At PD, we believe in the power of feminism–and in the power of a great anti-aging serum. We don’t see a conflict between wanting equal rights and physical beauty–a woman can be both! But it’s still sadly true that traditionally feminine interests are still deemed frivolous and unworthy by many. So it is a great day when we see *the* bona fide feminist, the one and only Gloria Steinem cast her vote on our side, with a lipstick that helps female inmates, no less.
Gloria Steinem has teamed up with Lipstick Lobby to create “In The Clear,” a colorless vitamin E balm that nourishes your lips *and* empowers incarcerated women with mentorship and education. Asked whether makeup can coexist with feminism, (probably for the 1000th time in her life), Steinem graciously answered, “Human beings, from tribal days forward, have decorated their bodies…Are we doing it out of joy or out of insecurity? If we feel unacceptable without makeup, that’s a problem. If we are doing it for positive reasons, it’s different.”
As Steinem rightly points out, makeup–as well as skincare and hair styling–are sources of personal expression, self-care, creativity, and fun for most women. Makeup is hardly what you think of when you hear “patriarchy” and “oppression”: women have put on makeup for themselves more than for anyone else. On the other hand, makeup-shaming is perpetuating the idea that if you present yourself as a feminine woman, then you’re unfit for politics, science, or the higher echelons of business and art. That you can be pretty *or* serious, but not both. Thankfully, beauty/brain icons like Amal Clooney, Chimamanda Adichie Ngozi, and Emma Watson have been proving that a smart woman wearing a lipstick looks even smarter.
100% of the proceeds from In The Clear balm will benefit the unPrison Project, which is also a breath of fresh air considering so much of current feminist movement focuses on high-profile women. It’s great that issues of sexual harassment and gender pay gap are being called about by Hollywood stars–but feminism should be a movement for all women, especially the most vulnerable and disenfranchised. As Steinem states, “in many states, it costs as much to keep a prisoner in a cell as it does to send them to Harvard. We should be using that money for education, which is a prime way of keeping people out of prison.”
If you’re more of a color girl (ditto), there are other options! Lipstick Lobby also makes Fired Up Lipstick, a warm, scarlet red that benefits The Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, OUTRAGE, a blue-red that benefits the American Civil Liberties Union, and Kiss My Pink, a flattering Schiapparelli pink for Planned Parenthood. All shades are vegan, cruelty-free, and paraben-free!
At the end of the day, we are not naive enough to think that buying lipsticks alone will truly vanquish patriarchy and inequality. Social justice isn’t going to be achieved by consumerism alone, even if it is conscious consumerism. But if we’re going to be buying things anyway, which is inevitable unless you live apart from modern society, it’s better to spend your money on brands that reflect your values.
Have you tried any Lipstick Lobby shades?
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Photo: Fortune Live Media via Flickr, The Lipstick Lobby; Wikipedia Commons