I have an obsession with red lips. As I’m sure you’ve already noticed. Ever since I was little I’ve wanted to paint myself, to create shape and colour, to draw myself anew. My lips are my most-complimented asset, and yet they sit on top of crooked teeth, my most obvious flaw. This creates a strange conundrum – I both wish to draw attention to my mouth, and distract from it. I do my make-up with a relaxed face, pouting - but after I am done, never manage to hide my ugly-pretty grin. It is an awkward situation to have both my favourite and least favourite features so close together, rubbing against each other every moment, each one made a little worse and a little better by the other’s presence. I know nothing is ever meant to be perfect, and my teeth no longer bother me the way they did when I was little, and wishing for invisibility. I almost enjoy the juxtaposition now; I use my smile as a weapon, to surprise those who spend too long on my soft and harmless lips, and begin to think me harmless too. I enjoy watching people watch my mouth, dizzied and confused as I flash a bright blood-soaked smile at them, threatening honesty. Sharp teeth to go with my sharp tongue. I catch sight of my mouth in mirrors, and these gashes of red paint – curled around white fangs, like a great wound that never heals - make a kind of sense that I could never have designed for my own face. And so I paint myself, almost religiously, sacredly, to represent the blood my words will draw.