#DarkSkinRedLip Project Tells Chocolate Girls To Pucker Up!

August 7, 2013  |  

Source: Tumblr.com

My mother always tells me this story about her beloved red coat. My mom, a dark skinned woman, with a dark skinned mother was warned from an early age that bright colors weren’t for her, that they wouldn’t look right against her skin tone.

But my mother has always been one to get what she wants. So one day when she was around 9 or 10 years old, my grandmother took her coat shopping and told her to pick out one she wanted. My mother quickly grabbed a red wool coat, telling my grandmother that’s what she wanted. Motivated by her own conditioning and hang ups, my grandmother tried to tell my mother that she should choose a different color that red wasn’t for her. My mother, as a child, told her mother that if she didn’t buy her the red coat she wasn’t going to wear anything else.

Now, my grandmother could have easily told her she was buying something else and she would wear whatever she told her to. But I think she respected my mother’s resolve at such a young age and perhaps even recognized that her hang ups were just that her own. There was no need for her to pass that on to her young daughter.

But just because my mother was able to get her way with the coat, didn’t mean that my grandmother’s beauty rules and regulations didn’t affect her in other ways. To this day, my mother will not wear bright colored lipstick. A lot of it has to do with her preference for dark colors, (which do look good on her), but she does admit that she shies away from her bright colors because she was always told dark girls shouldn’t wear those colors. When we look at lipsticks she’ll show me a shade that she thinks will look good on me or my sister, (We’re considerably lighter than her.) But when we suggest she buy it, the answer is always “I’m too dark.”

It’s probably too late for my mom but I would love to get rid of these ridiculous notions that dark women don’t look good in certain shades. Which is why I can dig the new #DarkSkinRedLip Project from For Brown Girls. For Brown Girls, an organization founded by Karyn Washington, aims to celebrate dark skin women while combating colorism and promoting self love to all women.

The #DarkSkinRedLip Project attempts to break barriers by inviting women of darker hues to submit pictures of themselves wearing a red lip. So far, the project has collected 200 photos and has a goal of collecting a 1,000 pictures.

“Along with abolishing that stigma, the project will serve as inspiration to any girl or woman who have given into this stereotype and shied away from wearing a red lip.In viewing such images, a darker skinned girl who is hesitant to try a red lip will find the confidence to step out of her comfort zone, disregarding the opinion of anyone else. In an effort to better understand the feelings, attitudes and experiences of women relating to this issue we have also created a brief survey for participants to complete which has received numerous responses as well. Not only does this project encourage women of a darker hue, but sends a message to all women, everywhere to be confident in who they are and what they like, never letting someone else dictate that for them.”

If you’re interested in submitting a photo, for the #DarkSkinRedLip project, you can send your photos to forbrowngirls@yahoo.com including your name, state and brand/name of the lipstick you’re wearing.

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  • Fotogrrl


  • Eeka Baby

    I sent a pic in a couple of days ago…the original pic was of me & my daughter & I cropped her out because they prefer a picture of you alone. When she saw the picture she thought they cut her out because she’s light skin LOL. I told her I did it because of the rules & she didn’t have red lip stick on…whatever your complexion you have to own it & know your beautiful!

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  • mojo

    I think red color lippys or any color looks good on any body (it’s just the shade of that color that counts) I have the same complexion of this lovely lady and I am not ashamed to say I’m dark skinned..some of ya’ll need to realize there are different shades of “dark skinned” as well as different shades of ” light-skinned” not all black people have the same tones Im dark but I have a friend who is darker and her mother is darker than her (we all claim to be darkskinned) Black people have the most colorful of people because of our different shades… thats just like saying Gabrielle Union and Whoopi are not dark..they are both dark skinned just of different shades (open up your mind). Don’t ever feel ashamed of having a different complexion (society really got some ppl messed up) SMH!

  • empresstala

    i think bright colors look best on us. im a brownie and i wear w/e shade of eye and lip color i want.

  • Kylie

    Dark women with red lipstick reminds me of chocolate and strawberries… Delicious!

