Creativity, identity, Women and Leadership

The Nude Lip



They say that a great nude lip is like a comfortable pair of jeans or your favourite white t shirt. You feel totally relaxed in your self, in your skin.

The great nude lip is is me, but more. Enhanced.

I have been immersed in data collection and a journey of interviews and email exchanges with the most amazing women leaders, each one beautiful as they struggle to lead, be their best self, innovate create, challenge and support the students and teachers in their educational space.

But very few are totally relaxed in their own skin.

If these lipsticks could become for me tools to describe each one of the women, there would be a chaotic mix of colour. Some have found a close match to their natural, own self, while others are still trying on ‘Mummy’s lipstick’ and there are those whose quest to find ‘who I am’ has led them to apply Geisha style, theatrical lips. And at times it is smudged and undefined.

There is a performative edge to self discovery, we see kids doing this don’t we? Experimenting. And we encourage them. But as adults we are expected to have it all sorted. Perhaps this makes the challenge for women to find themselves in role more complex.

Bobbi Brown‘s advice is that a great nude lip is 1-2 shades lighter than your natural lip colour. And I like this beauty advice. If lipstick is a tool here for women leaders in education, then finding their true identity is only 1-2 shades away.

These shades are achieved via a little coaching, some great online professional learning, reflective practice, support and challenge of colleagues. It is also achieved with time to build experience and best practice, to fail and make mistakes. To have a coffee and to get back up again and keep trying. Being a woman in educational leadership today is challenging. The professional demands are too many to describe here and the personal ones are equally as complex. But there is reward in serving others in the role of leader. You can do it. Be your best self. Find your great nude lip colour.

So what shade of nude will you choose today?




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