I’m cheesed off with your bloody makeup

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I’m sorry to say that the views you’re about to read can be extremely abhorrent and borderline unsophisticated.  I am an exception in a world where beauty and advancement in women is gauged by the quality of nails, hair, eye lashes and the powder put on their faces.  Instead, I appreciate exquisite beauty and I love simplicity.

It’s in my constitution to treat every woman with respect and tact.  And despite my views on this particular topic, I don’t and will never treat women as subjects of my indecent judgement.  I don’t think anyone should look good “for someone else” but as a human being I just happen to find a thrill when I see unblemished natural beauty. When I can’t see any of that around, I fret, which I guess is the reason for me to talk about this.

I love my African sisters.  They are amazing in so many ways.  Most of them have luscious lips, appetizing eyes and drop-dead fine faces.  But I think most often that glamor is defaced by all these cosmetics.

I am not expecting ladies in 2016 to be backward dinosaurs but I always feel a burr in my chest when pure allure is buried beneath some insipid make-up, creepy lipstick, excessively weird nails and a weave.

We are being starved of black beauty by our black sisters who seem to have adopted in their minds an epitome of how a woman should look in contrast of true attributes of natural black women.

It’s basic common sense that you don’t tinker with something that needs no fix.  I’m left wondering why you’re tampering with such beauty with your makeup.  Part of the reason, I think, we were talking about draconian rules on black hair in former Model C schools two weeks ago is because whites have gotten so used to black people wearing weaves that it almost feels eccentric when a black girl embraces her uniqueness.

Those rules were wrong on at least two counts.  One, they’re racist and secondly that they throttle nature and uniqueness.  Dare I say that in my life I see only a few dozen black women with their natural hair.  For many the experience of having “black hair” has become foreign.

In my opinion, genuine beauty is such a rare jewel.  When I spot a beautiful, natural black woman, I don’t think twice about a compliment. Sometimes I compliment originality because originality nowadays is like finding the proverbial needle in a haystack.

There is a television commercial that speaks about character and to a broader extent genuineness.  Towards the end of this advert, there is an important question that goes “take away his award, his car, his girlfriend. What does he have left?” and that’s the question I wish to ask every woman with bogus stuff all over her body.  If you take away your artificial nails, hair, eye lashes, and lipstick.  What do you have left?

I believe that perfection is when there is nothing to take away yet you almost feel like there is nothing more to add.  Being beautiful is being yourself.

SLICE OF LIFE: Still in the dark about beauty

Nomatter Ndebele

Nomatter Ndebele. Photo: TJ Lemon

WHO is this Lupita Nyong’o? Telling the world that it’s okay to be a dark-skinned girl?

How dare she stand there courageously, in her bold colours, night shade, firm in her conviction that dark-skinned girls are, in fact, beautiful?

Seriously Lupita, this is not the time for a colour revolution. The world has not accepted me yet. Until you came along, with your “revolution” glowing brightly from your dark skin, my life was going on as it should have. I’ve finally finished my degree, soon I will have a job and I will be able to afford all my planned bleaching treatments.

The dream was within reach, but no. Thanks to you and your bold blackness the world has supposedly decided that I belong here, at every turn people are holding mirrors up to me and saying “we see you, you are something to look at now”.

Now I’ll never be able to bleach myself because the whole world is watching and my simple explanation of “I just want to be lighter” will never be an acceptable reason for ridding myself of my burdensome, melanin-induced shade.You meant well, I know you did. None of this is your fault but look what you’ve done. What your personal victory has inadvertently done to me.

[pullquote] at every turn people are holding mirrors up to me and saying “we see you, you are something to look at now”.[/pullquote]

I wanted to be noticed. I wanted my beauty to be acknowledged, not fetishised. I didn’t want to be put on a global pedestal that I will never actually be on.  Now  the world not only sees me, it has me under a microscope and God forbid I find myself even half a shade lighter before that bleaching appointment.

While I admire your bold blackness, I don’t appreciate it.Because you have unwittingly drawn me into “the struggle”. You’ve made me one with all the other dark-skinned girls. Now I will never be able to represent myself without representing a whole.When I mention skin lightening the world will look at me and ask “Have you seen Lupita Nyong’o?”

Yes, I have but let’s face facts, I am NOT Lupita Nyong’o.

Where was Lupita Nyong’o when the makeup artist religiously caked my face with a foundation three shades lighter than I was because she “didn’t have make up for dark people”? Where was Lupita when the production assistant at work would whisk me away into the bathroom before we went live to try and “fix me” since the makeup artist was too busy perfecting the lighter skinned presenters’ makeup.

Lupita Nyong’o’s win is not a win for all of us. We haven’t won, we are not simply beautiful yet. We are exoticised, we are sold to the world as “black beauties”, we are fetishised. We are the boxes that need to be ticked, our compliments are an over compensation for the years of disregard.

[pullquote align=”right”]Yes, I have but let’s face facts, I am NOT Lupita Nyong’o.[/pullquote]

I went from hearing “I have no makeup for dark people” to “I love doing make up on your flawless skin, your almond eyes are great to work on”.When will dark girls be more than “pretty for a dark skinned girl”?

What happens if I never make it to the big Hollywood lights, cameras flashing and ebony skin reflecting the afterglow of success. I may never make it. Lupita did, I haven’t.

We “made it” and, until then, I’m not ready to liquidate my “bleaching fund” just yet.