Materialism, Bare Faces, Is Artificial The New Default? + Other Things I Need To Get Off My Chest

Friday, 8 December 2017

Guilty as charged. I admit to being an AVID YouTube watcher. I could literally spend my whole day there if I allowed myself. I binge-watch tutorials, vlogs, recipe videos, series... *inhales* everything. But one tiny little thing I notice while watching these videos
especially from female youtubers, is when some of these women would post videos where they would have no makeup on at all (or have out their natural hair) and start that particular video out by apologizing for recording bare-faced. Even when 99.9% of the time, I personally think they look just as beautiful --if not more--without it. I sit and wonder why they're apologizing, and who exactly they are apologizing to.
Sure some people may just ignore it or not see it as an issue. But I think it's a problem.

The first time I really started to get interested in this makeup thing was when Alicia keys began her "No-Makeup Movement" in 2016. What actually bothered me the most was how much rave and shocked responses this movement got. It was hilarious to me...hilarious that it was such a big deal that a woman stepped out on TV without makeup.
Image result for alicia keys no makeup
Source: USweekly

It almost felt strange. It almost felt like Alicia had a foot growing out of her head with the amount of noise the movement was getting (Coupled with a whole bunch of disgusting hateful comments)
I loved what she was doing, even though some said it was to gather more attention to her new album.
The power of the society and the pressure of conforming is baffling.

It almost feels like the default, almost as if God created us with layers of foundation and concealer and powders and gloss, which is why it was so shocking that this woman chose to walk around without it.

I like makeup, it can be therapeutic applying makeup, too and also watching other people do makeup. I think it's advanced face art!
I also love getting my makeup done by other talented people because  I personally suck at applying it, so I don't really bother about it, and also because it feels nice to deceive myself once in a while that I don't have redness, pimples, blackheads and dark circles. Even when later that night, I'd clean it all up with baby wipes and all I'm left with is who I truly am.


But my issue is that sometimes, we get so caught up with purchasing product A, B and C that we forget that we have real faces or learn to accept that it's okay to take a break sometimes.
Not only that, but there's also this hidden pressure or unwritten law that you ALWAYS have to show up with a mad face-beat or else the planet will stop revolving or a comet will wipe out life on earth forever. Maybe it's just me? I don't know. But it's what I've observed.

I've even heard some girls say that their boyfriends must never see them without makeup. Lol.
I understand that makeup serves as an enhancement or adds that VAVA to your look. However when they say he must NEVER, it makes me laugh. Why? Is the makeup attached to your skin? There'll be days when you're tired, sick or just over it. And if you happen to marry this guy...would you have to hide a makeup-artist under your bed or hire one to follow you around 24/7?

My favorite makeup item is red lipstick, and I'm sure it's not news flash if you're really observant. Hehe. I particularly love blue-based red tones against my skin because it compliments my undertone so well. I would apply that lip-shade everyday until one day, I realized that I almost felt nervous (for lack of a better adjective) to leave my room without it. I  had slowly started to let a tube of red substance define me and make me feel inadequate without it. I decided to ditch the lipstick for that day.
And of course, some people noticed and didn't hold back comments. Why would they anyways? It's natural to react when you notice someone looking a bit different from yesterday lol.
"Chinenye, are you sick?" "Chinenye, your face looks so plain..." "Chinenye, wow... but, you look prettier bare faced though"
The comments from others would always come. But in my mind, I had a personal reason why I went without it and I didn't let it get to me. Because red lipstick or not, I know I have more to offer.

I figured I had to rant about this topic when another headline surfaced recently about Jamaican Miss Universe contestant, Davina Bennett stepping out on the pageant stage with her glorious afro that created a lot of buzz. I loved it. It was not what everyone was used to seeing of course and that's exactly why it got the attention it did.
Image result for davina bennett
source: popsugar

I personally have never been a huge fan of pageants, because I've always thought there was too much focus on solely outward beauty with the continued existence of swimsuit segments, titles like 'most beautiful girl in...', people comparing pretty faces...asking if the winner 'deserved to win' or 'wasn't pretty enough' or 'looks too old for 18', or the fact that the contestants are only allowed to answer relevant questions within like 20 seconds. It leads to over-emphasizing and upholding the default standard of beauty that society has set for women of all races, features and body types.
But when my initial reaction to that afro on the Miss Universe show cleared up. I felt sad. Sad that it was soooo special that Davina strutted around in her God-given afro on the stage of a huge beauty pageant in the year 2017. I'm pretty sure that if she had her hair in a weave like the 'regular' contestants, no one would care that much.

There was once a time in university when I installed so many weaves and did braids so much, that I felt obligated to ALWAYS use them and 'odd' stepping out in my own hair. At the time, I used to get relaxers. (I had had natural hair for 14 years, then went behind my mother's back and slapped on a relaxer, with zero education about hair-care, because I thought that was the norm and all my friends were doing it). I was so sick of hiding behind all these extra attachments. I was so caught up in all the extra stuff that I didn't fully accept my natural self. And when I did give the weaves and braids a break, I felt lighter. I had allowed these things take over, but not for long.

snip snip snip

Months later, I had come home after my final exams for that semester and found myself with a pair of scissors cutting all of my hair of. I had a low-cut, which I proudly wore out every single day. Of course, I got MAD reactions, people who I thought forgot I existed trying to give opinions about my short afro. My family was super supportive except my immediate older brother who said I looked horrible lol especially my parents! They told me they loved me that way. That was all the encouragement I needed. I still felt a bit insecure about my new hair texture, but I figured that that was okay. I stopped being too hard on myself, I figured it's because the world had convinced me that my hair texture was ugly for so long.

I still battle with accepting my very coarse hair texture some days or dealing my face redness and intermittent pimple appearances, haha, but guess what? It's fine. You'd be surprised that every single person has their own insecurities...their own struggles too. But allowing a bunch of people decide for you what beauty is and how you should style your hair is giving them power over you. ONLY IF YOU ON YOUR OWN DECIDE TO DO THESE THINGS.

It was then that I noticed how super attached we can get to the material things, that we forget that that's really and truly not who we are. I own half and full wigs, I love getting braids and giving my hair a rest once in awhile. But now, I can style my own hair and feel just as confident.

This is not a post solely focused on makeup products and hair and I'm in no way implying that you should grab the nearest scissors and cut off all your hair lol. I just observed that materialism (cars, money, clothes, shoes, private jets...etc.) has led to can be controlling, it has a way of clouding our mind and making us forget our truth or the things that truly matter. And can even lead to jealousy, murder, loathe...list goes on.

I guess my point is not that I have a problem with the extra, material stuff. My point is...will you still value your true self and be just as confident if these things were taken away from you?

In case you missed the first volume of "+ Other things I need to get off my chest".
Catch it here: SKIN
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Have a beautiful weekend!

5 comments on "Materialism, Bare Faces, Is Artificial The New Default? + Other Things I Need To Get Off My Chest"
  1. There's a lot of insight to the things you speak about.
    The world needs to see more of this;
    I, need more of this.

  2. This is such a timely post! I think about this all the time. I am not someone who wears make-up and I find that outside Lagos, it's not that big a deal but when I'm back in Nigeria, I feel so much pressure to wear make-up and 'do something' with my 'unruly' hair. I think our priorities when it comes to beauty is distorted. Great post!


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