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Gendered Artifact

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Melika Zamani

on 28 January 2013

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Transcript of Gendered Artifact

Artifact Clues This piece of technology was invented in the early 1880s
The film industry helped popularize the item in 1930
It's technology can be separated into two parts: one mechanical, the other chemical
Certain ingredients that can be found in this item include: paraffin, titanium dioxide, menthol, wax, lanolin, and cayenne pepper
Most people have one of these
Some believe they are addicted to its use Origins Design & Marketing Defining features: container, contents, & lexicon
Dependent on its targeted consumer; by age group, sex, or lifestyle
Design and marketing often situated in relation to the symbolism of lipstick
Tug of war over lipstick` s acceptability throughout history Consumer Teenage Girls Women Men Eco-Friendly Locating Gender “Saucy, irresistible lips”
“Ravishing Raspberry for ravishing lips. Achieve timeless, irresistible lips with W7's limited edition vintage lip balm. Comes packaged in a vintage pocket size sliding pot for those fashion statement occasions.”

"A conditioning lip balm that protects lips from sun and wind, with soothing effects...Field tested in extreme conditions, this hydrating balm contains antioxidants and superior moisturizers to provide lasting treatment benefits. " Aesthetics & Lexicon Textual Analysis of Names Why is masculinity so challenged by lip balm A Gendered Gesture 1970s witty names used for lip products, became prevalent in the 1990s (Ragas & Kozlowski, 1998)
``The name of a lipstick is like hope in a tube`` (Ragas & Kozlowski, 1998)
Merskin, D. (2007). Truly Toffee and Raisin Hell: A Textual Analysis of Lipstick Names. Sex Roles, 56(9/10), 591–600.
Analysis of 1722 names based on Goffman's concept of presentation of self and impression management as theory and Barthes semiotic model as method.
Named after food, beverages, sex, romance, fantasy, places, flowers, female archetypes.
What purpose does lipstick names serve? And what are its implications?
Consumed and consumable. Melika Zamani & Kyra Folk-Farber Lip balm originated as a method of soothing chapped lips
EAR-WAX.—"Nothing is better than ear-wax to prevent the painful effects resulting from a wound […]. Those who are troubled with cracked lips have found this remedy successful when others have failed. It is one of those sorts of cures, which are very likely to be laughed at; but I know of its having produced very beneficial results" (Child, 1832).
Dr. Charles Browne Fleet developed the first lip balm, made of wax and oil, in the 1880s in Lynchburg, VA (Cancio, 2013)
In 1912 he sold it to John Morton, whose wife melted the wax into sticks that became popular commercially (Cancio, 2013)
Variations on lip balm were added by different brands starting in the 60s – they included different flavours, textures, and tints (Freeman, 2009)
Where is the line between beauty product and medicine?
Where does chap-stick end and lipstick begin? Lip Colour Lip colour:
Originated with the Mesopotamians, who used crushed semi-precious jewels to adorn their lips and the skin around their eyes (Freeman, 2009)
In 1967, British zoologist Desmond Morris wrote "The Nake Ape," which claimed that women enhance the colour of their lips to draw a biological analogy to the flushed and swollen labia (Morris, 1967)
Other theories: infantilized lips (Freedman, 1986)
Estrogen makes lips fuller, which is appealing to men
Lip gloss was invented by Max Factor for film actors who wanted their make-up to stay on their faces longer (Freeman, 2009)
Manufacturers add ingredients like cinnamon and menthol that irritate the lips to make the delicate skin swell and/or tingle (2009)
The tingling sensation is supposed to be soothing, but the irritation dries out the skin more
The flavours also tempt people to lick their lips, causing dryness
People thus claim that lip balm is harmful and addictive (C. K., 2012)
http://www.lipbalmanonymous.com from Christopher Craft’s “Kiss me with those red lips: Gender and Inversion in Bram Stoker's Dracula”:

