Follow TV Tropes

Following

Lipstick Lesbian

Go To

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/mulhollanddrive1_1646.jpg
Advertisement:

She dresses and acts in a manner that is considered conventionally feminine, likes "feminine" things such as wearing lipstick and/or "girly" interests such as ballet — and likes women. Fictional lesbians tend to fall into this category if they're "good" characters as it's often seen as "safer" to depict them, while masculine lesbians tend to be relegated to "edgy" portrayals. Lipstick lesbians often have long fingernails which are impractical for sexual activity.

A related term is "femme"; a contrasting term is "butch". In LGBTQ communities, lipstick lesbians are described as only attracted to other lipstick lesbians, "more feminine" than average straight women, or having an "over-the-top" expression of femininity. Ellen DeGeneres jokingly coined the term "chapstick lesbian" to describe those who fall somewhere in between the two extremes of "lipstick" and "butch".

Advertisement:

Lipstick lesbians tend to be found a lot in works with lesbian characters, the reasons for this over-representation can include Fanservice (because Girl-on-Girl Is Hot), wanting to avert the stereotype of Butch Lesbian (and the implication that non-heterosexuals are "gender inverted"), wanting to present a lesbian character that won't "intimidate" viewers, and wanting to depict a woman who "just happens to be attracted to other women" rather than other aspects of LGBTQ cultures and identities.

Sometimes a work might tease or subvert this by having two pretty girls flirting or kissing, only to then reveal that one of them is really a guy who was Disguised in Drag (or whatever). This wouldn't count as a straight example, though a male-to-female Transgender lesbian might if she is sufficiently feminine, since she actually identifies as female and doesn't just temporarily pretend to be.

Advertisement:

Related to the opposite of Butch Lesbian, a high femme. Masculine–Feminine Gay Couple is for when this type of woman is paired with a more butch one. See Schoolgirl Lesbians, another form of catering to Yuri Fans via character type. Lipstick lesbians who don't take the "girliness" to extremes can be seen as Distaff Counterpart to the male Straight Gay, while ones who do, depending on your perspective, can either be seen as counterparts to the Manly Gay (in terms of over-emphasizing the "expected" characteristics of their gender) or the Camp Gay (in terms of going whole-hog into "femininity").


Examples

    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid: Riko Saikawa is a girly girl (though she has a noticeable tomboy streak) who's in love with Kanna.
    • Tohru could also count, due to her loving her new life as a maid (complete with maid outfit) and being madly in love with the androgynous Kobayashi.
  • Michiru Kaioh/Sailor Neptune from Sailor Moon; however, with her girlfriend being the more masculine Haruka Ten'oh/Sailor Uranus, some might say it would be more accurate to describe her as 'femme'. Naturally, most international dubs of the first anime attempted to censor this aspect of her character.
  • Kashimashi: Girl Meets Girl:
    • Yasuna is very feminine and only has eyes for Hazumu. It's unclear if she is actually a lesbian or if the fact she Does Not Like Men due to being unable to see them clearly is why she leans towards girls, however she doesn't show any interest in men. Yasuna contrasts with Hazumu's other love interest, who is a Tomboy with a Girly Streak.
    • Hazumu likely counts too. She was originally a boy but after being accidentally killed by aliens he was brought back as a girl. Even prior to the incident, she was In Touch with His Feminine Side.
  • Minto of Tokyo Mew Mew, but when she says she loves Zakuro it could mean either romantic love or just the obsessive admiration for the celebrity and Onee-sama, and she's clearly into boys too.
  • Akko and Mari from Girl Friends. Particularly prevalent since much of the plot includes shopping for clothes, getting makeovers, and hairstyling.
  • Hazuki from Yami to Boushi to Hon no Tabibito, who has long billowy black hair, a pretty seifuku, stunning blue eyes, and is just slightly gayer than an entire pride parade reenacting the Rocky Horror Picture Show. The object of her affections is even more feminine, though bi- or pan-sexual.
  • Yamato from Loveless acts as the more "femme" of the female Zeroes, as opposed to her fighter Koya.
  • Nobara Yukinokouji from Inu × Boku SS is an attractive woman who works as a bodyguard, and tells Ririchiyo that she would love to be in a sexual relationship with her. She also demonstrates her more feminine aspects by helping Ririchiyo with her hair in episode 3.
  • Variable Geo: Ayako Yuuki works as a floor dancer at SoTO Techno Rave Club and dresses accordingly, in a haltertop, a mini-skirt with suspenders, and high-heels. Her official character bio, states that she's not only a lesbian, but has entered the VG tournament as an excuse to see as many naked womens' bodies as possiblenote .
  • Togo from Yuki Yuna is a Hero is a girl who tries to embody being a Yamato Nadeshiko and is very into traditional Japanese culture. Togo is in love with her best friend Yuna, however Yuna is completely oblivious.
  • Nitori from Wandering Son is very feminine and would prefer to wear dresses and long hair if she could, though being a pre-transition trans girl prevents that. Her girlfriend Anna works as a model and is a fashion savvy Girly Girl. Anna is attracted to men but admits that she is perfectly fine with being seen as a lesbian as well.
  • Maria from Canaan is all but stated to be in love with the titular character. She plays the Girly Girl to the more masculine, Action Girl Canaan.
  • In the manga Maka-Maka, Nene is a needy but sweet clothes-designing young woman to Jun's Butch Lesbian.
  • Lily in Wasteful Days of High School Girls is a well-groomed Girly Girl and has so far only demonstrated romantic interest in other women, among them Loli, Majime, and Majime's mom.
  • Krista Lenz/Historia Reiss from Attack on Titan is the most feminine of the main cast, in contrast to her Love Interest, Ymir.
  • Yuzuriha of Lapis Re:LiGHTs looks and acts like a Yamato Nadeshiko and was absolutely delighted to be able to study abroad when her country, Yamato, was then an isolationist state. She traveled westward both to appreciate the culture and the women, going so far as to establish the Flora Girls' Academy's Cabaret Club, which also acts as a hostess club primarily catering to customers who want a "little sister" type. And if none of this was blatant enough, part of her official bio includes "Womanizing" in her likes.
  • Moe in Asteroid in Love may act like a lesbian pervert on the first glance, but acts like a smitten teenage girl when she interacts with her crush Misa, putting her to this trope.

