Sunday, January 19, 2014

Its Not About Lipstick





Recently an acquaintance and I were discussing helping the homeless where he said something that really grabbed my attention. He said, "... giving woman lipstick is not really helping them." What a powerful statement I thought. I stepped outside of myself for a minute to try and understand his point of view. After some deliberation, I came up with a few insights that maybe helpful to others who feel the same...to understand "the power of lipstick."
 
 First let me say it's not about lipstick. It's about the love and support that comes before handing over the lipstick that makes the experience. Reminding a woman that she is on this earth for a reason, is the beginning of a transformative experience. You see...most women in shelters come from very difficult backgrounds. Some are escaping physical and mental abuse; some can't afford to pay their rent or buy food and some are crippled with depression combined with a lack of self love.

By having them look in a mirror to examine their face, point out their beautiful hair, cheekbones, eyebrows and lips, it is the first step in a powerful experience, especially for those never heard an encouraging word in their life.
Explaining individuality to a woman who has been beaten for a year (or 20 years) is heart-breaking. When they finally begin to believe in themselves...well, it can bring you to tears.
Now here comes the big moment, handing over the infamous "lipstick." At this point it's more of a magic wand. A wand that brings a smile and embodies a positive, loving experience. A wand that will remind a woman of her individuality and beauty. This lipstick is a small token of love from a stranger.
I hope this was helpful in showing that love and support can come in many forms. So don't judge, just love! :)

5 comments:

Sarah-soo said...

Is this a movement? If it is, I think it's incredible. I also think it's so important for every woman to have even just a few GREAT pictures of themselves. A photographer could do so much. Self love starts by just taking care of themselves and caring to do so. If they see themselves in a few top-notch moments that a photographer and stylist could provide, they would feel a rush every time they see the pictures. I really feel that this visual reminder, combined with lipstick would transform these women into an uncrushable force. I would love to be involved.

Antonio Gonzales said...

Hi Sara, its a movement in the sense that I am doing it by myself and my friends have been so kind to volunteer for the events. If you want to get involved feel free to email me.

Thanks!!!

Aja Schindler said...

I fully agree Antonio and bless your heart for getting involved and helping these women! Lipstick may not put food on the table, but it transforms the ordinary into the extraordinary by empowering women to believe in and harness their beauty. I also strongly believe that fragrance does the same thing and have purchased fragrances for women in need. I believe so strongly that the empowerment of women is a cornerstone of cultural strength.

Aja Schindler said...

I fully agree Antonio and bless your heart for getting involved and helping these women! Lipstick may not put food on the table, but it transforms the ordinary into the extraordinary by empowering women to believe in and harness their beauty. I also strongly believe that fragrance does the same thing and have purchased fragrances for women in need. I believe so strongly that the empowerment of women is a cornerstone of cultural strength.

Aja Schindler said...

I fully agree Antonio and bless your heart for getting involved and helping these women! Lipstick may not put food on the table, but it transforms the ordinary into the extraordinary by empowering women to believe in and harness their beauty. I also strongly believe that fragrance does the same thing and have purchased fragrances for women in need. I believe so strongly that the empowerment of women is a cornerstone of cultural strength.

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