Just as a superhero has their signature item they use when in battle, I put on my red lipstick before I step outside to face the world. Red is a dominant colour, and paired with full lips it acts as my power source. My own signature item wielded as both a shield and a weapon.
I wear red lipstick as a weapon when I want to draw attention to my mouth and the words that issue forth from it. Every idea, opinion, and belief spoken with an assertion that demands respect. Each sentence, carefully chosen and articulated, each point punctuated by a colour that commands attention.
I wear my red lipstick as my shield when I feel insecure, for it is a colour that does not lack confidence. It speaks for me even when I am unable to speak for myself. It refuses to fade into the background and hide, therefore making it impossible for me to do so. It gives off the appearance of strength and empowerment, and thus forces me to embody these traits.
Red lipstick acts as both my shield and a weapon to ward off the unwanted. To avoid those who would deem such a colour slutty and whose woman shaming opinions I do not entertain or acknowledge. It keeps at bay the men intimidated by a confident woman who only want a companion that follows and never leads. It screams in the faces of those who would prefer I mute my lips with more sedate colours, just as they would prefer me to mute my opinions.
I wear red lipstick as my signature shade when I want him to remember me; every pucker, every smile, every alluring whisper accented by the colour of my lips. When I leave him for the night I would have left my mark on his skin. A temporary lip shaped tattoo that is a reminder of what transpired and a prelude of what is yet to come.
Just as Captain America has his shield, as Thor has his hammer, and Wonder Woman has her lasso. I have my red lipstick.