I’m regularly stopped in the street by women asking me ‘where I got my lips done’ and I have to tell them ‘in the womb’. I just have big lips. Always have done.
Unfortunately, the plumpness of my lips combined with the hugeness of my teeth (family trait, The Osmonds have nothing on us) gives the impression that I’m pouting. I’m not. I promise. It’s just how my face goes.
You can imagine how well my perceived poutiness went down when I was at an all-girls school in Essex. I was teased relentlessly during my teens, entire classrooms chanting ‘ooh! She’s pouting again! She fancies you Sir!’ every time I raised my hand to ask a question. I took to covering my mouth with my hand whenever I spoke, in the vain hope I’d conceal my massive mouth.
It’s ironic, then, that today I make a living from using my mouth. As a journalist, TV pundit and activist my huge gob is absolutely key to the life that I lead.
A singer-songwriter I know once wrote ‘I paint my mouth with lipstick because I have something to say’ and that’s precisely how I feel. I make a feature of my lips now – they’re part of my mixed race heritage, part of my face and most importantly, part of who I am.
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