Monday, May 05, 2008

By Their Looks, You Shall Know Them

There is something about a Nigerian woman that makes it impossible to not spot her. She may be properly dressed (and I use the word ‘properly’ sparingly), but there is just something about her that is very Nigerian. It is in the way she looks. There are so many aspects to this, but I will try to tackle them all.

I will start with the aspect that bothers me the most: the eyebrows. Seriously, is there a rule that says it is wrong for women to keep their eyebrows? What is up with shaving it off completely and replacing it with eye pencil streaks? As if that is not bad enough, these streaks come in all shapes, sizes, and colors. Some are thin and curvy; they even go so high that they are almost touching her hair line. Some are thick; they make her look like an angry witch. Some are straight and thin; they are so straight that they look like they have been drawn with a ruler. For goodness sake, who came up with the idea of straight eyebrows? They’re ugly and unnatural. I must mention however, that some drawn-on eyebrows do not look so bad, but more often than not, they look terrible.

While the size and shape of the eyebrows are scary enough, some people also feel the need to paint them. I do not understand the logic behind having red, burgundy, or gold eyebrows. I can understand the need to match your shoes, hand bags, jewelries, and make-up to your outfit, but why must your eyebrows compliment your outfit too? And while I am on the subject of eyes, I would like to make it clear to all Nigerian women – regardless of your complexion – that black women do not have blue eyes! Apparently, contact lenses are now part of our Ankara and Swiss laces. Yes, your eyes must now match your outfit. What happens when your outfit is pink or purple? Do they make contact lenses in those colors?

What about the hair? Why do Nigerian women think they look good with bright blonde wigs and weaves? A light skinned woman hardly looks good with a blonde weave, but a dark skinned woman looks worse. The embarrassing thing about the blonde weaves and wigs is that the women wearing it never wear it well – not that wearing it well will make it look good on them. What exactly is the point of wearing a blonde wig when your black hair is clearly visible under it? And maybe I am dense, but I cannot comprehend the sense in having pitch black hair and attaching a blonde synthetic pony tail on it. On a serious note, how does this work?

I want to address the issue of clothes a little bit. When it comes to pants (trousers), Nigerian women seem to think that all pants have to sit above their navels. Not only are these pants sitting high, but they are also afraid of touching the ground. In other words, they are always ‘jump up’ pants. Somebody needs to tell our women that it is not okay to wear white socks (or any kind of socks for that matter) with open-toe shoes. It is also not permissible to wear knee-high panty hose with a skirt that does not reach your knees. And if the elastic band in your knee-high panty hose is no longer elastic, please throw them away! Wal-Mart sells four pairs of knee-high panty hoses for only one dollar!

When it comes to jewelry, there has to be a rule that one must wear all her rings to any single event. I do not know why Nigerian women wear at least one ring on each finger, and these rings are huge and expensive. Oh, and also very ugly. If she does not wear all her rings at one time, she will not feel complete. If she does not wear a huge, ugly, expensive necklace, she will not be able to breathe well. She must always adorn her beautiful body with as much jewelry as it can handle.

Have you ever met those women that cannot seem to let go of their youth? After much observation and deliberation, I have come to the conclusion that the problem is not that they cannot let go of their youth, but rather that during their youth, they did not have much fun. I think they must have lived somewhere in the village during their youth, and all of a sudden, like a jack in a box, they have been let out and released into the city life – whatever that may be. Why else will grown women be dressed like teenagers? What is the essence of putting on a five hundred dollar lace and accessorizing it with colorful plastic jewelry from the dollar store? What is the sense in a voluptuous, curvy woman forcing herself into a pair of red skinny jeans and wearing it with those Italian shoes they usually wear with the laces? Why, oh why will a woman who has had five children and breasts that have succumbed to gravity feel the need to leave the house without a bra?

Make-up is a beautiful thing – when done right. There is no rule that says every woman must apply blush on her cheeks. But if she chooses to, does she have to look like she stuck a very red slice of pepperoni on each cheek? Must the eye shadow also extend into and beyond the eye brows? Must she really use the eye pencil to create cat eyes – or the pitiful equivalent of it? Must her lipstick really come in unnatural colors like purple and lime green?

