I Am Not The Tomb Raider

February 5th, 2006 by Tim Barkow

Kathy Ritchie, a New York­-based writer whose lips are pictured above and face below, works at a celebrity gossip magazine. She has never been harassed by Bill O’Reilly

I was lying on a paper-covered table, my legs propped in sock-covered stirrups, when my doctor asked: “Has anyone ever said your lips look like Angelina Jolie’s? And is your cervix normally this red?”

The author &hellips; and her lipsThe author (pictured here and above) and her Angelina-like lips.

How does one respond to this line of questioning? I offered a very awkward, “Um, I guess so?”

Truth is, I wasn’t so put off by her question. People have been wisecracking about my lips — the ones on my face — since I was a little girl. Back then, comments like “fish lips” and “fat lips” usually sent me running home in tears to my mom. She tried her best to console me, but the third-grader didn’t believe her when she said my lips would be more appreciated when I got older.

I believe her now.

Nearly two decades later, everybody loves my lips. Men want to kiss them, women want to buy them. And, it’s all because of her. The woman with the famous bee-stung pout. My arch nemesis: Angelina Jolie.

Ever since Angelina turned heads as the Tomb Raider, I am constantly compared to the one-time blood-wearing, Oscar-winning Hollywood darling of darkness. From Mario the postal worker — “Um, so, like, has anyone ever said you look like Angelina Jolie? — to my dental hygienist — “Do you know who you look like?” Even the towel man from my gym had something to say: “Lips! You’re not … nah … Want a towel Lips?” Yes, please.

I have received cash offers to give strange men kisses. Those awkward, “no thanks” moments are endless. In fact, when I asked a girlfriend to help me evoke memories of Angelina, all she could say was, “God, Kathy, it happens so often I can’t remember just one in particular. Hey, remember when they used to say you looked like Posh Spice?”

I know, I know, I should be flattered. After all, we are talking about a woman who is constantly declared one of the sexiest women alive. And, I suppose it’s time that I face and embrace my inner-Angelina. Just because I’m not Hollywood royalty doesn’t mean I can’t jet off to some faraway land and adopt my own little
refugee or two.

Still, no matter what I do, it won’t change the fact that Angie-J gets all of the hype, like she started the look first or something. Granted, she is two years older than me, so one could argue that she had fat lips first, but I had to live with those fish lips in the real world, where looking different in any capacity is simply not cool. Yo! I’ve got fat-lip street cred! What does a girl have to do to get a little respect? Get five or six tattoos, smooch her brother, maintain an impressive knife collection, date another woman, shack up with Brad Pitt, and cause America’s favorite funny girl to weep in front of a Vanity Fair reporter?

That just seems like so much work.

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