Which Shade Today?
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I love lipsticks -- all kinds and all shades. Everyone has obsessions. I suppose mine is lipsticks. I love wearing them, and I am always buying new ones. Some women are obsessed with buying shoes or hats or handbags, and I certainly donít understand their reasons -- if there needs to be a reason -- but I tried figuring out why Iím so attracted to lipsticks and my need to own so many.

Maybe we should blame it on my mom. After all, isnít everything Momís fault? Ha ha! Well, let me explain. When I was a little girl, I wanted to try on my momís lipsticks, but she wouldnít let me. She said that little girls donít wear lipstick and that it would make me look like a clown. She said that I could start wearing lipstick at 14. God, I couldnít wait to be 14!

June 17, 1965 arrived. I was 14 and more than ready to put on my pale pink lipstick, the first of who knows how many different colors and shades Iíve worn over the years. I felt so grown up and so very feminine.

Maybe I just like having a variety of colors and shades in my collection. I love having choices and owning 20 or 30 lipsticks gives me a choice to make everyday. I can choose a color according to my outfit of the day, or my mood, or the season or holiday. For example, a bright shade of red is perfect for Christmas, and how could I possibly wear lilac lipstick with an orange top? Wouldnít I need a peach, tangerine, or possibly a cocoa? Yes, ladies, we all understand color coordination, donít we?

If I were to analyze my fascination with lipsticks, I might say that as a disabled woman in a wheelchair, wearing new and pretty, color-coordinated lipsticks is part of the poor body image I have always had. Not only do I feel feminine, but Iím also showing everyone that I am a woman, like any other, who likes to look attractive; and wearing makeup, especially lipstick, may take away the focus of my lower body to my face.

Also, feeling as if I donít have lots of control over my physical circumstance, itís nice to know that I have the control over my choices of lipsticks. No, I canít make my spine look straighter, but I can make my face look prettier, at least a little.

Maybe I shouldnít probe too deeply into the reason or reasons for this obsession, if it is one. I only know that you can always find me studying the array of lipsticks in the cosmetic section in a department store and looking for the latest lip shades in every Avon brochure.

Maybe I just love lipstick and thereís no need to analyze this situation, for weíre not talking about an addiction thatís making me ill or hurting anyone, or ruining my life. Right? Oh, letís just blame it on Mom!

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