Okay folks, we’ve seen it all when it comes to fashion and fads within African and African-American culture, bleaching creams, gold grills, sagging pants and now, pink lips. Yes friends, tattooing the bottom lip pink (or red, if you prefer) is the latest fashion craze among many men in Nigeria. Why oh why, do they decide to permanently mark their lips in such a fashion? A Lagos tattoo artist said he’s “cleaning up” black lips by painting them pink. Recipients of the procedure say pinker lips attract the ladies.
Personally, these tattooed pink lips remind me of demeaning stereotypical caricatures from back in the day where darker skinned Blacks who did sport lips that had pinkish tones were mocked by exaggerated, demeaning and racist images. One image comes to mind: Little Black Sambo. Ironically, he was a beloved storybook character, an adorable little coon with pink lips that got into mishaps and misadventures. Sambo was as popular as today’s Wimpy Kid Diaries or the enduring Curious George. Thanks to the Black Power Movement, we managed to eradicate most negative imagery – pink lips and all.
Now a half century later, on the shores of the Motherland, we see this pink lip buffoonery being embraced as a fashion statement. If you ask me, I think it’s yet another attempt to alter the unappreciated, much hated reality of black skin.
To my misguided brothers who think their black lips would look “Pretty in Pink”: Embrace and celebrate your true colors. Ditto to the brothers who hate their naturally pinkish bottom lips. I pray that this pink lip trend will not cross the shores of America, or anywhere else in the Black Diaspora.
What do you think of the pink lip craze??
- Crazy Fashion: Nigerian Men tattoo their lips pink! (habariganiamerica.com)