The idiom “you can put lipstick on a pig but it’s still a pig” inspired a powerful poem by Antonio Liao that asserts true beauty and confidence come from self-acceptance, not superficial validation. Titled simply “Lipstick on a Pig,” this compact verse explores modern society’s fixation on chasing exterior praise over nurturing inner worth. Uploaded to TikTok, this inspired poem on the illusion of physical “prettiness” has gone massively viral, earning over 1 million views as it strikes a chord among audiences. In just a few lines, the work raises profound questions about appearance versus authenticity.
Lipstick On The Pig
by Antonio Liao
so sweet to hear, hate to feel
what a wonderful
but nothing to sale,
say it again, very nice to
paint, yet nobody has
a thousand truth it said,
but perhaps it could
be feed, for who ever
as it said, is nothing but
ready to be
not to say is good, stop it
as it said, everything is
as you are
say it again, glad that
you a have made it
for you are a
person that can
stand the fun,
that most people,
be on guard, the angel is
always there to hold you on
when you think that you are
and the end is near,
be strong for the angel of God,
catch you when you
fall to the
bosom arm you stand,
your precious life,
is safe by not saying the
lipstick on a pig
Lipstick on a Pig Tiktok
I put on makeup to look pretty,
to look like someone I’m not.
I wake up early to do my hair,
wash my face, curl my lashes,
put on makeup.
Just so I can get a few nice words.
I don’t feel “pretty” in my own skin anymore.
I’d like to pretend I’m someone I’m not.
But when I stand in the dim light of my bathroom,
or in the darkness of my room,
or when I stand in front of my mirror.
It’s just lipstick on a pig.
“Lipstick On The Pig” poem Meaning
The poem “Lipstick On The Pig” by Antonio Liao uses the metaphor of “putting lipstick on a pig” to explore themes of inner versus outer beauty and self-acceptance. The opening lines establish this metaphor, saying that flowery words may “sound sweet to hear” but can gloss over an ugly truth.
The poem suggests that many people put a lot of effort into looking attractive on the outside to garner praise and positive attention from others. The speaker acknowledges spending time putting on makeup, doing their hair, etc. so that they can “get a few nice words” from people about their appearance.
However, the speaker questions whether all this effort to look pretty has caused them to lose touch with their innate, inner beauty. In the quiet, solitary moments looking in the mirror, the speaker comes to the hard realization that no amount of make up can transform who they actually are inside. The closing lines deliver the blunt message – “It’s just lipstick on a pig.”
So while exterior decoration may disguise flaws for a time or fool some people, the speaker concludes that true beauty and self-worth ultimately comes from within. The poem argues for self-acceptance rather than chasing the superficial approval of others. Just as lipstick does not truly change the nature of a pig, no amount of make up can substitute for inner beauty and self-love.
Reading this poem hit home for me. I totally get those feelings of standing in front of the mirror, putting on makeup and doing my hair, just to get a few compliments or feel better about myself. I’ve spent so many mornings trying to cover up flaws and transform into someone beautiful enough to be accepted.
But the truth is, no amount of lipstick can change who I really am or make me “good enough” if I don’t believe it myself. When I wash all the makeup off at the end of the day, I’m still just me—and I’m the only one who can decide if I’m pretty or not.
I know all too well how hard it is to love yourself when magazines, social media, and even friends make you feel like you don’t measure up. But the problem isn’t that I’m not beautiful—it’s that I’ve started looking for approval in all the wrong places. My value isn’t in how many “likes” I get or if a cute boy notices me. It comes from within.
I want to stop criticizing every imperfection and comparing myself to photo-shopped models. The truth is, we all have flaws, and that’s what makes us human. I really am beautiful, pig or not! I want to start each day looking in the mirror and telling myself I’m enough, without needing layers of makeup to prove it. Sure, some lipstick now and then can be fun—but from now on, I’ll wear it for ME.
What is the origin and meaning of the phrase “put lipstick on a pig” and how is it used?
The phrase “putting lipstick on a pig” combines two seemingly disconnected concepts – cosmetics and farm animals. So how did this peculiar expression come about? While we may never know the exact origin, the earliest known print usage links back to a 1920s quote about the futility of teaching history to disinterested students.
Though the lipsticked pig made its debut in the 1920s, the phrase did not gain widespread popularity until the early 21st century. It became a common political metaphor used to accuse opponents of making hollow, superficial changes to disguise more substantial flaws. The expression highlights the absurdity of expecting cosmetic alterations to fix deeper issues.
Today, “lipstick on a pig” has extended beyond politics to become a popular idiom in general verbal and written communication. It often conveys the idea that minor, cosmetic changes cannot redeem an inherently defective product or concept. People use the visual phrase to call out lame attempts to hide embarrassing realities. Simply dressing up fundamental problems, they argue, is as silly as slapping lipstick on livestock.