    Comic Books 
  • DC Comics's current Batwoman is a Lipstick Lesbian. She was 'outed' in a cunningly-written magazine interview several months before the character premiered, and her first comic appearance was in a stunning party dress that caused jaws to drop both in and out of the comic. Her portrayal changed somewhat between 52 and her stint in Detective Comics, where she becomes significantly more butch. In the latter, she was established as having been in the army and wearing a wig in costume to hide her short hair. And, in contrast to the above, she shows a preference for tuxedoes over dresses.
  • Karolina Dean of Runaways is one of the most feminine members of the group. That doesn't stop her from liking other girls. She and Julie Power of Power Pack once dated (Julie herself is a bisexual). At another point, she tries to kiss her friend Nico, mistaking her as lesbian just because Nico said she's "done with boys forever".
  • In the Bluntman and Chronic comics, based on the Comic Book Within A Show of the same name from The View Askewniverse movies, one of their nemeses is a lesbian called the Lipstick Lesbian.
  • Sarah Rainmaker, from Gen¹³, although it took a while for her to truly come out as one. She is often actually seen attending protests and demonstrations on behalf of the LGBT community and has a tendency to lecture her teammates when they (often) fail to live up to her standards of political correctness. (Usually without much success.)
  • Stormer and Kimber from Jem and the Holograms are both feminine and are a couple. Kimber in particular falls for girls easily but is committed to Stormer. Kimber's bandmates (and sisters) don't care about their relationship but Stormer's hate her dating a Hologram.
  • In Circles, Gus the Butch Lesbian's girlfriend Lucy is this.
  • Blue Is the Warmest Color: Clémentine and Emma, especially in contrast to Sabine, though they're both slightly tomboyish in their looks.

    Comic Strips 
  • Sydney Krukowski from Dykes to Watch Out For refers to herself as femme, although the way she looks and acts isn't that different from her girlfriend Mo (who is sometimes considered butch.)

    Fan Works 
  • Gianna of Luminosity is this to the extent that no one notices until a female vampire mate-bonds to her. This was intentional on her part, though she doesn't change at all when she gets in an open relationship.
  • In The Unexpected Love Life of Dusk Shine, it's Celestia.
  • When she really makes an effort, Miss Alice Band of the Guild of Assassins comes over as this, although on a scale of one to ten (where one is the Butch stereotype) her usual placement would be around six or seven. On one Guild assignment, she had to pose as a circus high-wire artiste - which involved seriously glamming up. Alice Band, a very minor and largely unseen character in canon, is fleshed out in the Discworld works of A.A. Pessimal.
  • Erika and her Gym staff are portrayed this way in Pokémon Reset Bloodlines.
  • Alice Cullen, as portrayed in As Dreams Are Made On, is squarely in the lipstick lesbian category, taking a great deal of joy and pride in her fashion sense and skill with makeup. The protagonist, Cass or Bella, isn't much of a lipstick lesbian in her own right, but her tastes do run to the femme side and she cleans up nicely.
  • In Wicked Wiles, Grumpy falls for another "female" dwarf, a feminine dwarf names Gabby that uses she/her pronouns, wears earrings, and keeps her beard short.
  • Stoneybrook Revisited: A Baby-Sitters Club Fan Series: Shannon is a Girly Girl who is married to Kristy.

