A digital magazine on sexuality in the Global South: We are working towards cultivating safe, inclusive, and self-affirming spaces in which all individuals can express themselves without fear, judgement or shame

Author: Muskan Nagpal

A photograph of a white bedsheet with blots of maroon-burgundy lipstick stains smudged across it.

Following Aladdin’s Genie

The lip colour then enters into a rather queer state of existence as it refuses to stand by the label it is expected to conform to. It moves and escapes categorisation. In its queerness, it renders itself as a paradox. At the heart of paradoxes is the understanding that something is what it is also not. Similarly, the colour of this lipstick is nude, but it is also not. It is possible that it is because of this slippery nature of the paradox that my sexuality as my identity too remains slippery, in motion and fluid.
Red lipstick stains on a white napkin

Following Aladdin’s Genie

It is this camaraderie with sexualness that made my mother uncomfortable about my comfort with lipsticks. Stains become metonyms for the woman herself, and her sexuality. It is possible that this stain might stay on someone’s mind as they encounter a stained cup. It is possible that even if they never have seen the person, they would now be compelled to imagine them.
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