I have to confess: when Blow Me A Kiss by Alice Harris  arrived, feelings of apprehension and intrigue washed over me. On one hand, beautiful photography and coffee table books are a personal weakness. But, there’s a side of me that most people don’t know about…I can’t bear to look at the mouths of most strangers. Whether they are speaking, singing or (heaven help us) chewing, the mouth is usually something I avoid looking at like the plague. Even though the cover alone kept me in a trance and made me rethink my stance on my aversion, I still put off even taking a cursory flip through the pages until several days later.

 On one of those annoyingly humid, rainy days here, I finally buckled and sat down with the book and was blown away. There truly is power in the mouth: the messages of strength, vulnerability, mirth…all conveyed with the lifting and positioning of muscles to create smiles, smirks, frowns, kisses and everything in between upon our lips. Just imagine how something as simple crimson paint can bring about a transformation not only in a person’s face but their actual persona. Looking at Cindy Crawford’s scarlet pout gives off a confined air of mystique; but that very same shade on Solange Knowles tells a different story: one of a willingness to be openly susceptible to whatever is on the horizon. They’re both smoky-eyed, bearing flawless skin, with highly conceptualized styles but their lips…each pair allows you to wonder about the person behind the lips, as if the person attached is a mere appendage.

There’s still a ways for me to go before I’ll be able to watch the contortions of the mouth mid-aria or not be repelled by abused lips that dearly need Carmex but I can now appreciate the mouth so much more. I might even try a rose-colored lip tint tomorrow and see where it takes me!

Written by Angela E