    Films — Animation 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Judy Squires in Better Than Chocolate, who is also a trans woman. Frances, the woman she's in love with, is more of a "chapstick lesbian". Maggie, the main character, is pretty femme-y as well.
  • Lucille from Sin City.
    Marv: Lucille's my parole officer. She's a dyke, but God knows why. With that body of hers she could have any man she wants.
  • Megan and Hilary in But I'm a Cheerleader. Megan is the titular cheerleader, and Hilary, as the product of an all-girl boarding school, is prone to clothing reminiscent of school girl uniforms.
  • V for Vendetta: Valerie, as shown in flashbacks, was portrayed as being classically feminine. It doesn't stop her from being persecuted by the Norsefire regime.
  • Goth couple Medea Yarn and Hellabent from Otto; or Up with Dead People they wear long frilly dresses, make up and act very feminine all the time.
  • Jeanie in Out at the Wedding is one of these however she had been in the closet and repressed to the point where the movie begins with her marrying her boyfriend. Her Closet Key is a Butch Lesbian named Risa who Jeanie's straight sister originally paid to pretend to be her girlfriend, because she was afraid her family wouldn't approve of her black boyfriend.
  • Magalie in Intouchables, much to Driss' disappointment.
  • Miss New York in Miss Congeniality, given that she's a beauty queen. Her girlfriend too, evident in the brief glimpse we get of her.
  • D.E.B.S.. Both Amy Bradshaw and Lucy Diamond pretend to be tough but are, deep down, nice, feminine girls who are very much in love with each other.
  • In Life Blood, Brooke and Rhea are models who are also lesbians, and later they're lesbian vampires.
  • The Miseducation of Cameron Post: According to the counselors at God's Promise, one of the girl's is lesbian because she's too feminine. More specifically, Jessica's into pageants and her beauty led to her feeling inadequate in her femininity, which in turn led to her same-sex attraction. Cameron, Coley, and a number of other lesbian girls all also have traditionally feminine looks.
  • I Can't Think Straight: Tala and Leyla both qualify, as they present themselves in traditionally feminine ways. Of course, it's expected since they begin as not "out" even to themselves and come from traditional cultures.
  • All Cheerleaders Die: Maddy and Leena, who both largely look and dress like the straight girls (the former more so).
  • Life Partners: Most of the lesbian characters in the film are very feminine.
  • When Night is Falling: Both Camille and Petra qualify given their feminine looks, though the former appears to be bisexual. Possibly; her relationship with her boyfriend appears somewhat shallow.
  • First Girl I Loved: Anne, and possibly Sasha, who both have feminine looks/attire.
  • Lost and Delirious: Tori, who acts and dresses effeminately while being in a relationship with another girl.
  • Princess Cyd: Two female friends of Miranda are married, and have classically feminine looks. Cyd is a lipstick bisexual for the same reasons.
  • 3 Generations: Dolly and her partner Frances are both middle-aged, highly feminine women.
  • Gia: Gia's lover Linda, who is a makeup artist and much more feminine in comparison with Gia.
  • The Roommate: Irene is a lesbian with very feminine clothing and mannerisms.
  • Portrait of a Lady on Fire: Héloïse is a proper lady in her appearance and mannter per 18th century French standards, who also has an affair with Marianne, the female painter commissioned to do her portrait.
  • Margarita with a Straw: Khanum is a feminine woman who's revealed to be a lesbian.
  • Loving Annabelle: Annabelle, who's pretty feminine (though perhaps with a slight tomboyish streak), while Ms. Bradley (assuming she's not bisexual) would also be an example with her even more traditional looks.
  • Chasing Amy: Alyssa is revealed to be one, with a more feminine style and appearance in comparison to her lover Kim in the lesbian bar. Later, however, she is shown to be a lipstick bisexual/pansexual.
  • 88 Minutes: Shelly, who mentions she's gay early on but has entirely feminine looks and manner.
  • Alena: Alena and Fabienne. Both are feminine girls who fall for each other.
  • Breaking the Girls: Alex and Nina are both feminine lesbians.
  • The Duke Of Burgundy: Cynthia and Evelyn are both very elegant, feminine women in a BDSM relationship.
  • Bit: Laurel is a very feminine lesbian. While Duke, Izzy and Frog's attire/manner isn't entirely traditional, they don't qualify as butch either. They're probably best described as "chapstick", in between these styles.
  • Thelma: Thelma is a quite feminine young woman who's attracted to her female classmate Anja. Meanwhile Anja too is a feminine woman and reciprocates her attraction, but may be bisexual as she's also shown dating a guy before. However, Anja's attraction to her may be induced by Thelma's powers.
  • Carol: Both Carol and Therese remain feminine, in spite of other changes they go through (most notably having a relationship together).
  • Side Effects: Dr. Siebert is a feminine woman who's revealed to have been in a relationship with Emily. The latter might also count, or at least be bisexual, as she's equally feminine.
  • Last Christmas: Marta and Alba, her roommate, act or dress no differently than the straight women in the film, letting it be a surprise that they're also in a relationship.
  • Saving Face: Lovers Vivian and Wil both have long hair. Wil likes to wear masculine clothing, but still isn't butch overall. Vivian wears feminine clothes and makeup.
  • Margarita: The main character Margarita is an example, as are most of her lesbian friends, who have long hair and more feminine clothing.
  • Trapped: The Alex Cooper Story: Alex, who dresses femininely and has long locks of hair. Her girlfriend Frankie and Hannah, a lesbian they know, also have similar looks.
  • Switch (1991): Sheila Faxton is certainly not the "butch" type. She both acts quite feminine and wears very stylish, glamorous dresses, while nearly hooking up with Amanda.
  • The Summer of Sangaile: Auste likes to wear dresses, have stylish hair and otherwise acts very feminine. She's interested in fashion and making clothes. While Sangaile isn't nearly as girlish, she's still very far from butch in her style.
  • With a Kiss I Die: Farryn and Juliet are both young women with a feminine style that get into a relationship. However, at least Juliet's bisexual, while Farryn's preference is not specified beyond her.

