Celebrating true African beauty


“Be true to that which exists nowhere but in yourself – and thus make yourself indispensable.” Andre Gide.


Sometimes when I look around myself and see people trying to be like somebody else but themselves, I wonder if we humans take the time out to see the individual that is inside of us, that unique person that makes us who we really are.

        Many – a – times, people tend to join a bandwagon, copying a particular trend or style. I believe this is so, because the society, made up of you and I, have set a standard that gives little room for uniqueness, individual style and distinction. Or maybe, this happens because some manufacturers or producers, who wish to sell their products, simply indulge in good marketing that says using their products or indulging in the trend they have created makes one stylish, acceptable and “cool”. You look around yourself and you find that living or style of living has been homogenized. This is so, because man as a social being seeks acceptance. And in so doing, the individual is crushed to be replaced by a factory – made exterior entirely.


        Man has two complexes, which are inferiority and superiority complexes. These two are very much related because behind “that” person with superiority complex lays an inferiority complex caused by fear or threat of envy, jealousy and competition. Once you harbour the thought that someone’s personality is a threat to yours, you develop a superiority complex that makes you arrogant, proud and pompous. Soon enough, sycophants would surround you, because you have created a style or class for yourself. It becomes sadder when one’s disciples become a replica and in turn, “oppress” others. So, it becomes a vicious circle, as the oppressed become an oppressor. The truth of the matter is that, people who aren’t sure of themselves tend to be proud and pompous and that is because they are scared of being caught unguarded. It is like a big effort to protect one’s self from others, while at the same time, proliferating one’s so called superiority over others. Naturally, people who are wealthy tend to be pompous and naturally too, people who are less privileged get intimidated by wealthy people. It is quiet surprising when one meets a wealthy person and all you can do is feel sympathetic because some of them are hardly themselves. It is all an effort to be “posh,” be in the “in” crowd and be accepted. When the desire for acceptance becomes very great, the sacrifice is loss of self. When I look through tabloid and society magazines, sometimes, all I do is laugh. I honestly do admire the men because no matter the wealth, men always do manage to look elegant in their simplicity. Certainly, there are some exceptions, but it is the women that amaze me more, because all in the bid to look beautiful, glamorous and be called a “diva” they end up starving themselves thin, douse their bodies with body oils that leave a false polished skin. Have you ever seen a woman look so beautiful in her natural self and admitted that she stood out in the crowd of factory made beauties? I have never met Nike Oshinowo, Nigeria’s one time beauty queen but I believe she is one of the world’s most beautiful people because she does not need too much to be beautiful. 

The bottom line is, while craving for acceptance, one loses touch with one’s natural self and what one sees is someone who is entirely different from the natural beauty that the creative God had perfectly made.

         By creation, God has put uniqueness in us that others do not have. Hence, we can be like someone but never that someone. The problem is that we spend so little or no time at all in discovering whom we really are. Each of us is unique and special. The individual is that person within us that really is us. The exterior is perishable but never the interior because the interior is the soul of man. I once knew a girl who told me she hated herself because she didn’t see anything special about herself. I had told her she was wrong but she preferred to count other people’s “pluses” against her “loses.”

I believe strongly that for as long as I have the same members of the body as others; and have equal opportunity given to every one of us by God, I don’t think I should ever think less of myself. Probably the only advantage others may have over me is financial but that can’t determine one’s destiny


         The individual is our true beauty and is all that matters so I say this: You are who you are; nobody can change that. Clothes beautify but can’t add or remove the uniqueness that God has created in you. You are special, so celebrate you today!  



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