When it comes to foundation (alias ‘pancake’), some of our Nigerian women seem to think that everything that can be applied must be applied. That is why they first start with the liquid foundation. From there, they take it one step up to the liquid-to-powder foundation. After that, they apply the pressed powder, which must then be followed by the lose powder. And of course, she must also use the concealer – whether she has something to conceal or not. By the time she is done applying the pancake on her face, she weighs at least ten pounds more. If you look at her face carefully, you will know where her face ends and where her make-up starts. That is never a good sign. Your foundation is supposed to blend in. It is imperative that our women learn that the amount of pancake that goes on the face is highly dependent on how much coverage is needed – not how much pancake she can lay her hands on.

While there is such a thing as too much make-up, it is also possible to not have enough make-up. This is evident in the women who confidently leave their homes looking as if they had just emptied an entire can of Crisco on their faces. There is so much glare on their faces that you can literally see your reflection. Their faces are so bright that one will need sunglasses with 100% UV protection to look at them. God forbid that they directly face the sun. The impact of that will be equivalent to a mirror facing the sun and beaming its reflection into someone’s eyes. These women’s cheeks and eyes are so puffy that they look like they have just emerged from an intense physical battle which they lost. But alas, they were not in a physical battle. They just believe they look too good to use make-up. Make-up only serves to enhance what one already has.

One Nigerian accessory that I absolutely adore is the scarf. When done right, the scarf can be the icing on the cake. It is almost equal to the crown that sits on the Queen’s head. The scarf is often the first thing that foreigners notice and compliment. It is imperative that you note that all scarves are not created equally. Some women tie their scarves shallow and wide. I do not mind it at all. In fact, I love it. Some women make theirs narrow and tall. Again, I do not think this looks bad either. The ones that boggle my mind are the big ones that look like they were rumpled and placed on the heads of the wearers. If you stare at those scarves long enough, you just might get busy. They are as shapeless as an amoeba. What about the little ones that are so small that one could mistake them for hats? Why did the wearer not just wear a hat? Some scarves are so flat that they look like the wearers had been carrying heavy buckets of water on their heads. Some are so flat and boring that one would think the wearer was trying to achieve a ‘wrap’ hair style on her head with the scarf. Must the scarf be so lifeless?

This is not to say that Nigerian women are not fashion-conscious. Those who are fashion-conscious are fashion-conscious. Likewise, those who are not fashion-conscious are really not fashion-conscious. In other words, the good ones are really good, and the bad ones are really bad. The next time you attend an event – Nigerian, African, or whatever else, take a minute to inspect the women around you. By their looks, you shall definitely know them.

http://www.verastic.com/
vera@verastic.com
Yahoo! ID: verastic

49 comments:

bumight said...

lol! @ ur description of the black hair with blonde pony tail...very classic

everyone wants to be an "a-young-e" by force na...

Vera Ezimora said...

Bumight: My dear, na so I see am oh! I never stop marveling at the black hair and blonde pony tails. What the heck is that?!

Anonymous said...

May God help you.. no comment on this one.. too hot.. many of my clients fall in this category..

Ekitiman... (Villageheadmaster)

Doja said...

Yes black hair with blond ponytail is terrible, really unnatural.

Vera Ezimora said...

Village Headmaster: You dey fear?? LOL. Make you no dey hide mouth oh. Why shall I shy?

Doja: It sure is! But what can I say? Our women love it. LOL.

temmy tayo said...

Vera, u don kill me o. I have cramps from laughing so hard.

Please call 911.....

darkelcee said...

Veraaaa

haaa.lollllllllllll@ those without make up

and the straight eyebrow drawn with a ruler? yeeeee lloooooolllllll

softly softly.

these women have "proudly naija" tag with those make ups, contact, jump-up pants and scarves. lollll

nothing do us o jare! lolllllllll

The Last King Of Scotland said...

yepa. this is an indictment. i couldnt have written it better. spot on miss vera, i hope the guilty parties take heed

Vera Ezimora said...

Temmy Tayo: LOL. Okay, hold on lemme finish my food, okay? I'll call 911 very soon. Just wait 4 me. LOL

Darkelcee: Something do us oo! How you go talk say nothing do us? Why must the eyebrows be so straight? Have you ever seen anyone with straight eyebrows like that? LOL.

King of Scotland: LOL. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Indeed, I hope they take heed.

Sting said...

LOL..... Where u dey see all these kind women, Vera?

Anonymous said...

Maybe u r decribing urself? What u think is right might be wrong for someone else. Stop judging cos u don't know what atrocities u r committing.

Vera Ezimora said...

Sting: They're all over the place, believe me. It's very funny.

Anonymous: Yes, I am describing myself.

Zahratique said...