    Literature 
  • Improbably, as is pointed out by some of the characters - including herself, Jacyl from Black Dogs. As an elven scout she's often weeks or months on end in the wilderness with no hot baths and limited pack space, yet she needs to carry several different outfits and makeup along with her. Her former guardian remarked that he first came across her while her house was burning down and that despite this, she was attempting to save her dresses. Her partner is the Butch Lesbian Sinai.
  • Felicity Worthington, from the Gemma Doyle Trilogy, behaves like a proper Victorian girl. There are very few hints about her true sexual orientation (subtext only). However, it is revealed in The Sweet Far Thing that she is in fact a lesbian and was in love with Pippa Cross. Probably due to the attitude of the time, she views this part of her with contempt and is in the closet about it; she seems to think that this means there is something wrong with her. Pippa is another example, although she also expresses interest in boys, so she's either bisexual or If It's You, It's Okay.
  • In Odd Girl Out, published in 1957, the feminine Laura initially doesn't believe she can be a lesbian because she knows about homosexuals—"the men were great sissies, and the women wore pants."
  • Several in Mary Renault's work: Valentine in Purposes of Love, Helen in The Friendly Young Ladies, Lasthenia in The Mask of Apollo. Valentine, though, is bisexual, or basically straight but going through a phase. Helen, on the other hand, is more certain of her lesbianism than is her butch lover, Leo.
  • Simona Ahrnstedt has a 17th century example of this in her novel "De skandalösa", when the beautiful and docile Venus Dag och Natt turns out to be gay. She is way more traditionally feminine than Butch Lesbian Nora Gripklo.
  • The protagonist of April Daniels's Nemesis, to the point that she wears makeup more for the sake of it than to be beautiful.
  • Manifestation: The main protagonist, Gabby Palladino, is a teenage lesbian with a very feminine style in her clothing and personal tastes.
  • In Sekhmet, There is Seraphine, a princess who is In Love with Love, dresses in a feminine, Gothic style, and falls in live with Delta, an Action Girl from the Volcanic Plains. Doe is in love it with Ayala, dresses in pink, and writes poetry. Ayala is also an example, because she wears dresses and hopes to be a fashion designer.
  • S.M. Stirling has a peculiar variant that recurs again and again in his books. His typical "Strong Woman" character will be both improbably athletic and capable in combat and more of a man than the men — yet, at the same time, conventionally beautiful and gorgeous so every guy wants her and every girl wants to be her (if they don't want her, too). Usually, she will be paired with another lesbian of the same type, though slightly less over the top, or else a more submissive and traditionally feminine (and equally gorgeous) one. Examples can be found in the Draka books, the Island in the Sea of Time series, The Shadowspawn trilogy, and even Stirling's Terminator tie-ins... In fact, it's rather few of his original series that do not feature at least one of these in a prominent role.
  • The Hearts We Sold: Gremma is openly gay, and while she's certainly aggressive, she's not masculine. She's described as being positively lovely, and has an appreciation for the finer things in life.
  • Wonder Woman: Warbringer: Poornima "Nim" Chaudhary is openly gay, though she's occasionally taken an interest in guys and thinks she might be bi with a preference for gals, and really likes fashion.
  • Tell Me How You Really Feel: Sana is a very feminine lesbian, almost always wearing a skirt and blouse (if not in her cheerleader outfit), usually with her long hair groomed impeccably (which she puts into a ponytail), plus always making herself up.

