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Q&A with Aditi Kulkarni '17, Founder of Red Lips Project

Aditi Kulkarni '17

"About two months ago, it started as me shyly reaching out to people asking if they wanted to be a part of a new project," Kulkarni says. "I never expected it to get this big, let alone in two months. Now, I have a ton of women emailing and messaging me, asking how they can be a part of it — and telling me how much it has helped them just to read through the responses of others."

USA Today: The Red Lips Project: Tumblr site offers women 'space to express their power'

Aditi Kulkarni ['17] is working to make women feel more powerful — one picture at a time.

The Swarthmore College sophomore founded and maintains The Red Lips Project, a Tumblr blog featuring original photos of women sporting red lipstick and answering a single question: “What makes you feel powerful?”

As Kulkarni explains on the blog’s About page, “Women are intrinsically powerful. But I realized that many of the women in my life don’t always have a space to express their power. I wanted to create a project to change this and give them that space.”


Q: What compelled you to create The Red Lips Project?

A: Two things independently combined to create this project. First, I have always been fascinated by imagery of red lips. Some of the most powerful pictures of women I’ve seen in my life and remember to this day involve red lips. I wanted to play around with this image in my personal photography, but also started thinking about how this could be used for more than just my personal portfolio. And then I also started noticing little things, such as how quick women are to apologize for feeling confident because they feel they’re bragging. I wanted to do something to change that as well.

Read the complete q&a.


Kulkarni  and the Red Lips Project has also been featured in BuzzFeed, College Media Matters, Design TaxiThe Gloss, and StyleList Canadaamong other places.

Aditi Kulkarni '17 is from Woodbury, Minn. Read more about her project in The Phoenix.

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