OMG! Vera this is so true! There's this teacher I had in high school, I swear her eyebrows look like she shaved them off and used a pair of compass to draw perfect arcs where they used to be!

The one that really makes me cringe is when some women use the shade of foundation that is not their skin colour! Lord have mercy! Are they trying to be fairer or what? To add insult to injury, when you take pictures it looks like a mask you could just peel off their faces. I wonder how long it take them to wash it off or how much $$ they spend on make up remover....

AlooFar said...

Lovely Piece. I should read this in The Economist ;)

How are you?
Cheers.

Vera Ezimora said...

Zahratique: LOL @ the compass statement. Goodness, it's been so long since I used or even seen one of those. But you're right; some eyebrows realy look like they were drawn with a pair of compass. Don't get me started on the shade of the foundation.

Aloofar: Thank you, thank you, thank you!! I'm doing great. How are you?

Standtall said...

Wait till u meet me o. My eyebrows are so bushy and I love them. Shaving them make me look so ugly.

I am not a jewelry person but a little beads here and there will do

I am gorimapa at 30. Lol. Cant stand weaving, palming, wig etc. I just mananged to fit in when my hair was longer.

Make up, hmmmmmmm I dont use to do them but now I know how to make a right combination adn look African Queen like

I cant do gele for occasion. Is either too heavy or too tight etc etc

fixing nails.......... I am old fashioned here too. It is rare for me to do it

May be I am not a nigerian woman (lol)

rethots said...

Ladies' corner it seems but, i dare.

Ma'am, 'tis finesse they seem to lack, unfortunately, it cannot be bought.

Standtall said...

You have been tagged visit mi-blog for the rules

~Mimi~ said...

lol so i'm not the only one that feels weird when i see those eyepencil thingies..cant call them eyebrows for sure

so i updated..my friend don reach finally!

Vera Ezimora said...

Standtall: LOL. I will call some people that know some other people who can hijack you and give you an intervention ASAP. LOL

Rethots: It really is unfortunate that it cannot be bought. Someone needs 2 go into that business.

Standtall: You too?? Goodness! Okay, I'll check it out.

Mimi: No, you're definitely not the only one who feels weird about the eye pencil thingies. LOL

pink gloves said...

a lot of the young naija chics are following in the same foot steps. lol.

UnNaked Soul said...

its a crazy world baby! its a competition for who mad pass

bernard n. shull said...

i did a little research after you told me about your "thing", and if you want a way to make more money using your your blog you can enter this site: link. bye.

Tairebabs said...

oh my! this was totally hilarious! Nothing beats "breast that have succumbed to gravity...without a bra". lol

very nice post!

Vera Ezimora said...

Pink Gloves: Unfortunately, you are right. A lot of the young chics are definitely following in the same path. Kai..

UnNaked: Abi oo! This kin competition sef. Anyway, I'm sure you have no problem in the area of madness. I'm sure that you have passed odinary madness sef. Your own don reach supernatural level by now abi?

TaireBabs: LOL. Abi oo. What else could be better than such breasts?

Olamild said...

Lmaooooooooooooooo

Memoirs Of A Travelling Shoes said...

hahaha...this is tew funny buh sooo true..i have seen it oo..alot n i ponder too mehn..what id doo with our babes?

Afrobabe said...

lmao...this post reminds me of the naija parties in london...

I swear I saw someone you just described...dirty bleached skin...wearing tight...extremely tight skinny jeans with her bleached crack showing...blood red nails and lips, purple eyeshadow, red eye brows....

Loads of gold rings, tight top with tummy divided into 3...
I kid you not!!!

Vera Ezimora said...

Olamild: That's all you can do abi? Just laugh. LOL.

Travelling Shoes: I dunno what id do with our babes. It's crazzzzy! And they think they look so hot ehn... lol

AfroBabe: LOL. So you understand where I'm coming from then? LOL. This thing is not funny anymore o!

NigerianDramaQueen said...

This post had me cracking up! So true! I HATE, just absolutely HATE, when women shave off their entire eye-brow, then draw that long brow with eye-liner. Eucharia Anunobi should be sued for starting that nonsense! Then those huge cocktail rings that adorn every finger, chei! Lol@ scarfs being like shapeless amoeba's!!

The Last King Of Scotland said...

what r u waiting for.........update b4 i........

Tairebabs said...

Haba update now! more than one month o! Hope you are ok sha?

mirage said...

forget naija women and fashion its a mad house!