    Live-Action TV 
  • All Rise: A Lipstick Bisexual example. Lisa Benner is often shown feminine clothing and has a fairly traditional appearance overall, as well as mentioning that she had a husband that died not too long ago. A Fair Lockdown features her getting shut-in with Jean Frost, revealing later on in the episode that she was her ex-girlfriend back in law school. Season 2 features Benner trying to score a date with Sara's help too, with a good majority of her matches being women.
  • Almost Family: Edie and Amanda qualify, dressing and acting in a traditionally feminine way. Both are technically bisexual since they admit attraction to men, but only identify themselves as lesbians.
  • Lana Winters from American Horror Story: Asylum is a glamorous woman who is usually seen wearing skirts and dresses along with makeup and possesses long, styled hair. Her girlfriend, Wendy, is less so but still a conventionally feminine woman.
  • Batwoman (2019): Sophie's quite feminine, and eventually admits she's a lesbian, having been in denial of the fact for some time. Julia and Reagan, who Kate also briefly dates, are femme as well.
  • DC Jo Masters from The Bill has been described like this, although she doesn't really advertise it. Rather large in the chest department, she had Eddie (the male crime scene examiner) ask her on a date. She told him they'd go for a drink and she'd explain.
  • After her coming-out storyline, Beth Jordache from Brookside (played by Anna Friel) was labeled as a "lipstick lesbian" by the British media, receiving equal attention from young women and young men.
  • The Boys (2019): Maeve is long-haired, wears feminine clothing, and it turns out that she's a closeted bisexual (though outed as a lesbian, with Vought sticking to the label as it's "easier"). Her ex-girlfriend Elena is equally feminine, and resists Vought's attempt to make her look butch so she'll fit into traditional gender roles with Maeve.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Willow (after she comes out in Season 4) and Tara. Willow is prone to lots of "girly" colors in her clothes, and Tara seemed to prefer dresses.
  • Nurse Patsy Mount from Call the Midwife is a ruby-lipped circa-1960 glamour girl like her straight coworker Trixie (if quieter and more serious), with a penchant for patterned silks.
  • Control Z: Gaby is long-haired and wears feminine clothing, while secretly into women.
  • Cursed: Morgana and Celia are secretly lovers (as they're nuns at the start). Both are also feminine young women with long hair and wear dresses, as was expected then.
  • Dark Desire: Edith is a lesbian, it turns out, with very feminine looks. Leonardo finds it funny as a result that Alma believed he was involved with her.
  • Das Boot: Simone always dresses and acts in traditionally feminine ways. Her being a lesbian is a big surprise for the audience.
  • Dates: Erica is highly feminine regarding her appearance and manner, while also lesbian.
  • Degrassi/Degrassi: Next Class has the feminine and frilly Zoe realizing that she's a lesbian. It becomes a big deal because people (including her own mother) don't believe she's gay because she's so feminine.
  • Dickinson: Emily and Sue, who are very feminine in mannerisms and style. More lipstick bisexuals, as both of them have relationships with men too that seem genuinely desired.
  • A Discovery of Witches: Diana's lesbian aunts are indistinguishable from other middle-aged women aside from their sexual orientation.
  • Doctor Who:
    • When not kicking ass, Madame Vastra and her wife Jenny Flint are decked out in lovely Victorian dresses.
    • "Arachnids in the UK": Minor character Frankie, mentioned to be married to Jack Robertson's niece, is wearing a well-tailored pantsuit, as well as having her hair nicely done and wearing makeup.
  • Lucy in Dracula is a lipstick lesbian, while Lady Jayne is a lipstick bisexual. Lucy in particular wears copious amounts of ultra-feminine dresses, mostly in varying shades of pink and purple.
  • ER's Kerry Weaver is more of a chapstick lesbian—attractive, feminine, but short-haired and abrasive—but her companions tend to fit this trope (with the slight exception of Sandy, who despite her decidedly feminine looks, has a unisex name, is a firefighter, and like Kerry, an abrasive personality).
  • The Family: Willa, who is never anything less than properly feminine. She's also completely in the closet and before getting involved with Bridey doesn't seem to have been in touch with her sexuality at all. It later turns out her brother Danny knew all along.
  • The Firefly episode "War Stories" has Inara taking a female client (also of the Lipstick variety). According to Kaylee, this isn't the first time. Both Inara and the client wear fancy, elegant clothing.
  • For Life: Safiya along with her wife have a feminine hair and clothing style.
  • A French Village: Marguerite, who's feminine as the next woman per 1940s French standards, it turns out is a lesbian, having a photo of her girlfriend under her pillow. Lucienne it turns out is more of a lipstick bisexual, since she's equally feminine and sleeps with Marguerite but her other relationships were with men.
  • Margot Verger in Hannibal is very feminine, unlike her masculine book counterpart. Alana Bloom is a Lipstick Bisexual.
  • Highly feminine reporter Louise Ellison in Hell on Wheels was sent west at least partly to keep her away from the newspaper owner's daughter.
  • Hightown: Jackie's ex-girlfriend and the other women she's seen with are all feminine lesbians.
  • Thirteen on House - or at least lipstick bisexual. She wears her hair long with stylish clothing.
  • Humans: Niska and Astrid, her girlfriend. They're both feminine and in a relationship.
  • In The Dark: Jess, a feminine woman who's also into women.
  • Just Shoot Me!:
    • Jill, the gorgeous, very feminine model in "Two Girls For Every Boy". Finch is delighted when he learns she's attracted to Maya and begins trying his best to get them together for his pleasure, despite the fact that Maya is straight. They figure this out and play along to screw with him.
    • In "Halloween? Halloween!" we have Kelly, a very beautiful, feminine woman who turns out to be a lesbian (she's also a model). She's into Finch, thinking he's a butch lesbian in costume at a Halloween party, which he rolls with until the inevitable reveal.
