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One kiss from Tinka's sparkling lips leads to some unexpected consequences for the callous boys of Portage High School. After a secret romance goes up in flames, she looks to a fortune teller for answers on finding true love, which leads to the summoning of some accidental — but hilarious — magic. But in the end, Tinka has to learn to take responsibility for her own decisions, with or without the aid of magic.
First things first: the description of this comic is a bit misleading. I don't find it about Tinka learning to take responsibility for her actions so much as all of the boys in her life learning to take responsibility for theirs. Tinka is every girl who wants to be liked and is trying (unsuccessfully) to fit our society's completely unattainable criteria for acceptance and love.
Tinka likes makeup and dressing up. After she overhears the boy she's been secretly seeing (because he refuses to go public with their relationship), Tinka asks a friend to read her palm. Magic happens, and her newest, glittery lipgloss is enchanted. That boy, Jason, wakes up the next day as a girl, and has to experience the weight of societal expectations of women for the first time.
A while back, one of the other boys at school decided to publicly shame Tinka because she wouldn't do anything more than kiss him. In her words, "A slut is someone who sleeps with everyone. A bitch is someone who sleeps with everyone but you." Tinka is called both, and mocked by both sexes at school. It's an unfortunately honest and common high school story.
I appreciated the revenge fantasy that is GLITTER KISS. It was refreshing to see both boys and girls buying into and falling victim to misogynistic mores. Not that it's fun in fiction or in real life, but it's important that we acknowledge that it's not just boys or just girls who treat girls poorly for these reasons. A girl labeled "easy" is going to get hit from all sides. A girl who visibly seeks approval and affection? Even worse. She must be desperate.
Tinka's eventual confrontations with Jason, with her father, and with the boys at school who've been mistreating her are resolved in what I felt was a wholly satisfactory way, and I kind of wanted to do a fist pump. Don't take their shit, baby girl.