Ilise Carter, The Red Menace
Play • 45 min

In this episode, Anne Marie talks to author, sweetheart of the sideshow, and fashion writer Ilise Carter about her new book The Red Menace: How Lipstick Changed the Face of American History.  

In America, lipstick is the foundation of empires; it’s a signature of identity; it’s propaganda, self-expression, oppression, freedom, and rebellion. It’s a multi-billion-dollar industry and one of our most iconic accessories of gender.

From the colonial period until today, this engaging book focuses on the many-layered historical aspects of this one product including, social, cultural, marketing, corporate, political, religion, and much more.

ILISE S. CARTER is a freelance writer, consulting copywriter to the beauty industry, and sideshow performer based in New York City. She has written for Allure, New York Times, Racked, Wall Street Journal, and others, with a focus on pop culture. In addition, she’s spent over a decade as a consulting copywriter for beauty brands such as Shiseido, bliss, Laura Mercier, Avon, L’Oréal, and Madame CJ Walker, specializing in brand voice and identity. As her stage persona, The Lady Aye, she has worked as a professional sideshow performer (sword swallower, fire eater, blockhead, and pain-proof girl) and MC with acts ranging from Rob Zombie to Cirque du Soleil, and has appeared on TV’s Gossip Girl, Oddities, The President Show, Mysteries at the Museum and Dickinson. Carter holds a BA in American Studies from Barnard College at Columbia University and a Certificate in Film Production from NYU. 


The Red Menace, Ilise Carter:
My Life as a Sword Swallower, The Atlantic:
Lady Aye, Website:
Tough Jews, Richard Cohen:
Hope in a Jar, Kathy Peiss:
Lipstick Index, Wikipedia:
Fierce: The History of Leopard Print, Jo Weldon:
Shocked and Amazed: On and Off the Midway, James Taylor:

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