  • Liar: DI Vanessa Harmon and her wife are both feminine women, with no stereotypical traits to indicate their sexual orientation.
  • Lip Service: Tess and Cat, though Tess is a bit more "chapstick".
  • The Magicians (2016): Marina 23, at least, who has a girlfriend she intends to marry. It's possible main-timeline Marina is a lesbian as well, though it's never actually confirmed.
  • Manifest: Saanvi and her ex-girlfriend, who are both very feminine. Her ex may be bisexual though, since she's married to a man.
  • mixed•ish: Paul's estranged mother and her partner, who both appear as ordinary and feminine middle-aged women.
  • Never Have I Ever: Despite dressing like the janitor's favorite nephew, Fabi is still feminine looking enough that when she comes out at Ben's birthday party everyone is surprised, compared to Jonah coming out and everyone replying they already knew.
  • NOS4A2: Maggie is revealed to be a lesbian (by abruptly having sex with a woman she's just met) with no hint beforehand since she acts and dresses much like the straight girls.
  • No Tomorrow: Sofia is a very feminine woman who turns out to be a lesbian, starting a relationship with Kareema. She's engaged to Rohan, Kareema's brother, but only to get citizenship.
  • Lizzy on One Big Happy doesn't show any stereotypical traits. Though considering the show is produced by Ellen Degeneres, she's closer to a "chapstick" lesbian.
  • Orange Is the New Black: Franzizka (Poussey's German girlfriend shown in flashbacks) and Shani, an ICE detainee who gets involved with Nicky. Both are very feminine, in contrast to their lovers.
  • Delphine from Orphan Black likes to dress in very expensive-looking and feminine clothing, and winds up in a relationship with Cosima.
  • Out Of Practice, a failed show on CBS, had a central character who screamed this trope to the heavens. She dressed provocatively, threw herself at women, and couldn't open her mouth without bringing up the topic of her sexuality.
  • Party of Five (2020): Teresa is quite feminine, and casually involved with another women. Although slightly tomboyish in her interests Lucia may be another example as her look is otherwise feminine and she's also attracted to Teresa. However, she's struggling with it.
  • Perry Mason (2020): Della turns out to be a closeted lesbian who is in a secret relationship with the slightly younger hand model in her boarding house. Both are traditionally feminine, and even Della's longterm business associates don't suspect her.
  • Philip K. Dick's Electric Dreams: "Real Life" has both Sarah and Katie, her wife, who appear completely indistinguishable from straight women, so the reveal of their relationship is surprising.
  • Pretty Little Liars:
    • Emily (in the book series she was bisexual).
    • Her first girlfriend Maya also qualifies, although at first she seems more bisexual.
    • Paige is more of a borderline example; she has various shades of a Butch Lesbian in the first season, but the following seasons give her a complete makeover including long hair, more revealing outfits and toned down her aggressive behavior (well, most of the time anyway), which pretty much makes her qualify too.
    • Shana, Talia, and to lesser extent Samara also fit the trope. Jenna is revealed to be a lipstick bisexual.
    • If one counts the Ambiguously Bi, Allison and Mona also fit here.
  • On the Philippine teleserye The Rich Man's Daughter, three of the four lesbians are feminine, namely the two principal characters Jade and Althea, and the latter's ex Wila.
  • Riverdale provides a very literal example in the person of Cheryl Blossom: her bright red shade of lipstick is one of her signature characteristics.
  • Both Nomi and her girlfriend Amanita in Sense8 are very feminine, though that doesn't stop them from briefly participating in a Dykes on Bikes event in the San Francisco Pride Parade. It's possible Amantia is bisexual though, since her hair is dyed in the colors of the bi pride flag.
  • Spartacus: Blood and Sand: Lucretia, a lipstick bisexual who enjoys sex with both men and women, including some threesomes, is usually dressed in the trailing, elegant dresses of a Roman nobleman with Long hair (actually a wig) impeccably done up. Ilithya is also a bisexual (but never actually has sex with a woman onscreen, despite bedding more than one man, who has this style too.
  • Supergirl (2015):
    • Maggie Sawyer, who is a tough cop who is more in the "chapstick" category (she has long hair, but also more masculine clothing and a somewhat tomboyish manner, but not enough for "butch" either). She had an alien ex-girlfriend who learned English by tongue contact.
    • Alex Danvers also realizes she's lesbian (due to her attraction for Maggie) and is similar. She's got short hair, largely masculine clothing and a law enforcement job, while otherwise being feminine.
    • Kelly Olsen is quite feminine, and it turns out she's lesbian as well.
  • Switched at Birth: It's revealed in "Human/Need/Desire" that Natalie is either a lesbian or bisexual (she's dating a girl later). Natalia has a feminine style of dress and manner overall.
  • Tipping the Velvet: Kitty may dress up as a boy for the stage, but is conventionally feminine outside the theater. Ms. Lethaby, Zena and Florence could also qualify. Nan, however, gets more butch as the story goes on. We also see a number of minor lesbian characters who have feminine looks.
  • Trinkets: Sabine, Elodie's love interest. She has long hair, plus generally feminine clothing. Elodie fits more as "chapstick", with in-between clothing but also short hair. Jillian in Season 2 is also an example, with long curly hair and much the same style as Elodie.
  • Vida: Emma and (to a slightly lesser extent) Cruz (or libstick bisexual, in Emma's case) who has a quite feminine style of dress. Possibly also Vida, assuming she was a lesbian and not bi, who always dressed in feminine ways from what we see.
  • Years and Years: Edith and Fran, who prior to being revealed as lesbians give no sign of it, with a style no different from most straight women.
  • We Are Who We Are: Maggie wears her hair long and has more feminine clothing when not in uniform. However, she's more "chapstick" than a straight example, since it isn't pronounced.

