#FlipYourLips for the Girls

Photography by Mattias Björklund
Words by Eleanor Taylor Davis

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Creative and chic cancer awareness campaigners The Red Lippy Project are poised and ready to launch their second campaign in time for Cervical Screening Awareness Week (15th – 21st June) with the aim of eradicating the stigma surrounding cervical cancer screening tests.

Commonly known as the ‘smear’ test, these screenings (although not the most glamorous or dignified of experiences) save thousands of women’s lives each year. Red Lippy Project co-founders Caroline Muhlich and Linda Andersson balked at statistics showing as many as one in three women aged 25-29 in the UK haven’t been screened, and concluded something needed to be done. So, in 2013 – using their joint expertise gained through careers in the creative industry – the two came up with the ingenious Red Lippy Project, a radical way of raising awareness of the importance of cervical screening using that ubiquitous feminine symbol; the pout.

Partnering with Topshop for their inaugural campaign last year – creating limited edition lipsticks and make-up bags – gave the collective the high profile boost they needed to really get off the ground, and soon they were taking social media and local press by storm, while inspiring celebrities like Amber le Bon and Rita Ora to get involved and share their trademark pouts.

This year Red Lippy Project plan to make the campaign bigger than ever and reach as many young women as possible, so for Cervical Screening Awareness Week 2015 they’ve dreamt up the social media campaign #FlipYourLips. To get involved, simply smear on their brightest shade of vermillion and pout for a selfie before ‘flipping’ your pic and uploading to social media. Make sure to tag photo #FlipYourLips and nominate three friends to spread the word as far as possible.

Cervical cancer is most common in women between the ages of 25 and 35, related to sexual activity beginning or increasing in late teens and early twenties, exposing women to the human papilloma virus (HPV) virus; a leading cause of cervical cancer. Yet statistics show two thirds of young women are failing to even get tested. Many believe they are risk free after receiving the HPV vaccination (given to all girls at age 12/13 since 2008), but although this vaccination helps prevent cervical cancer, it does not eliminate the risk entirely. Myths like this indicate a distinct need for more discussion about cervical screening and cervical cancer risk factors amongst young women. The Red Lippy Project is dedicated to helping create this discussion, co-founder Linda Andersson says “if we can get more women talking about Red Lippy Project and cervical screening, it will lead to more and more making the effort to get tested”. So for Cervical Screening Awareness Week 2015, do something simple, sexy and supportive: smear on a red smile and #FlipYourLips, for the sisterhood.

To find out more about Red Lippy project and cervical screenings please visit www.redlippyproject.com

Hair: Sarah Jo Palmer
Make up: Linda Andersson
Models: Lydia and Claire at Models 1, Tsanna at Premier,

Thank you to Triplefiveseven studio