Images: Alessio Romenzi for UNICEF, via Tara Moss (Instagram).
Australian author Tara Moss has recently returned from Lebanon, where she spent a week visiting refugees of the Syrian conflict who are currently living in camps and informal settlements.
The UNICEF ambassador has been documenting her experiences on Facebook, sharing photos and anecdotes that are equally heart warming and harrowing. On the second day of her trip, for instance, a nearby settlement burst into flames, killing four adults and five children.
“My heart has been ripped from my body. Somehow it has also been mended and returned to my chest again, altered,” Moss, 41, writes. “I have seen so much suffering and injustice here, but also hope, determination and love.”
Despite the obvious importance of the work done by aid workers and ambassadors, a handful of commenters couldn’t resist calling Moss out for something entirely insignificant: her decision to wear red lipstick during her time in Lebanon. (Post continues after gallery.)
Now, if you’ve followed Tara Moss throughout her career, you’ll be well aware red lipstick is part of her trademark ‘vintage’ look. The former model regularly teams a bold red lip with thick-framed glasses, a flower in her hair, a retro frock and/or pinup-esque victory rolls.
A slick of red lipstick certainly hasn’t stopped Moss from being a best-selling author and a fantastic advocate for women’s rights and other issues, so the suggestion that it would somehow undermine her aid work is laughable, not to mention sexist.
This criticism also spectacularly misses the point, and derails an important conversation about the adversity millions of Syrian women, men and children are experiencing right now.