    Music 
  • Implied in the MOTTS song "I Want Her". It's never mentioned what the sexuality of the object of her affections is, but the woman is noted as particularly feminine and alluring.

    Pro Wrestling 
  • They aren't above invoking Ho Yay for comedy, but The Minnesota Home Wrecking Crew is made up of two Heterosexual Life-Partners who have even helped each other regarding relationships with men(Jimmy Jacobs and "Sick" Nick Mondo). However, Lacey and Rain's SHIMMER merchandise tends to depict them as Girly Girl lesbians and their man hatred is at its strongest on the promotion's shows.

    Theater 

    Video Games 
  • Advanced V.G. As a dancer, Ayako Yuuki loves the spotlight and dresses provocatively to draw attention to herself. Her attire usually consists of a short loose-fitting halter-top, a skintight miniskirt, and high-heeled stilettos. But she also loves the female body, so she enters the VG tournamentnote  to take in all the eye candy... in hopes of hooking up with one of 'em.
  • In BoxxyQuest: The Gathering Storm, Tyalie is the most unabashedly “girly” girl on the team, with a cute voice, frilly clothes, and multiple bows in her hair. The only hint that she’s a lesbian comes from the rainbow flag hanging proudly on the wall of her bedroom. (Well, that and her painfully obvious crush on Catie, the main heroine).
  • Maiko Maeda from Cyberpunk 2077. She's a very feminine woman and the ex-girlfriend of the resident Gay Option, Judy. Like many examples, she's very much Silk Hiding Steel. Female V can also be one, since the character creator offers many feminie hairstyles and make up, and you can find a lot of feminine clothing options in the gameplay.
  • Veronica Santangelo from Fallout: New Vegas. One of her quests involves finding a dress for her to wear, completely inverting Real Women Don't Wear Dresses as a result. Ironically, Veronica is also a Wrench Wench, fond of making off-colour jokes, and her favored weapon is a Power Fist.
  • Magia Record: Puella Magi Madoka Magica Side Story has Rika Ayano; she loves fashion and makeup, and her magical girl outfit is a super-cute Frills of Justice number, complete with a laser-shooting compact mirror for a weapon. The thing that caused her to become a magical girl was her sadness at the female childhood friend she was in love with getting a boyfriend.
  • Possibly Waitress Aurora in Pokémon Black and White, a character you go onto Ferris Wheel dates with if you play as Hilda. Her Japanese conversation mentions a boy, but the English version excludes that. The Ferris Wheel dates are full of innuendo and Aurora's is no exception.
  • Franke from Psychonauts is best friends with the canonically bisexual Kitty. There's nothing in the games themselves to suggest they're anything but friends, however the "Campster" website (a parody of Friendster) suggests otherwise. Her "interests" list only Kitty, her favorite band is t.A.T.u., and her favorite show is Ellen. Both Franke's and Kitty's profiles list each other in an "open relationship" with the other.

    Visual Novels 
  • Misha from Katawa Shoujo. She's very feminine and even has (explicitly dyed) pink hair and is a lesbian. She has deep issues over the fact.
  • Jaehee from Mystic Messenger was forced to cut her hair short and wear glasses when she started working for Jumin in order to be more androgynous, but in the good ending of her route where she quits her assistant job with him and starts a cafe with the player character, she begins to dress how she wants, growing her hair out long and wearing dresses with ruffles and frills. Her attraction to you during her main route is downplayed and cut down to other RFA members making jokes about you two being so close and her making a quickly aborted confession, but she pretty much confesses her romantic feelings for you in the Christmas DLC, and at the end of it, the protagonist kisses her on the cheek and resolves to work up the courage to tell her that she loves her too.