…this mouth equivocates, giving the lie to the easy separation of the masculine and the feminine. Luring at first with an inviting orifice, a promise of red softness, but delivering instead a piercing bone, the vampire mouth fuses and confuses what Dracula's civilized nemesis, Van Helsing and his Crew of Light, works so hard to separate the gender-based categories of the penetrating and the receptive, or, to use Van Helsing's language, the complementary categories of "brave men" and "good women." With its soft flesh barred by hard bone, its red crossed by white, this mouth compels opposites and contrasts into a frightening unity, and it asks some disturbing questions. Are we male or are we female? Do we have penetrators or orifices? And if both, what does that mean? And what about our bodily fluids, the red and the white? What are the relations between blood and semen, milk and blood? Furthermore, this mouth, bespeaking the subversion of the stable and lucid distinctions of gender, is the mouth of all vampires, male and female.(Craft, 1984) 1897: Bram Stoker wrote Dracula, arguably the basis for the vampire culture that is so popular among today’s youth
1970s: Suzy Chaffee, an Olympic skier and model, advertised for chap-stick on TV. Her celebrity persona as both beauty- /sex-icon and star athlete probably paved the way for lip balm’s ambiguous branding: medical aid for athletes, or beauty cosmetic?
1980s: Glam and heavy metal rock icons like David Bowie and Twisted Sister wore lipstick (Freeman, 2009)
1995: Drag queen RuPaul became the first male MAC spokesperson (2009)
1997: San Francisco Museum of Modern Art includes lipstick as one of the 12 iconic objects
1990s: Rave and club culture was accepting of lip colour on men
2011: Ryan Philippe, actor and fashion icon, does an interview: Cultural History of Lips Q: If you leave the screen, please know we’ll miss those lips. What do you pamper them with? A: The blue Chapstick! [Whips a tube out of his pocket] This is constantly on my person. Constantly. Q: Does it taste like vanilla? Nope, it tastes like nothing. It’s manly lip stuff. I’m not a little boy anymore. (Bardin, 2011)
Bardin, B. (2011, March). The Look: Man of style. Instyle.com. Retrieved from

Butler, J. (2006). Gender trouble : feminism and the subversion of identity. New York: Routledge.

C., K. (last updated 2012). Is lip balm addictive? Retrieved from http://www.lipbalmanonymous.com/is-lip-balm-addictive/

Cancio, K. S. (2012, February 4). More than lip service. Retrieved from

Child, L. M. (1832). The American Frugal Housewife. Retrieved from

Craft, C. (1984). Kiss Me with those Red Lips: Gender and Inversion in Bram Stoker’s
Dracula. Representations, 8, 107-133.

Freedman, R. J. (1986). Beauty bound. Lexington, Mass.: Lexington Books.

Freeman, S. (2009, March 9). How lipstick works. Retrieved from

Merskin, D. (2007). Truly Toffee and Raisin Hell: A Textual Analysis of Lipstick Names. Sex Roles, 56(9/10), 591–600.

Morris, Desmond. (1968). The naked ape: A zoologist's study of the human animal.
London: J. Cape.

Ragas, M., & Kozlowski, K. (1998). Read my lips : a cultural history of lipstick. San Francisco: Chronicle Books. Lip Culture Lip Balm Lip treatment Lip gloss Lip balm Lip therapy Lip rub Lip salve Lip glass Lip care Lip cream Lip conditioner Lip repair cream Lip scrub Lip plumper Chap-stick Lipstick Symbolism of L pstick For females, lip balm is all about sexuality: whether lip colour is heavy or light, both sexualize the lips. "Natural lips are more kissable," vs. the red lip. Most used cosmetics: ``even women who don`t wear makeup wear lipstick``
It represents glamour, adventure, and luxury, confidence, strength, and courage
Its application for young girls represents the passage from girlhood to womanhood; lipstick has more of a sexual connotation than other makeup
The transformation from private to public sphere
Representative of femininity ex. Drag Queens, and Lipstick Lesbians Gender as performativity (Butler, 2006)
The process of application is a feminine gesture
An accepted (and often celebrated) public ritual since 1920s (Ragas & Kozlowski, 1998) Bibliography MANLY
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