“Find a Guy that Ruins your Lipstick not your Mascara”: A Piece on Emotional Abuse

Relationships are complicated forms of human connection, and can be very beneficial. However, relationships can also be crippling if they are unhealthy. Physically abusive relationships are easier to spot, but emotionally abusive relationships are the real snake; hidden in the grass, the field can appear harmless when really it’s ridden with venom.


The phrase find “a guy that ruins your lipstick, not your mascara” was under the surface, but wasn’t properly appreciated until Gwen Stefani came out and said it. It was further popularised in 2016 when Runaway June put out a song titled “Lipstick”, an inspirational song about moving onwards from heartbreak.


In the year 2016, there was a popular hashtag across twitter #MaybeHeDoesntHitYou, in attempt to raise awareness of the signs. It was heartbreaking, but comforting, for people to realise that they weren’t alone in how they were feeling. Here are some I found featured on SafeHorizon’s website, one of the largest non-profit organisations supporting victims in the United States. These tweets are very scary, but very real, in fact according to Dating Abuse Statistics located on loveisrepsect.org, “one in three adolescents in the U.S. is a victim of physical, sexual, emotional or verbal abuse from a dating partner, a figure that far exceeds rates of other types of youth violence”.

Emotional abusive relationships are in no way less serious than physical abuse, and can have just as long-lasting effects. They are hard to admit, but there are several signs you can look out for. I am going to list a few from an article found on Live Bold & Bloom, an online site created by Barrie Davenport in order to teach people how to get a hold of their mental health, relationships, passion and confidence.


They say you’re too sensitive in order to disregard your feelings.

You need permission to simply live life.

They put you down, or say things like “at least I’m not abusing you”.

They always blame you, and you seem to consistently be in the wrong.

They share personal information about you with others without your permission.

They make subtle threats or remarks in order to frighten/control you.


Those are just a few signs of many, and don’t assume that this only applies to romantic relationships; friendships can be just as toxic. With the count of emotionally and physically abused individuals rising every day, it is important to realise the signs and have the ability to acknowledge whether or not you are in an abusive relationship. It is just as real as any other kind of abuse, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise, get out while you still can.


If you believe you are in any sort of relationship that is dangerous, you can always go to SafeHorizon.org in order to get help. If you are not sure if you are in an abusive relationship or not, you can always go onto loveisrespect.org, find out more, and talk to others who can help you read the signs.

Article by : Allison Bradford