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>> Pi_Pen <<

// LGBTQ+ ally // Feminist // Gun control // Pro choice // Save the earth // Pi digit memorizer
// Debater // Agnostic //

Message to Readers

Just a little something I wrote down. Another analysis of society's stereotypes. I'm honestly not particularly proud of the writing quality on this piece, so if you'd like to critique anything, I'd really appreciate that. Thanks for reading.


February 10, 2019


I don't know exactly why I entered the shop and headed instinctively towards the cosmetic aisle after school today, but I just can't help looking onto the shelves of lipstick, blush, eyeliner.... So here I am, standing under the large smiling face of a woman wearing these cosmetics on a large poster on the wall.
The pinks, reds, fuxias, and purples line the white rows, looking so aesthetically perfect that I am tempted to take one and purchase it. Of course, I cannot. It would be awkward, strange, abnormal, even. At least the cashier would certainly think so.
Yet I can't help looking at the perfectly matching colors, wondering which one would look best on me, reading the names assigned to each lipstick: Bubble Gum Pink, Power RedBrilliant Fuxia, Majesty Purple.

I've always adored reading the names of the items in the make-up aisle, when I came here with my mother to shop on every fourth Saturday of the month.
She would always tell me, after a few minutes, "Henry, why don't you go to the game section while I see which cosmetics to buy? I'm sure it would bore you to stay here, you can head on over there, meet me back at the checkout counter in a few minutes, honey. If you want, you can pick out something you like."
So I would always reluctantly head over to the shelves of trucks and cars, board games and legos. I'd browse a bit, never pick out anything, then get bored and just sit on the tiled floor waiting, listening to the music soundtrack playing in the store. I'd meet my mother at the checkout counter and I would curiously peak at which item she had picked out. She had perfect taste, always.

Now I'm fourteen, I can stay home by myself, and my mother can head here to buy cosmetics or perfume on her own. And now I'm supposed to be home, I have homework to do. But I seem to be unable to move, forever standing in front of these forbidden shelves.
I see one of the store's employees. The woman heads over, looks at me as if I'm quite strange, then speaks (hesitantly), "May I... help you?" She has a pin that reads "Angela," and, in a smaller font, "COSMETICS SECTION" is written on the shiny white rectangle. She has the purple employee vest and seems to be wearing the make-up from the store, probably to incite costumers to buy it. It doesn't really help much if she chooses the wrong colors, though, but, anyways... I'm sure she's not about to take style advice from a fourteen-year-old boy. But I couldn't help notice that Power Red would have been much better on her small, pale face than Majestic Purple.
Her words linger in the air, unanswered.
"Oh, umm... no, no, it's ok, just... browsing, I guess. Sorry, I should go now."
"Oh, no, it's fine, I was just wondering... perhaps you're looking for a present for a sister, or a girlfriend?"
"Um, Yeah... for my sister."
"Ok, would you like me to help you choose?" (As if I had no taste in cosmetics.)
I don't know why I said that. I think that, seeing as she was hired to help customers interested in the cosmetics section, I wanted to see what she would recommend for me... well, for my sister, really. But maybe it would be fun to be able to browse cosmetics normally, without inciting strange glances or even sympathetic looks.
"All right, then, perfect. Here... what is your sister's hair color?"
"It's, umm... black."
"You're searching for lipstick?"
"Perfect, then I'd suggest a pale, pink color... something like Bubble Gum Pink."
"Ok, thank you."
"No problem, hon. Any time." She smiled and walked away.
I was shocked that all she took into consideration to choose a lipstick shade was hair color. Nothing about eye color, the size of the face... anyways, Majestic Purple fit better with black.
And even though my three-year-old sister didn't wear lipstick, I grabbed the stick of make-up, checked the price, searched in my pockets for money, and bought it.

Thanks, sis.


See History
  • February 10, 2019 - 7:33am (Now Viewing)

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  • Julius Caesar

    this is absolutely wonderful

    over 1 year ago
  • Johanna

    Really sweet piece!! I like it :)

    over 1 year ago