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Beauty In Retrospect: What This Century's Lipstick Trends Say About Women

Lifestyle

According to Li Edelkoort, one of the world’s best-known trend forecasters, there is an interesting connection between body, lips, and time frame, influenced by focus and proportion. Many factors come into play when analyzing lipstick trends: emphasis on particular body parts, celebrities of the time, and most importantly, the economic and financial status of American society in general. Perhaps you knew that the length of a woman’s skirt is dependent upon the economy, but who knew the color and shape of a woman’s lips could be so telling of the times?


The ’20s – Prohibition and Rebellion
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A matte-finished, heart-shaped mouth is the expression of the seductive, coquettish woman of the Roaring Twenties. Taking their cue from the scorned-yet-sought-after flapper, women go out to dance, drink illicitly distilled whiskey, and push the envelope of their independence.

Black-and-white movies present the mouth in daring, feminine shapes—the “Cupid’s bow” style of Clara Bow, the “vamp’s lips” of Theda Bara, and the sexy “bee-stung” lips of Mae Murray. Edelkoort notes that because the focal body part of the time period is the legs, “breasts are smallish, and girls are boyish.” Eyes are large and lips are thin. Lip colors are black and garnet red.

The ’30s – Economic Depression

A mouth drawn outwards with square edges emphasizes the stern, perfectionist appearance of the sober ’30s. Women, having witnessed the financial battery of the Great Depression, are thrifty and austere.

Greta Garbo and Marlene Dietrich—powerful, yet glamorous women who are not afraid to determine their own fate—are idols of the time. Their steely and androgynous appearance personifies the adult woman. Lip color is a silky/glossy reddish brown.

The ’40s – Wartime

A full mouth formed with symmetrical curves represents the courageous, self-assured look of the ’40s despite wartime privations. While men are at war, women are forced to fill their roles, giving them a newfound sense of identity and responsibility.

The Hollywood heroines of the silver screen, such as Rita Hayworth, Joan Crawford, Bette Davis, and Katherine Hepburn encourage the idea that women are equally as capable in filling roles formerly occupied by males. Lipstick becomes an instrument of individual morale, symbolizing strength while disguising sorrow. Lip color is a brilliantly glossy vermillion.

The ’50s – Post-War Period

A voluptuous mouth with the lip line extended beyond the natural shape is reflective of this period of reconstruction. The look is seductive and feminine, revealing the ambivalence of women. On one hand, they oppose the traditional role of women—one they fought to suppress during wartime. On the other hand, they long to embrace their sexuality and femininity.

Consequently, there are two strongly opposing role models: the voluptuous and feminine Marilyn Monroe, and the cool and self-confident Audrey Hepburn. Lip colors are bright red or pink. Edelkoort says that in this period of rebuilding an entire economy, the focus is on the body, and the face is seen as one whole element in perfect proportion.

The ’60s – Flower Power and Rebellion

A full, soft pout goes hand in hand with the rebellious habits of hippies in the sixties. The period is characterized by the exploration of outer space, the sexual revolution, Woodstock, and the anti-war movement.

The youthful, anorexic chic of Twiggy and the provocative pout of Brigitte Bardot are symbols of the rejection of conventional beauty, prosperity, and consumption. Hence, lipstick is still applied, but discreetly. Lip shape is large and colors are shimmering beige-like mother-of-pearl, baby pink, and silver/white. Li attributes this to a sudden shift in sexuality, noting that the most focused-upon body parts are the breasts and butt.

The ’70s – Disco Rules

An outlined, shiny mouth reflects the shimmering iridescence of the ’70s disco look. Saturday Night Fever, Studio 54, platform shoes, and soulful divas like Gloria Gaynor and Diana Ross define this decade. Women break social conventions and explore boundaries.

They are not afraid to become single mothers or fight for their social and political rights, and they are especially unafraid of their sexuality. Lip colors such as glittering crimson or burgundy red convey self-confidence.

The ’80s – Emancipation

A dark, wide mouth represents the provocative punk look of the ’80s. Punk, as a musical statement and a culture, is the first anti-beauty movement. In fashion, women and men alike play with the idea of reverse gender roles. The transvestite chic of Boy George and the fashion of Vivienne Westwood convey “tribal identity.” Influenced by music videos such as Madonna’s “Vogue” and Human League’s “Don’t You Want Me Baby?,” strong eyes and dark lips become a popular trend. Lip colors are dark to black with metallic effects.

The ’90s – Individualism

A clearly outlined mouth painted in natural colors, either shining or matte, documents the grunge-turned-pop look of the ’90s. Internet, cell phones, Pearl Jam and plaid, piercings, tattoos, hip-hop, and the fitness wave set the tone for this decade socially and commercially. Fashion trends change quickly—everything is allowed. The introduction of supermodels—Cindy Crawford, Christy Turlington, Naomi Campbell, and Linda Evangelista—permeates women’s idea of beauty. Brown undergoes a revival, but both dark and bright lip colors are in demand.

2000 – The New Millennium

“Cocooning” is the buzzword for the transition into this new millennium. The term expresses a longing to return to intrinsic value and friends and family: a harmony that does not stop at lip fashion. The shape of the mouth is natural. Soft and warm shades are prominent. Pastels and shimmering shades of beige, pink, and apricot (so-called non-colors) reflect women’s desires to embrace their natural beauty and the quest for eternal balance and happiness. It’s about a return to our basic needs, and in a declining economic climate, a new appreciation for the bare essentials.

So what will the future bring? According to Edelkoort, history will continue to repeat itself. She predicts that, for now, generous, whitish beige lips will reflect our nurturing desire to live at a sustainable, slower pace. “Thinner lips will take us into the 2020’s,” she says. “Eventually, perfect red lips with harmonized proportions between the eyes, lips, and body will balance our beauty in the new era of post-recession and reconstruction.”

