A chapstick lesbian is a sub-group within lesbianism that Ellen DeGeneres popularised in 1997 in her show Ellen. It was originally constructed as response to the phrase "lipstick lesbian" that emerged in 1990, which refers to a femme lesbian who emphasises their female identity through their self-presentation. The slang term "chapstick lesbian" identifies a category on the femme-butch lesbian continuum, where the female homosexual has a gender identity bias towards femme lesbianism, although does not identify or fit the criteria of being a lipstick lesbian. The word is frequently used as an alternative to the term "soft-butch" lesbian or androgynous. The key attributes recognisable of a chapstick lesbian is that they have a casual dress-code and lack of desire to wear make-up. Next to this, they are also viewed as being athletic in nature and have a notable interest in sport.
Moreover, the term has been adopted by scholars in academic papers and books as it identifies a sub-group of lesbianism which further aids in the exploration of sexual fluidity. For instance, academics have written about "chapstick lesbian" as a form of secondary identity within Queer culture.
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