    Webcomics 
  • Contrasts: Ahsoka and Barriss, respectively.
    • Ahsoka's crush on Barriss is very obvious. She's also quite feminine, even, girlish at times, in her manner. Ahsoka may be a lipstick bisexual, assuming her attraction to Lux is still part of the comics' world.
    • Barriss eventually reciprocates Ahsoka's attraction. Her style is even more feminine, as she's outfitted in something more closely resembling a dress, with her head scarf too, and is a demure person.
  • Kurumi's After Hours has Nagi, who's madly in love with the titular protagonist, but is decidedly mellower and more feminine than the object of her affections.
  • Penny and Aggie:
  • Kanaya from Homestuck, the troll's "bugging and fussing and meddling" Team Mom, with Virgo as her associated sign, is a lesbian and the only troll with an interest in fashion. Literally a Lipstick Lesbian in that her main weapon is a lipstick that sometimes transforms into a chainsaw.
    • There's also Rose, Kanaya's girlfriend, who enjoys skirts, knitting, and trashy romance novels.
  • Girly lesbians are the dominant type in Girls with Slingshots. All of the major lesbian or bisexual characters are prone to curves, makeup, and girly interests. Butch lesbians exist, but they have their own hangouts (one of which Jamie visits during her Coming-Out Story arc).
  • Didi of Bomango is cute, perky, petite, extremely feminine, and a lesbian. Meanwhile, her Polar Opposite Twin "sister" Gogo note  is a towering, ripped Brawn Hilda with monstrous/animal-like features such as claws, an extremely masculine, boisterous, and violent personality, and is straight as a board.
  • Their Story is about a tomboyish girl who falls for a cute girl from a neighboring school. The two protagonists are a Butch Lesbian and a Lipstick Lesbian duo, and though they aren't dating currently it's a Foregone Conclusion.
  • In El Goonish Shive, Rhoda is a Girly Girl who likes wearing earrings, often wears pink and has a shy personality. She is currently dating Catalina, who is a Butch Lesbian.
  • Spinnerette: Mecha Maid and Sara Nicole Megan, especially the latter. Both of them have long hair and wear traditionally feminine clothing, showing no signs of their sexual orientation before it's revealed (Sara Nicole is in denial about it too).
  • Princess Princess: Sadie is long-haired and always wears dresses, acting in the most feminine way. Over the course of the story, she falls for Amira. They get married at the end.

    Web Original 
  • Whateley Universe: Bugs (Bunny Cormick) is regarded as one of the hottest girls at a Superhero School, but is strictly lesbian. She's not the only such girl in Poe Cottage.

    Web Videos 
  • Aster from Anyone But Me. Vivian is either this or a chapstick lesbian, depending on your perspective
  • Out With Dad: Rose and Claire. They're lesbians with long hair, traditionally feminine clothing and both also act indistinguishably from straight girls (aside from their sexual orientation, obviously).
  • Carmilla:
    • Laura's an average ordinary, college student who's feminine, a journalist and lesbian.
    • Carmilla's a feminine woman who's also a lesbian (plus a vampire).

    Western Animation 
  • There has been much controversy over the possibility of lesbian subtext in Adventure Time, specifically between Princess Bubblegum and Marceline. If this is to be believed, Princess Bubblegum, who wears her hair long, likes to wear long dresses, and, um, is entirely pink would fit this trope.
  • Discussed on an episode of King of the Hill, where a subplot involved Hank's driver's license now saying he was a woman. Peggy's hairdresser commented that if they were a lesbian couple, Peggy would be a lipstick lesbian, which is "the best kind".
  • The Legend of Korra: Asami is a lipstick bisexual — even when she's in practical adventuring gear, she's always wearing makeup. In fact, she's probably the most feminine major character in the whole series. Her eventual girlfriend Korra is more of a tomboy, but not quite enough to be considered outright butch.
  • The Owl House has Amity, a traditionally feminine girl who develops an intense crush on the tomboyish bisexual Luz over the course of the first season.
  • Kirsten from Rick & Steve: The Happiest Gay Couple in All the World, is intentionally the stereotypical Lipstick Lesbian. Ironically, some people still mistake her for a man!
  • Steven Universe: As a side note, in general, Gems are actually genderless despite going with she/her pronouns.
    • Sapphire, the composed, sweet, gentle Gem, who is in a committed relationship with Ruby.
    • Likewise for Pearl, who's also of the discount type. She's graceful, acts motherly to Steven, wears a ballerina-inspired outfit, and she had a complicated one-sided love for Rose Quartz. Her prototypical designs were slightly less feminine (in particular the one used in the pilot) however her personality characterized her as far more of a jerk. As of the season 4 episode "Last One Out of Beach City", she's scored the Mystery Girl's phone number and was obviously attracted to her.
    • Pink Pearl, AKA "Volleyball", is one of the more girly Pearls we've seen, and, as our Pearl puts it, she's "still got it bad" for Pink Diamond.
  • She-Ra and the Princesses of Power:
    • Scorpia is an interesting example. At first glance, she appears to be your standard Butch Lesbian, but every time she engages in actual self-expression rather than simply wearing the standard Horde uniform (her habitual dark lipstick, the rejected Elegant Gothic Lolita dresses from Princess Prom, the slinkier ensemble she eventually goes with), her style tends distinctly towards “goth femme.”
    • Her close friend and eventual girlfriend Perfuma is more consistent with her femme aesthetic and provides a bright, flowery contrast to Scorpia's more gothic vibe. Also, if Word of Saint Paul is anything to go off of, Perfuma provides a rare example in media of a transgender lesbian.

Alternative Title(s): Femme Lesbian

Top

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:

/

Media sources:

/

Report