Monday, January 30, 2017

The Power of Purple Lipstick

Photos taken by Caitlin Funkhouser Photography

Hello! I remember in high school I bought the most ridiculous black lipstick. I had dreams of wildly dramatic colors on my lips ranging from an aqua shade I can clearly remember to that gothic shade of black I mentioned. Sometime in the past year or so, I found that black lipstick, tucked away in some box under my bed with the plastic wrapping still on and it got me thinking.

Social norms dictate your life when you're in high school and as much as I tried to break away from them, it's pretty darn hard to say "screw it, I'm going to do me exactly as I want" when you're just fifteen years old and all the girls around you are wearing the same pair of Bean boots and Hollister low-rise jeans. That's not to say I didn't do my own thing. Because I certainly did; I rocked sheer vintage maxi skirts with combat boots and caught plenty of stares wearing flower crowns bigger than most at Coachella. I've never been timid with fashion but boy, that black lipstick scared me. I thought nothing could be cooler than that aqua lipstick or black lipstick, yet I couldn't bring myself to wear it. "It's too much," I thought. By "too much," what was I thinking? Too bold? Too different? Too unique? None of those are bad things. But for high school Tor, it was "too much."

In the past four years, I've come a long way. I may have tossed that black lipstick when I found it (but forreal y'all lipstick expires after two years, you know I'm not putting lipstick that's been expired for two years on my lips) but I did discover my uniquely "me," out-of-this-world lipstick this summer: a pretty lilac shade by ColourPop. I now wear it fearlessly and feel empowered by the strange looks I may receive instead of put off by them.

I've given up caring if people think my outfits are strange, unusual or wacky. They are. Fashion just is. And I love it, I wouldn't have it any other way. Lilac lipstick? Throw it my way. Leather pants? You know it. Thigh-high golden boots? You bet I'm wearing them several times a week. It's refreshing. I find myself saying "it's refreshing" a lot but in the short six months that I've spent as a graduate from Philadelphia University, I've grown in ways that I didn't know were possible. I'm more confident than ever in myself, currently working full-time doing exactly what I want to do and pursuing a million fun little projects on the side. I find myself doing "me" more than ever before and I love it.

Be unapologetically you and you won't ever be happier. Let your true self empower you; I'd say it's refreshing but I'll refrain from using that expression yet again.

Here's to doing your own thing and being proud of it; you all rock!

Photo by Caitlin Funkhouser Photography.

Silver jumpsuit: New York & Company via Ashby
Purple jacket: Vintage
Lipstick: ColourPop
Pink purse: Vintage
White mod sunglasses: Nasty Gal