You can read a fantastic history of black lipstick here, that addresses its origins from Pharaoh’s Egypt through Maori culture and Hollywood’s genesis, to the early Punk and Goth scenes where it gained a foothold as a staple of appearance for alternative culture. Kudos to Broadly, a woman-focused division of the sprawling VICE media empire for an interesting and informative article.
What really chimed with me, and inspired this article, was writer Arabelle Sicardi’s closing statements on the appropriation of alternative fashion by the mainstream, repurposing it to serve as some bizarre ‘rebellious’ look.
“That’s the thing with alternative identities: they get adopted and made into something entirely different. Culture eats culture and spits it back out, an undying monster.”
A monster indeed; it allowed me to finally addressing the rising black-tinged tide of news about the Kardashians and their ‘Goth look’ that has been seeping into my inbox. The sentiment, the ideal goal, has always been not to judge people on their appearance, considering how many times such assumptions are inflicted upon us.
However, it is hard to see the ‘socialite’ Kardashian family as doing anything more than holidaying in another culture. Such things occur of course, and we’ve stopped reporting on how – as the seasons turn colder again – fashion ransacks our wardrobes and repurposes all our unfashionable clothes as suddenly haute couture.
It’s that this suddenly renders our look and lifestyle somehow acceptable to trash media, consumed by people who normally hurl insults and even violence at us in the street for the way we look. The irony and insincerity is palpable and offensive.
So, thanks for the informative article, Broadly. And thanks for ending on a corny, dismissive note. Don’t forget, we seem to be the source of new ideas for when mainstream fashion has finished eating its own tail, again and again and again.