This article first appeared on Beauty Matter.

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Patriarchy Stress Disorder is A Real Thing and this Psychologist Is Helping Women Overcome It

For decades, women have been unknowingly suffering from PSD and intergenerational trauma, but now Dr. Valerie Rein wants women to reclaim their power through mind, body and healing tools.


As women, no matter how many accomplishments we have or how successful we look on the outside, we all occasionally hear that nagging internal voice telling us to do more. We criticize ourselves more than anyone else and then throw ourselves into the never-ending cycle of self-care, all in effort to save ourselves from crashing into this invisible internal wall. According to psychologist, entrepreneur and author, Dr. Valerie Rein, these feelings are not your fault and there is nothing wrong with you— but chances are you definitely suffering from Patriarchy Stress Disorder.


Patriarchy Stress Disorder (PSD) is defined as the collective inherited trauma of oppression that forms an invisible inner barrier to women's happiness and fulfillment. The term was coined by Rein who discovered a missing link between trauma and the effects that patriarchal power structures have had on certain groups of people all throughout history up until the present day. Her life experience, in addition to research, have led Rein to develop a deeper understanding of the ways in which men and women are experiencing symptoms of trauma and stress that have been genetically passed down from previously oppressed generations.

What makes the discovery of this disorder significant is that it provides women with an answer to the stresses and trauma we feel but cannot explain or overcome. After being admitted to the ER with stroke-like symptoms one afternoon, when Rein noticed the left side of her body and face going numb, she was baffled to learn from her doctors that the results of her tests revealed that her stroke-like symptoms were caused by stress. Rein was then left to figure out what exactly she did for her clients in order for them to be able to step into the fullness of themselves that she was unable to do for herself. "What started seeping through the tears was the realization that I checked all the boxes that society told me I needed to feel happy and fulfilled, but I didn't feel happy or fulfilled and I didn't feel unhappy either. I didn't feel much of anything at all, not even stress," she stated.

Photo Courtesy of Dr. Valerie Rein

This raised the question for Rein as to what sort of hidden traumas women are suppressing without having any awareness of its presence. In her evaluation of her healing methodology, Rein realized that she was using mind, body and trauma healing tools with her clients because, while they had never experienced a traumatic event, they were showing the tell-tale symptoms of trauma which are described as a disconnect from parts of ourselves, body and emotions. In addition to her personal evaluation, research at the time had revealed that traumatic experiences are, in fact, passed down genetically throughout generations. This was Rein's lightbulb moment. The answer to a very real problem that she, and all women, have been experiencing is intergenerational trauma as a result of oppression formed under the patriarchy.

Although Rein's discovery would undoubtably change the way women experience and understand stress, it was crucial that she first broaden the definition of trauma not with the intention of catering to PSD, but to better identify the ways in which trauma presents itself in the current generation. When studying psychology from the books and diagnostic manuals written exclusively by white men, trauma was narrowly defined as a life-threatening experience. By that definition, not many people fit the bill despite showing trauma-like symptoms such as disconnections from parts of their body, emotions and self-expression. However, as the field of psychology has expanded, more voices have been joining the conversations and expanding the definition of trauma based on their lived experience. "I have broadened the definition to say that any experience that makes us feel unsafe psychically or emotionally can be traumatic," stated Rein. By redefining trauma, people across the gender spectrum are able to find validation in their experiences and begin their journey to healing these traumas not just for ourselves, but for future generations.

While PSD is not experienced by one particular gender, as women who have been one of the most historically disadvantaged and oppressed groups, we have inherited survival instructions that express themselves differently for different women. For some women, this means their nervous systems freeze when faced with something that has been historically dangerous for women such as stepping into their power, speaking out, being visible or making a lot of money. Then there are women who go into fight or flight mode. Although they are able to stand in the spotlight, they pay a high price for it when their nervous system begins to work in a constant state of hyper vigilance in order to keep them safe. These women often find themselves having trouble with anxiety, intimacy, sleeping or relaxing without a glass of wine or a pill. Because of this, adrenaline fatigue has become an epidemic among high achieving women that is resulting in heightened levels of stress and anxiety.

"For the first time, it makes sense that we are not broken or making this up, and we have gained this understanding by looking through the lens of a shared trauma. All of these things have been either forbidden or impossible for women. A woman's power has always been a punishable offense throughout history," stated Rein.

Although the idea of having a disorder may be scary to some and even potentially contribute to a victim mentality, Rein wants people to be empowered by PSD and to see it as a diagnosis meant to validate your experience by giving it a name, making it real and giving you a means to heal yourself. "There are still experiences in our lives that are triggering PSD and the more layers we heal, the more power we claim, the more resilience we have and more ability we have in staying plugged into our power and happiness. These triggers affect us less and less the more we heal," emphasized Rein. While the task of breaking intergenerational transmission of trauma seems intimidating, the author has flipped the negative approach to the healing journey from a game of survival to the game of how good can it get.

In her new book, Patriarchy Stress Disorder: The Invisible Barrier to Women's Happiness and Fulfillment, Rein details an easy system for healing that includes the necessary tools she has sourced over 20 years on her healing exploration with the pioneers of mind, body and trauma resolution. Her 5-step system serves to help "Jailbreakers" escape the inner prison of PSD and other hidden trauma through the process of Waking Up in Prison, Meeting the Prison Guards, Turning the Prison Guards into Body Guards, Digging the Tunnel to Freedom and Savoring Freedom. Readers can also find free tools on Rein's website to help aid in their healing journey and exploration.

"I think of the book coming out as the birth of a movement. Healing is not women against men– it's women, men and people across the gender spectrum, coming together in a shared understanding that we all have trauma and we can all heal."

https://www.drvalerie.com/