How does red lipstick and God’s love intersect? Listen and discover an interesting history story.

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American women have a long history of painting their lips. Martha Washington concocted her own recipe for the finest lip salve in the world. However, lipstick was not widely accepted until World War 2. Hitler deplored red lipstick and associated it with the Weimar Republic, which he overturned. He believed Aryan women possessed natural beauty and didn’t need to enhance it artificially. However Hitler also disapproved of other female preferences like pants or perfume.

In the United States, red lipstick demonstrated patriotism. During the war, many women entered the workplace for the first time, and wearing lipstick was one way to maintain their femininity and keep their spirits up. Elizabeth Arden created free makeup kits for women entering the Women’s Axillary Corp. Arden developed a red lipstick that matched the piping in the ladies’ uniforms. In advertisements posters, Rosie the Riveter boasted bright red lipstick. Those photos gave a sense of energy and vitality to contrast with the axis powers.

The American cosmetic industry churned out lots of bright red lipstick. Rubinstein created Regimental Red. Elizabeth Arden offered Victory Red. In addition, the government never rationed lipstick because they considered it too valuable to morale.

Just as red lipstick represented patriotism in World War 2, Jesus taught that the hallmark of believers should be love. And unconditional love is a staple phrase in our language. I prefer to refer to God’s love, which is agape love. Love which seeks the best for the one loved. Your toddler might prefer to eat cookies rather than vegetables, but you encourage him to learn to enjoy a variety of food because it’s healthier. Your teenager might want to break the speed limit, but as moms, we know it’s safer for him to obey traffic laws.

As Valentine’s Day approaches, let’s find ways to demonstrate God’s agape love.

 

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