  • Issa

    Black women, be proud of your color, it shouldn’t take a movement for you to want to embrace your beauty. You are diverse, everybody else practically come in one shade and they pay good money to get 1/8 of what you have. Teach our kids that our hair is awesome, our skin is magnificent, our nose, our eyes, our lips, our hips, our butts and our boobs are ours. Own it. Love what yuh working with. Stop the whole segregation of who is light skin and who is dark skin. Is that what’s cool in the streets now, segregation among ourselves? YOU ARE BLACK, Own it!

  • Madeleine

    First I frowned at this article… I thought it was obvious that bright colours are not for us lightskinned ones…. I have always envied how girls with darker complexion can rock all the beautiful bright colours in make-up and dresses without looking washed out! I think it’s not by chance that all the traditional african dresses come in beautiful bright shades and patterns! You girls should embrace your healthy skin colour and work with it! (Most of us white girls are paying a fortune to turn our paleness into a healthy tan…)

    • real

      much respect

  • Guest

    First I frowned at the title of this article… I have always envied how girls with darker complexion can rock all thee beautiful bright colours (dresses, scarfs, and yes lipsticks too). Being a fairskinned girl, I think it is us caucasian’s who should be more careful with colours

  • Helen Lindsay

    Horray for my dark skinned sisters!!!

  • Mikia Taylor

    I’m loving this!!! My 12 year daughter is dark skin aka the Coko Princess and for her to see these ladies stand up in their beauty is beyond AWSOME!!!!

  • Tony Williams

    I think asap rocky was being silly, i think black women brown or dark look great in red lip stick.

  • chanela

    i clicked on the link for the website and i KNEW that i was gonna see nothing but ruby woo (and riri woo) lip shades.lol

  • Lady31

    sent mine in already i love me some Ruby Woo by MAC I get compliments all the time and then I love Mary Kay’s Red lipstick its an oldie but goodie but that Matte Ruby Woo always has my lips popping and its a blue based Red which always works on Dark skin

  • AnonyChick

    Eat your heart out, A$AP Rocky! (I think he was the rapper who commented about dark girls wearing lip colors)

    • You may think that this sticks it to him but I imagine he is laughing. Black women and the word “reactionary” go hand in hand. Why listen to A$AP Rocky’s opinion in the first place let alone put effort into changing his mind?

      • Ms. Kameria

        I kind of agree with you. A$AP really doesn’t care what “Dark Skinned” women wear. He was just asked his opinion at that time…..Like most rappers, he will still agree to have a majority of light skinned women in his videos. Being a brown skinned girl myself, it doesn’t really bother me one way or the other, but I can get with the movement.

      • real

        Thank you! I’m a dark skinned woman, and I really think stuff like this just perpetuates the divisiveness and insecurities.

        Comments like Asap Rocky’s only affect dark skinned women who subscribe to this inferiority complex in the first place.

        I didn’t raise an eyebrow to that comment, 1) because I know I can personally rock the heck out of a red lip, 2) he’s entitled to his opinion, 3) who cares!

        The more attention you bring to this stuff is not conducive to ridding the Black community of the issue. I know it affects people in different ways, and I do sympathize. But people on both sides of the issue have got to get over it.

      • Shawndrea Rachelle

        Thank you!

  • Bits

    What’s with the non-dark skin girl in the pic rocking the red lip stick? She’s pretty but um she’s not dark skin.

    • Me+One

      You’d be surprised by what some people consider “dark” skin. I’m maybe a shade lighter than her and have been called dark by a guy that I wouldn’t give the time of day o_O

    • AnonyChick

      It might be the lighting. I’m quite dark myself, but look lighter depending on the camera flash or lighting.

    • nycole

      LMAO I thought to myself when looking at the picture. Black people need to learn their shades of color

    • ..

      she sent the picture in. Which means she identifies herself as dark skinned.

    • sweettea

      That girl is the same color I am and I am considered dark. That lady is gorgeous though and the red is super hot

    • Bambi

      Some people consider Jlo dark-skinned, it depends on where you’re from.

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  • Momma Dee Tha Q.U.E.E.N

    Imma do that!