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In a World Where You Can Be Anything, Be Bold, Be Lipstick Red!

Book Review by Sharon Sharpe

by A. Williams

Arletha Williams's Lipstick, Red! I am Me! is a masterpiece; a bold conversation we are looking to ignite among women.

The book begins by introducing us to the adjective Lipstick Red, manufactured by author A. Williams. The term is defined as "A confident, beautiful, and intelligent woman. One who knows her value." Like many other works in its genre, Lipstick Red! I am Me! takes on a "me to you" tone as the author delivers a poignant reminder that "...we are not created by God to be 'Her' but to be ourselves." This book works well as a self-help book designed for women who are feeling misplaced, unloved, unmotivated, or simply overwhelmed with life's tedious tasks and mounting expectations.

Lipstick Red! I am Me! invites women to step out of their comfort zone through clear and concise direction and motivation. The chapter titles read as some of the most empowering for women, from graceful to beautiful and daring.

"What are you waiting for?" the book inquires, asking the very question that many women seem to ask themselves daily. What can be hindering them from achieving their goals and pursuing their passions? Here we find that A. Williams, amicably, is encouraging women to not only read as a means of retaining the information but also allowing space for participation. Each chapter closes with a request for readers to make notes of what they've consumed and wish to apply to their day-to-day activities as a catalyst for change.

With that being said, each of the key values expanded upon in each chapter tackles real-life events that most, if not all, women can find relatable. Fear of requesting a promotion at work, making a fashion statement that goes against societal norms, accepting and embracing your beauty by not comparing yourself to others, staying complacent in a career you cannot stand for the betterment of those around you, neglecting yourself in the process, to name a few. The honesty of a woman to express herself remains paramount for inner growth and self-confidence.

Williams does an exemplary job of expressing her message in a fashion that can be taken in independently or in one sitting. With each chapter tackling a different characteristic to shed light on how said characteristic is an embodiment of Lipstick Red, a reader can indulge in specific sections, taking from it what they please.

While Lipstick Red is an adjective to describe the aforementioned kind of woman, A. Williams does not neglect the fact that some women have both strengths and weaknesses. As such, this book can help you strengthen the areas where you find yourself questioning your ability to be assured in your decisions or assertive on occasions where the outcome may be self-serving.

The red lipstick is timeless; an aesthetic used to exert sureness with its pigment. The shade of red correlates with the theme of "Lipstick Red, I am Me!" in that it bridges the gap between power and femininity. Williams cites, “Red lips have been a signature look in fashion for more than 5,000 years, and it exudes sexuality, mystery, and power.

Throughout the centuries, it has been worn by women to feel bolder, stronger, and more confident.” Williams not only brings education and empowerment to the forefront but also requests for readers to take a realistic approach to the ways they can take on the “Lipstick Red” persona. It cannot be transient; it should be felt and reflected through your actions in addition to your words.

“The world is waiting for you,” she says. “Express yourself in your fullness as a woman and see how your expression can make a difference in the world.” The Lipstick Red woman is unique; she is unmatched. “I will not be equally matched with what is common. Lack of 'womanness' is not my expectation. Walking in my newly defined and unmatched 'Lipstick Red,' I shall not settle for less. Your unmatched 'womanness' is within you, and it is a gift. I have opened mine, what about you? – What will it take for you to open yours? What is your unmatched?” A. Williams writes.

For readers looking to learn and explore their womanhood, to grab hold of the characteristics that make us formidable and nurture them into Lipstick Red, this book talks of the importance of focusing on yourself rather than competing and envying others. It will not warrant you the outcome you seek; rather, “Envious women stagnate their growth. While you are worried and jealous about someone else’s goodness, grace, and blessings, you will not flourish. Embrace other women for their successes and compliments.”

A Lipstick Red woman asserts herself and stands in her truth. This book is an automatic truth that will welcome new and seasoned readers to embrace and embody the Lipstick Red persona. A key point to take away is that once you are Lipstick Red, you cannot allow anyone’s perception of you to bring you to question your worth. As the book reiterates, you are bold, you are confident, you are daring, you are timeless, you are unmatched, you are beautiful, you are graceful, you are unique, and you are Lipstick Red!

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Sharon Sharpe-Gambu is an Editorial Assistant, book reviewer and professor living in The Bronx, New York. Follow for more of Sharon's Reviews


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