Paula Glynn

The Lipstick Story - Poem by Paula Glynn

Lipstick has a long history,
Women in the ancient Valley Civilization,
Coffee beans being crushed and applied to lips,
Lipstick on lips for decoration and ancient glamour,
The Egyptians taking purplish red dye,
From beetles and ants for base,
Lipstick even the ancients decorate for their face.

The Islamic Golden age,
The notable Arab Andalusian cosmetologist,
Abu al-Qasim al-Zahrawi,
Inventing solid lipstick,
Perfumed stocks rolled and pressed in molds,
This he describing as Al-Tasrif,
For even back then,
Women are deemed beautiful and glamorous,
Lipstick the look thousands of years ago.

In Medieval Europe, the church up in arms,
Banning lipstick, for lipstick was,
The Incarnation of Satan,
That coloured bullet the devil's work,
Women shunned by society,
For daring colour their lips,
But time passed and the 16th century,
Allowed women to paint their lips,
The reign of Elizabeth I,
Making red lips and white faces,
A fashion statement,
And permission for women,
To celebrate their beauty with lipstick,
Lipstick now made from beeswax,
And red stains from plants,
The crushed beetle no longer used.

The Second World War lipstick gained popularity,
The movie industry advertising,
The red lipstick of the stars,
Actresses and unattainable glamour figures,
With their fashionable, expensive clothes,
That working women could ill afford,
And lips pouting as they applied their lipstick,
But lesser women would buy lush lipstick,
And stare into the mirror,
Knowing she has got the look of the stars,
A tradition of the fashion industry begun.

Many working women referred to lipstick as lippy,
Lipstick compared to a woman wanting love,
For red lipstick is the colour of passion,
Not just the colour chosen for fashion,
The phrase ‘Putting lipstick on a pig'
Coming into play, meaning,
To make the unattractive superficially attractive,
And, of course, there's the lipstick lesbian,
A not too derogatory term,
But many women wear lipstick,
Their ancestors carrying the trend,
Lipstick coming into rocky acceptance,
For this is the lipstick story,
Where women can now enjoy,
Lipsticks of many colours,
Every skin colour and every mouth,
Catered for, glamour and beauty,
The ultimate in modern life.

Topic(s) of this poem: history

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Poem Submitted: Monday, April 3, 2017

Poem Edited: Monday, July 2, 2018

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