There's been a lot of talk about lips in the media lately. And for once, Kylie Jenner isn't at the center of it all.
The conversation recently shifted when MAC Cosmetics posted this Instagram photo of Ugandan-born beauty Aamito Lagum wearing purple lipstick. For many individuals, it was a "gorgeous" backstage beauty snapshot at New York Fashion Week. However, there were countless others who made racist and offensive remarks about the black model's lips.
Lagum initially proved that she was unfazed by the haters with a concise and classy response. She eventually joined the #PrettyLipsPeriod social media campaign, which was championed by North Carolina Central University Dan Blue Endowed Chair in Political Science Yaba Blay's Pretty Period transmedia project, to turn those negative responses into a positive movement that celebrates the beauty of all lips.
Inspired by Lagum and Blay, we challenged a group of HuffPost editors to step outside of their comfort zones, swipe on some of the boldest lipstick colors and proudly show off their lips.
Check out their beautiful portraits below, read their lip love stories and then profess your fondness for this physical feature in the comments section.
“I love my lips so much. I love how big and plump they are. They make me feel sexy. You think my lips aren't beautiful? Good thing I don't give a shit about what you think.”
“I've always been told I've had small lips, but I've never let comments like that phase me. I love my lips and make sure to treat them right -- whether that's with proper, daily moisturizing or dressing them up with a little color to make them pop. My lipgloss is always poppin'.”
“As part of a beauty experiment at my old job, I once attempted to plump them up Kylie Jenner style (not as drastic, mind you). Even though they only looked a little bigger, it felt so strange to me. I hated it. Anything other than the lips I have just aren't me, and I'm totally OK with that.”
“When I was about 12, I had an accident. I fell and busted my lip open. My mom offered to take me to the hospital, but told me I'd have a scar if I got stitches. So I waited until the following day when it was clear stitches were needed. The doctor scolded me and told me the scarring wouldn't have been as pronounced if I'd come after the accident. I blamed myself for the accident and for the scar. It was a particularly difficult time for me. I grew up a minority and was bullied a lot so I didn't want another reason to stand out. For years, the first thing I saw when I looked in the mirror was the scar, and it still is today -- although now its with acceptance. I've had this scar on my lip for more years than not, it will outlive me.”
“I love the fullness and shape of them. It's always fun to fill them in with lipstick. I also love how they contribute to my shining smile.”
“I love my lips because I speak with them and kiss with them -- two of the most powerful things humans can do.”
“I have a tiny freckle on my bottom lip that I adore. I think it's a cute feature that makes my lips more unique.”
“I've always loved my lips. I'm very outspoken so they have obviously been very important in delivering my ideas and energy. But mostly, I love that they allow me to kiss my husband and baby every morning and every night.”
“This was my first time trying on lipstick and it definitely made me feel sexy albeit a little awkward!”
“My bottom lip is a bit bigger than my top and that makes them look imperfect which I love. I think that the unique shape of my lips is just something that makes my pout look even more beautiful with lipstick on. When I wear lipstick I feel empowered and so damn sexy. A dope lippie transforms me into ... Beyoncé!”
“I love that they are naturally pinkish so I never feel the need to add color. I usually just stick with Chapstick or a little clear gloss.”
“I love my lips for their expressiveness. They tell a story about how I'm feeling and what I'm thinking. They're a signal of what's going on in my life, which I think is pretty cool.”
“Wearing lipstick makes me feel like a badass bitch who commands attention. If I'm wearing a hot pink shade I feel feminine and confident like Elle Woods.”
“I didn't struggle with loving my lips until sixth grade when kids started telling me they looked like a smoker's because they were so dark. I heard this often throughout high school, too. Little did I know, half of the knuckle-headed boys making this comment had a crush on me. I don't know what the rest of the negative Nancys' problems were but I eventually charged it to the game and tuned the haters out. I've grown to love every part of my lips. They're perfectly made for me.”
“There's nothing sexier than a woman in red lipstick so it definitely makes me feel more confident. Though, full disclosure, I'm also super paranoid when I have bright lipstick on because I love to eat and... lipstick + food/alcohol = a busted lip sitch. But, ya know, a little reapplication never hurt nobody.”
“I've always thought my lips were basic, never really loved them or hated them. My girlfriend tells me they're soft, but maybe it just means I need to work them out more.”
“To the full lip (or slender lip) haters, I say... haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate.”
“I've struggled with loving a lot of different parts of my face and body in my life. My lips were never part of that struggle. Perhaps that's why I like them.”
“My lips allow me to express the bold side of my personality and they're always on trend.”
“I love how my lips play a prominent part in how I express my innermost feelings. Whether they're turned up in a smile or turned down in a frown, these lips never lie.”
“I love that my lips are smooth, soft, and full.”
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