Phew!, I had a long day, how about you?
Something really funny happened this morning before I left my house. Whilst I was preparing to go out to meet up with a friend today (14th of August,2020), I tried to look pretty, and in the process, I tried to lay my edges. I had bought different edge control(s) but they didn’t seem to work, so I bought this particular one my hairdresser recommended for me, and guess what? it worked, although it was so difficult to ‘control my edges’. Today, I tried laying my edges with the edge control, it was so difficult, but it worked eventually.. only for my edges to go back to its normal texture one hour later, whilst I was at the mall shopping. As I passed by a mirror for sale at the game shop at Accra mall, I was devastated looking at my edges that I tried so hard to fix this morning. It looked so ‘unlaid’ and normal..
Then I murmured to myself, ‘why in the world won’t my hair comply?, I really tried my best to lay my edges this morning and it seemed like it worked! what’s going on now? Perhaps my hair dresser lied to me?’.. then, surprisingly, I was able to silence my loud thoughts and then a question popped up into my head. The question was ‘why won’t my edges get laid?’ and then, I tried answering the question. Perhaps, the edge control isn’t original? or maybe my hair dresser lied to me? or my edges are so coarse to get ‘laid’?. and my dear friends, that was the answer.
My edges are so coarse to get ‘laid’. Whilst I passed through the hair section at game, looking for better edge controls, ( note:I had tried almost all the edge controls at game lol), I kept on thinking, why won’t my edges get laid and remain like that? why do we even have to lay our edges to look beautiful? who made this rules for beauty? why do I have to spend so much on hair products to change my identity? why?
As an African, we have been blessed to have natural distinct features, but unfortunately, we spend so much money on cosmetics to change our identities. This African features include our thick and curly hair, which, of course, is a privilege given naturally to africans, our broad nose, our big hips/bum, full lips and so much more.
Then I asked myself.. ‘who set the rules for beauty in this world?’ ‘laid edges’ are not an African woman’s feature, but more of the ‘white’ woman’s feature, pointed nose, which we try to emulate through ‘contouring’ in making up with cosmetics, is usually, not an African feature but more of ‘white people’s’ feature. Our hair, naturally, is thick, curly and coarse, not supposed to be soft or brittle. African women use different hair products to alter their hair in other to look and feel beautiful and fit into the societal standards. Then, I ask you today, who defined the rules of beauty in today’s world?.
Some of the most beautiful queens in history, were from Africa and had strong African features. Cleopatra, Nerfetiti and even the duchess of Sussex, Madame Meghan Markle, have distinct African features. So why do we Africans, try to change our bodily features? Our features are what people pay huge amount of money to go under the knife for(surgery).. Our full lips, big hips/ass, beautiful long necks and so on. So therefore, who defined the rules of beauty in today’s world that African women have to do the most to change their natural bodily features to feel beautiful? ….I must confess, I’d have to bow to societal pressure in other to ‘look and feel beautiful’ because that’s what I have been brainwashed into believing is the best way to looking beautiful in today’s world.
Just as the Chinese have strong distinct bodily features which can be shown in their eyes, that of africans, I believe, are not to be changed because those features are our identity, but unfortunately, society’s definition of beauty encourages, mostly African women to alter their distinct features to look like the ‘white woman’.
I have succumbed to societal’s definition of beauty, its not an easy fight to step up to your original identity in a world that constantly tries to dictate to you the way you should look in other to feel beautiful… but I am trying the very best I can, and I hope this encourages you to do the same.
Perhaps, we could finally accept that most of us were not born with ‘pointed nose’,(which we try to emulate when doing our makeup through ‘contouring’) or laid edges (which we try so hard to achieve by using ‘edge controls’). Using different hair products or cosmetics to completely change our beauty could only contribute to the already existing problem of misplaced identities in our world today. Every female cannot be a jasmine flower, some are roses, several, sunflowers and the likes. A garden has different kind of flowers, not just one kind.
My fellow africans, all I can say is that, I hope we finally get to accept our identities and step up to who we are. As you all know, I cannot do this alone as I need the support of you , my African family, to refuse the society’s definition of beauty, (which is to encourage the black woman to look like the white woman through ‘laid edges’ or the likes) and to step up to who we are by accepting that we africans, who have been blessed to have distinct bodily features, ( which no-one else in the world naturally has) are equally beautiful as other races.
Furthermore,I don’t believe it is bad to try to emulate the white man’s bodily features once in a while but we should not loose our original identities whilst doing so.
On that note, ndewo nu, I am Nwagbo Ifunanya Lilian, an indigene of Anambra state, situated in the eastern part of Nigeria, West-Africa, Africa and I would be looking forward to your feedbacks in the comment section below!
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