The typical city girl you admire during the day swinging her hips in town and moving her head left and right to keep her 'long hair' from overlapping her eyes could be the same village girl you despise from your balcony somewhere on the seventh floor of a slanting building in Komayole, my hood. If you think I am bluffing, go ahead and stalk any of them, but at your own risk.
Although we were once told that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, I tend to think there are some aspects that people think stand out above the rest. Those striking physical appearances that attract the eyes at a glance. For instance, there is a strong wave that has hit our current generation of women. Particularly speaking of the belief that light skin colour has an upper hand above our dark skin. No wonder people struggle to rebrand and repackage themselves to fit this standard!
As a woman, I feel that the society has judged us so harshly that we have ended up playing to its music. Mothers have been made to believe that beauty comes with rebranding and repackaging themselves and this, they have extended to their children. I have not once or twice, but on several occasions seen photos of infants and toddlers in make-up being circulated on social media and being used as an SI unit for beauty. Mixed raced children have also been paraded on social media to define beauty. The most touching post I have seen on social media was that of a mother accusing members of a group of 'favouring' photos of mixed race children with 'likes and comments' and deliberately refusing to acknowledge photos of black children unless they wore make-up.
I might not know who in his senses made us believe that skin colour determines the beauty of a person but I sure know who is fighting a losing battle. If you are among the parents who 'handcuff' your toddlers in salons in order to fix heavy Brazilian weaves on their heads, if you are among those who put one layer after another of make-up on their children to 'bring out their beauty', if you are among those who marvel at mixed race children and belittle our African children, then you are headed for a big loss. I know you must have read or even heard somewhere that black is beauty but the same society which taught you that washed away the confidence you had in your skin colour.
Do not let someone else define your beauty for you. Feel free in the very package you came in into this world. A little make-up here and there is not bad, but when it makes you its slave and you begin looking down upon the rest, then something needs to be done and fast.
I have walked into offices without make-up and treated like I do not really matter. I have walked into the same offices in full make-up swinging my hips and balancing on tiring heels as I expose my fake manicured nails and was treated like a queen. Where exactly is our society heading to if we start judging others on their looks? Who died and made some of us make-up Gods to make daily rulings on those who do not wear make-up?
Let me however make it clear that having no make-up is different from being unkempt. There is no way you can decide to walk out of your house unkempt and blame it on going natural. Natural is clean, attractive and accommodative to all the human senses. Do not just step out in shaggy hair and dry skin then go ahead to despise those in make-up.
Everyone is entitled to their choice as long as we all co-exist. The problem comes in when we begin looking down upon others. So as we appreciate mothers this month, let us remember to love them unconditionally irrespective of their appearance.