Anonymous said...

nice post meanwhile have you read mirages blog

http://mirage-amirageofillusion.blogspot.com/

there is a scanda there between she and Tlk pls spread the word peace!

Vera Ezimora said...

NigerianDramaQueen: Speaking of rings, I saw a lady and her ring was sooooo huge. It was the shapte of a pyramid - I keep you not. That thing could have been used as a deadly weapon. That's how long and sharp it was.

Last King of Scotland: Update before you what? Wetin you fit do? LOL

TaireBabs: Yeah, I'm fine, my dear. Thanks for asking. I'll be updating soon - hopefully this week.

Mirage: Girl, who you telling? My dear, we need divine help, I think.

Anonymous: Thanks. I'll check the post out. Don't tell me it's another Blogville couple. LOL.

bernard n. shull said...

hi mate, this is the canadin pharmacy you asked me about: the link

Jaguda said...

these women need a 'fashion intervention'

Vera Ezimora said...

Jaguda: They sure do.

Lady Koko said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lady Koko said...

BUHAHAHHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!!!1LOLOLOLOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! OH GOODNESSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!OH LAWDYYYYYYYYYYYY!!!!!!!!!ARGHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WOWWWWWWWWWW!!!!!!!!!!!! LOLOLOLOLOLO1!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1 INCREDIBLEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!BUHAHAHHHA!!!!!!!!!!!!1LOLLOLLOLOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!OH MY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! LOLOLLOLOLLOLLO!!!!!!!!!!!! WOW!!!!!!!!!!! WOW!!!!!!!!!WOW!!!!!!!!!!
*BREATH IN breath out*
p.s: well said my sista...i gatta show this to my friends hope u dont mind xoxo

Femi B said...

Who are these women.. and where do you find them. I am thinking women in general..rather than Nigerian women fall under such category. I mean the oyinbo women and akata sef do almost the same thing. Bad dress sense is just bad i don't think any race or country stands out. There are some oyinbo women that i feel i can scoop out their "pancake" with a shovel...

Dante said...

ah ah. Vera, na wah for you. The descriptions were apt and on point too. I am reeling from laughter. You just made an otherwise boring sunday, fun. I am on the look out for them.
he he.. here comes one......

FFF said...

beyonce rocks dat black root n blonde ponytail & still manages 2 look gorgoeous. den again, pam anderson has no eyebrows! rassaq okoya's youngest wives grips of jewelries all d time & she looks good. so really, it depends on who we were talking abt here

Jotees Trendz said...

lol! funny piece...I have to agree with Femi B. Women in general fall under your laid down categories...not just 'Nigerian' women o....

Gainell said...

People should read this.

rethots said...

Hmmm, reading this post again, 'm so, tempted to re-comment but, i'll let it pass.

Lailai, 'tis too sweet to let go just like that. What shall i say, if only 'twas known the excellence of beauty lies in its simplicity; so many people will realise they are not just pretty but, beautiful.

Olu said...

Straight on point, i hae never liked the weave thing, regardless of the color. 90% of the time it look like a Badger is stick on her head. Sometimes hair tied back simply looks better than weaves. Braids are good too, but weaves, they almost never work,

As per the eye pencil/eye brow thing. I thought i was the only one that found that annoying,almost the entire eyebrow shaven off why do some women do that to themselves.

As per make up,i went to a Uni , that did not permiot make up, so i got to see the natural beauty of some of the girl, and beleive me, without the make up, some of those girls were GORGEOUS.

Too much make, is annoying, and sometimes i think the circus is in town, or Ronald McDonald is having a familyu reunion, when i see some girls.

Ladies, please ,minimize the make up,sometimes we wonder what exaclty lies beneath of if u are trying to hide something behind it all.

There is nothing more endearing than a woman that does not feel the need to cake her face with layers of make up.

Taking care of yourself is one thing,solely contributing to Max Factors biggest year in sales is another.

GREAT ARTICLE

Eyitemi Egwuenu said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Eyitemi Egwuenu said...

In the last paragraph, you did try to rein in the generalization you made in your opening comments, so I will not take you to task on that.

Well, as for the "black-blond-girl" thing, it is one of those things that can be aesthetically jarring. I can't say that I have ever understood it. Even Lady Gaga does not go that far.

On the other hand, can I say that I am too surprised. One of my favourite authors, Marie Corelli once described women as

"frivolous dolls in pink and white with hair oftentimes not their own."

Personally, I don't mind wigs as long as there is some semblance of symmetry and aesthetic sense to it.