Chimamaka Obi: It is 2016 and not wearing makeup shouldn’t be a big deal

I’m not sure when it happened, the sudden change in tide of beauty trends that made wearing a full face of makeup everyday the new norm. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining about it, this article is not the usual rant about how much makeup lovers spend on beauty products, and what a waste of time it is, yadi yadi ya, that most non-believers are often accused of preaching.

My problem with this wave of beauty trends, is why my not accepting them seems to be such a problem for so many women. Before you tell me I’m imagining it, let me share an experience I recently had. A very good friend was getting married, and she asked me to be on her bridal train. Of course I agreed. The wahala started when she sent a message reminding me that I’ll have to set aside my “shakara” and wear makeup for all the shenanigans Nigerians now feel must make up a wedding. I politely turned her down, expecting this my friend of several years to understand me and my stance on makeup. Instead the situation blew up, and I was paraded to all our other friends as the self-centred bad friend. I even offered to wear makeup on just the wedding day, but that was met with a snide “Abeg carry your wahala and go” kind of comment.

I could go on and on about different scenarios where my not wearing makeup somehow made me either a self absorbed person or a bad friend. Each time someone asks why I don’t wear makeup, I take my time and try explain how uncomfortable it makes me feel, how I hate that I cannot touch my face or that my face cannot breathe. There’s also how I hate the fact that my freckles and birthmark are covered up, making me almost unrecognizable to myself, how I just don’t feel pretty or glamorous or whatever emotion I’m supposed to feel after getting my face beat.

These explanations are met constantly either with a sneer, an eye roll or the usual snide remarks like”Abeg your own is too much.” The most common these days is  “Ehn! na you be the finest now”.

So I’ve stopped.

Each time I am asked why I don’t wear makeup, I just smile and say it seems like I am allergic. (which is also offensive to makeup wearers).

So this is an open letter, to makeup lovers who have friends that are not, either because of religious beliefs or personal choices. Be nice. The constant “You look somehow”comments are hurtful, especially since you guys get so offended when told something along those lines.

2 Comments
  1. Am nt a fan of make-up either.. I cnt touch my face freely..i will mess up d make-up cos i always need to pull on my eye lashes..mine is long nd dey sometimes curve in d wrng direction, thereby causing tears nd i hv to tug on d lashes until dat one comes off.. l tend to swipe my tongue across my lips uncounsciously nd i cnt wear d lipsticks..i dnt knw d chemicals am swallowing..
    I dnt even try to explain myself..i jst smile nd let u come up wit any reason y u think am nt wearing makeup..
    It really hurts ooo wen pple make such comments..

    Online Counselling Blog

  2. Am nt a fan of make-up either.. I cnt touch my face freely..i will mess up d make-up cos i always need to pull on my eye lashes..mine is long nd dey sometimes curve in d wrng direction, thereby causing tears nd i hv to tug on d lashes until dat one comes off.. l tend to swipe my tongue across my lips uncounsciously nd i cnt wear d lipsticks..i dnt knw d chemicals am swallowing..
    I dnt even try to explain myself..i jst smile nd let u come up wit any reason y u think am nt wearing makeup..
    It really hurts ooo wen pple make such comments..

    Online Counselling Blog

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.