy, bc Sessy is what my little brother called me for a long time, and I exclaimed over it whilst watching a makeup tutorial), and I’ve enjoyed painting it on – when I’m not going anywhere. Admittedly, as much as I KNOW red is FINE, I still feel like it makes my lips look HUGE and pouty and …wow, do I look like the whore of Babylon? some adolescent playing dress-up? It infuriates me how much other people’s voices play in my head, so I’m defiantly wearing my lippy now every. single. day. In my house.

Eventually, I’m going to go outside.


old habits die hard,
stumbling down well-traveled roads –
a flash of brightness
dances just beyond our reach
over the next hill, progress