This isn't the kind of makeup tutorial you see every day.
In this compelling video by Ogilvy & Mather, a young vlogger named Reshma neatly walks viewers through the process of applying red lipstick while ensuring your lips stay moisturized and neatly outlined. But there's a catch, which is clear early on—though unexplained at first—from Reshma's appearance.
Check out the video here:
Watching Reshma calmly and bravely outline the steps of everyday beautification makes for a disturbing contrast. But that's what makes the video—a PSA for Make Love Not Scars—so powerful. At the end, like any responsible beauty vlogger, she informs viewers, "You'll find red lipstick easily in the market"—just like concentrated acid, she adds.
This message alone is sufficient to justify the video's provocation of the user; the ease with which the average Indian man can procure acid isn't common knowledge.
There is also an eyeliner tutorial, which you can see here:
According to Konbini, in India it's possible to buy a liter of acid for about 100 rupees (about $1.50). According to the petition that Reshma asks viewers to sign, the country has 1,000 reported acid attack cases per year, of which 90 percent of victims are women.
The petition includes a letter to the prime minister of India stressing the importance of regulating the availability of acid instead of simply passing tougher laws against attackers.
In 2012, following an acid attack on a young girl named Nirbhaya, who was raped multiple times and killed in a bus, the government passed a law that condemned acid attackers to 10 years in prison or even the death penalty. But in the two years that followed, attacks increased 250 percent in the country—which is why the petition focuses on forbidding the open sale of acid and classifying it as a controlled poison.
The petition currently counts about 65,000 signatures, a significant rise from just 2,000 two days ago, underscoring the impact of the lipstick video (which has been viewed on YouTube more than 400,000 times).