Let me start this writing with a little story. I went for a wedding about a month ago. I was a bridesmaid at the wedding. I am betting you guys all know one thing that is obtainable with ladies that are bridesmaids: we can make up for Africa. Foundations, eye liner, mascara, blush and what have you was flying around on the wedding day. I stuck with my eye pencil and avoided eye shadow like a plague. I like my eyes the way they are. They are sexy like that. Lol.
We stepped out for the wedding looking ‘dashing’ and dressed to kill, heels and all. The customers at the hotel where we were lodged at stared as we made our way down the stairs chatting amongst ourselves and taking group pictures and selfies. The bride left us behind in a fit of anger. A story for another day.Wedding went well, the day flew by. We were back at the hotel for an after party that lasted well into the night.
The next day, we all dressed up to go back to our various homes. No wedding to attend so the makeup was a little less. I had my bath and the only makeup I wore was the brown powder I dusted my face with. I was set to go. My fellow maids lined only their eyes with a little touch of lip gloss. The transformation was amazing. We changed from looking thirty-something-chasing-forty women to the young girls we actually were. I thought I was the only one thinking it. I wasn’t. While we were checking out of the hotel, one of the girls said she heard a security guard say we looked much younger and better than yesterday. We laughed it off but it got me thinking.
I first noticed make up when I was much younger and it was mostly used as a little touch up to enhance beauty and your features. Not to recreate it. It is all different now. Now we go for makeup classes and learn how to change ourselves from looking like Amina to Beyonce. You can barely recognize a lady once she buries her face in makeup. It has now become a costume. This trend I think started three to four years back.
Make up artists do not help. They take a ‘before’ picture with a 2.0 MP camera without flash and make sure you are on your nightie to make sure you look ugly and take your ‘after’ picture with a 100 MP camera with dual flash, gele, neck piece, beautiful earrings and gorgeous cord lace or ankara. Everyone oohs and ahhs over the pictures on instagram. (I always put the gele, neck piece and the dress on the before pix in my head and also apply a little powder. They look splendid.)
The major problem I have with this trend is even ladies that look fantastic without make up or with just a little touch of makeup also recreate their looks. Someone who is naturally gorgeous and dashing will still make up for Africa and step out looking uglier than her natural self.
Biko tell me, why are you recreating your looks? Aren’t you supposed to look better than your former self with the makeup? And the worrisome part for me is that you see yourself without make up or with little makeup and see how pretty you are and you see yourself all made up and you believe the latter is finer. Is your definition of beauty now classified by how perfect your make up is? How well you carved the eyebrow and lined it? Or is it by how good your foundation is? Are these things what makes you beautiful?
I am confused. I do not understand it. I see people who I know are naturally beautiful and all week they have this artistic drawing on their face. I know they are finer than whit a lot less makeup but somehow we have made ourselves believe that if our face is not recreated then we are not fine. Soon we will forget what beautiful really is; if we have not forgotten.
Oh and before I forget we also put up the pictures on IG and Facebook where we put all the #MakeupFree #NoMakeup #NaturallyBeautiful #NoMakeuoNoFilter #SteppingOutWithAFreshFace hashtags like it is a great achievement to go out without makeup. I am anticipating a World No Make-up day
Biko, my sisters, let us go easy on recreation. Yes we should make up but it shouldn’t become what defines our beauty. We were all created beautiful. Make up or not. We can makeup but please, let us go easy on the recreation. Thank you
Written by Chioma Ejide