The phrase "chapstick lesbian" refers to a lesbian woman who does not wear make-up or follow stereotypes of female beauty and style, preferring a more unisex approach to fashion. A take on the older phrase "lipstick lesbian", it gained some currency following an episode of the television show Ellen, circa 1997. In the show, Ellen DeGeneres's character, asked by her parents whether a certain woman is a "dipstick lesbian," explains that the term is "lipstick lesbian," and comments that "I would be a chapstick lesbian."
"Chapstick" lesbians are often considered soft butch.
A distinction is sometimes drawn between the phrases "Lipstick lesbian" and "chapstick lesbian" and the older phrases "butch" and "femme" by suggesting that the former phrases simply refer to appearance, whereas the latter imply mutual attraction of the two types.
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