The one lasting memory I have of the ladies of my university days was the stupendous amounts of makeup they had on and the time spent in putting that make up on. This is not to disparage the said ladies because having grown up in a relatively conservative home and attended a very conservative boarding house, I discovered later on that for the most part, these young women mirrored the outside world. Now, I don’t know how true this is but I recall it being discussed in the male hostels that the ladies got up around 5:30 in the morning so they could have enough time to you know, pad themselves and still get to class early. While we fellas pushed the time limit to 30minutes before class.
At the time I heard it, it sounded hilarious, ‘wake up 5:30 in the morning to get a head start on your make up regime?’ Holy cow! Don’t get it twisted though, those girls were gorgeous. When these girls were done, some of them where transformed from 5s and 6s to perfect 10s. Like that. (Only two things I know have been able to pull off that effect: make up and alcohol).
On the other hand, there were some ladies who turned into Medusas when they left their vanity mirrors to step out their rooms. Interacting with some of these girls opened my eyes to a shockingly huge and very confusing world of what I will call – for lack of knowledge of a better word – cosmetics; including but not restricted to creams, lotions, soaps, cleansers, shoes, bags, clothes in all shapes and sizes, belts, hats, jewellery, underwear, lingerie, caps, the list is eye watering (excluding the ever changing beauty trends.)
Have I mentioned plastic surgery? There you go; nose jobs, boob jobs, tummy tucks, calf implants, botox injections, etc the list reads like a menu from Hannibal’s kitchen and it too is eye watering. Some people end up looking like plastic barbie/ken dolls when they are done “cutting and pasting”.
The whole “beauty enhancement” phenomenon is not a new thing. It’s not even a new development of this millennium. Jewish and Roman women, romans especially circa AD are recorded to have been particular about their “beauty enhancement” regimes. Egyptian women applied the strangest things on their faces; In terms of clothing, you only need to look at victorian england to see the most constricting and ridiculous looking corsets that women of high society wore.
In all this my overriding feeling has been, what exactly is the definition of PHYSICAL beauty? In terms of physical beauty for me, the saying “beauty is in the eyes of the beholder” holds true. For instance, most of my friends will agree that Beyonce or Halle Berry are beautiful women (keeping in mind that with celebrities, you hardly ever see their “straight-out-of-bed good morning” faces), I do too. But my boys then give me that “huh?” look when I say I think Angelina Jolie is just as beautiful too. I’ve heard some amusing and interesting comments about the size of her lips and the placement of her cheekbones, but hey, that’s what does it for me. And I KNOW I’m not the only guy out there who thinks Jolie is beautiful.
Purely from a guy’s point of view, here’s my dilemma; seeing as beauty is different things to different people (and when I say people, for the sake of this article assume I mean guys) what goes through a lady’s mind that determines her “beauty style”?
Is it a case of seeking to achieve perfection, trying to mask real and/or perceived physical flaws? Is it simply a desire to look like a person’s idol? (I remember when Rihanna sported these straight and sideswept pixie haircuts of early ’08. All girls of college age had it; constantly tossing their heads around or parting the hair to talk to you as the case may be, while it was cute, after a while it became irritating) Or is it just simply a case of putting on what makes you feel good?
I once asked a lady friend of mine why ladies show so much love for high heels. She looked at me eye to eye and told me quite frankly that it made the buttocks more prominent and held out the breasts higher and “outer”. I was speechless for about 3 seconds before I burst into laughter. I have since discovered that to be very true.
I have been privileged to meet and also call my friends, some beautiful ladies who were even more stunning when they stepped out all “kitted up” , and then there were also those who couldn’t be bothered to go through the whole routine and looked just as beautiful. In a world where it’s becoming increasingly difficult to stand out, your physical beauty is just as important in establishing your individual identity as your inner beauty. Think about that.
Be careful about conforming your looks to what your favourite celebrity or a crush looks like or desires (as the case may be). You were made a certain way for a reason. In the end, there’s that one person that’ll appreciate your beauty (flaws and all) for what it is. If the rest of the world sees the “perfect” you, as long as he loves those “imperfections” that are on display when the “enhancements” come off, I think you’re alright.
I can honestly tell you the guys aren’t complaining (ok except when it REALLY begins to hurt our pockets or you go overboard changing stuff you shouldn’t be changing and looking like what you shouldn’t be looking like) but just keep doing you and stay beautiful as the good Lord made you.
Ariel Ugorji identifies himself as a mild insomniac, geek, nerd, an audiophile, an avid music lover, Liverpool Fan and an unashamed Christian; with more often than not a completely different point of view on the world and a love for sensible arguments. He Resides in Warri, Nigeria; the land of the sharp and the brave.
To view more of his write ups, please visit his BLOG. You can also share your views with him on twitter @arielugorji.
Do you agree with the authors views on make up? Please leave your comment below.