One of the most bizarre beauty procedure I’ve recently come across is tattooing the lips pink, which is apparently very popular in the African county of Nigeria. The main reason for this practice seems to be that women find men with pink lips more attractive.
The other day, someone emailed me a link to a video of a Nigerian guy getting his lower lip tattooed pink, in what looks like a very unhygienic tattoo parlor. To be honest, I thought it was just an isolated case, a guy who just wanted to be different, like the girl who tattooed Drake’s name on her forehead. But it got me intrigued, and after doing some research online, it seems this really is a trend among Nigerian men. According to Battabox.com, who documented the procedure in the short video, young men pay around 7,000 Nigerian Naira ($45) to have their black lips cleaned of excess skin and tattooed with a pink paint to make them lighter. Although the guy in the video didn’t show any signs of pain, having a sensitive spot like the lips tattooed can’t be very pleasant.
Apparently, having pink lips is a coveted aesthetic feature in Nigeria, and tattooing is the most common way to achieve it. The results are permanent, but according to Nigerian Best Forum, it has a number of downsides. First, there’s the pain associated with the process, then the possibility of skin irritation, as well as a prolonged stinging sensation and inflammation of the lips. If not properly done, you can even grow keloids. And considering the tattoo artist in the video isn’t even wearing rubber gloves, I’d say the risk of infection is petty high. But, people have done stranger things in the name of beauty…
But there are less extreme ways of making black lips pink. Just removing the dirt particles, oil and dead skin cells that accumulate on the lips throughout the day and washing them with rosewater can make a big difference, and if that doesn’t work, a mix of almond oil and lemon juice is said to make the lips smoother and redder.