The impact of a Red Lipstick
Positive Psychology is a passion of mine and I am always thirsty to read all there is published about it; because knowledge does not occupy space. I read the following text in the book Positively, by the authors Catarina Rivero and Helena Águeda Marujo, from the publisher Esfera dos Livros. I thought it made a lot of sense to show it to you.
Be aware that it is not a light, cheerful or happy text ... it’s a text about the real-life situation of those who lived the war with all the horror that it carries. But it is a text that intends to leave a message, where the main character is a red lipstick that appeared as oxygen and hope in the middle of all that chaos.
“I can not give an adequate description of the Camp of Horror in which my men and I were to spend the next month of our lives(…).
(..) One had to get used to the idea that an individual just did not count. One knew that five hundred a day were dying and that five hundred a day were going to keep on dying for weeks before anything we could do, would have the slightest effect (…).
(…) It was shortly after the British Red Cross arrived - even though this may have no connection - that a very large quantity of lipstick arrived. This was not at all what we men wanted, we were screaming for hundreds and thousands of other things and I don't know who asked for lipstick. I really wish that I could discover who did it, it was an act of genius, sheer unadulterated brilliance. I believe nothing did more for these internees than the lipstick. Women lay in bed with no sheets and no clothes but with scarlet red lips, you saw them wandering about with nothing but a blanket over their shoulders, but with scarlet red lips(…)
At last, someone had done something to make them individuals again, they were someone, no longer were they a mere number tattooed on their arm. At last, they could take an interest in their appearance. That lipstick started to give them back their humanity.”
An extract from the diary of Lieutenant Colonel Mervin Willett Gonin DSO who was among the first British soldiers to liberate Bergen-Belsen Camp in 1945. Source: Imperial War Museum.
It is impressive the impact that a red lipstick had in the middle of a war scenario. The life it brought back when hope was dying.
To be happy, you have to want to be happy and you need to work on it. On those days when it seems that everything is against you and when nothing goes well; try putting YOU first ... look at yourself in the mirror and put on some makeup. More important than the impact that such an action can have on other people, is the reaction that it can cause on you.
I am sure that in addition to you feeling different about yourself, you will also see the world in a different way; in a more confident and positive way!