Overall I am well. Still haven't adjusted to the high carb diet which is the norm here, but thanks to it I've managed to put on a bit of weight in what some people call the "right" places. An uncle actually said my bride-price now deserves a top-up! This brings me to the point of my post. How does one address external pressure on how one looks or chooses to project one's self? For example, I currently live in a tropical country. It is sweltering on most days. I like to wear shorts and can/will wear them everyday for the ease of it. Now, if I decide to leave home in them I have to brace myself for other people's refusal to shrug off their discomfort and carry on minding their own business. When have I ever bothered anyone wearing Kaba or Agbada in 30 degree heat?!
Looking at it from another angle, I have always admired glamourous red lips created with lipstick. I had previously thought I couldn't/shouldn't wear red lipstick because my lips are too full and/or I just looked too made up. Along with other negative impressions I used to have about myself, I missed out on having fun with this very colourful, fun-filled way to express my self image... until recently, I used to buy a bright lipstick, take it home, try it on, keep it in the make-up drawer for months and then give it away. When I used to date, I would wear next to no make-up. In my mind I thought I wanted whomever I was dating to get to know the real me. I later found that people get used to one thing and sulkily resist any changes thereafter!
I have actually exhibited the same resistance towards a dear lovely friend who loves the glam look. This woman is stunning without makeup on most days. I was very disappointed, and as outspoken as I am, I told her how disappointed I was when she bought a set of makeup brushes and learned how to put on eye-shadow and blush! Lucky for her (and for me... and for our friendship), she's got thicker skin than most people I know. She just carried on having fun with her brushes and colours and her glam look has actually grown on me. Now, when I get some disapproval because I'm wearing shorts or a mini at my age, that I sometimes wear high heels, that I choose to wear my hair natural, or how odd bright red lipstick looks on my full lips and against my dark skin, I am learning to just laugh and say "but I like it" like my friend, without feeling like crying because I'm holding myself back from chewing and spitting the person out!
It is annoying when others attempt to project onto us. I for one am guilty in my own right, haven successfully impressed upon others in one way or another. Now I don't know if I ever had the right to attempt to influence anyone to change their self-image in the first place. It appears to be normal community behaviour and nothing to get too worked up over. Unless of course it rubs you the wrong way and you feel the need to stand up for yourself, then by all means do you!
Here's to me having fun in Ruby Woo lipstick from MAC. It has been almost two years since I decided to start wearing my mane naturally. For me it's not just a hairstyle that I love wearing now, it's a lifestyle that I enjoy. This is all of me... no frills, save a little red lipstick... :-)