(Photo Credit: Dreamstime)
The world is full of people whose greatest fear is to be exposed. For who they are, for what they believe, or for their imperfections. I suppose from the time Adam and Eve partook of the tree of knowledge of good and evil and subsequently covered themselves with fig tree leaves, we have been attempting to cover up who we really are. Perhaps we are afraid of what others will think if they really knew us, or maybe it’s a stigma that society places on us through media and other propaganda. Whatever the reason is, we have been programmed to hide.
I think most women would agree that cosmetic make-up is not only amazing, but can also prove to be borderline miraculous! One of my favorite things to watch on television is a makeover show. They take a lady who maybe isn’t the best dresser, doesn’t make time for grooming her hair, and either doesn’t wear any make-up, or wears the wrong kind of make-up. By simply giving her a color, cut, the right make-up for her skin/eye/cheekbone type, and a new outfit they, in essence, can create a new woman! She isn’t really any different as it relates to her belief system and the core of who she truly is, but this new look gives her an opportunity to showcase a better version of herself.
I am all for putting your best foot forward and presenting yourself well with a good outfit, hairdo and “beat” face, but I often wonder if it’s more than fashion, but a cover up of our own personal truth. A few years ago I decided to go natural with my hair. Since I was a very young girl, I had been getting relaxers, or permanents (perms) in my hair to make it straight, to make it manageable for others and for me. We are bombarded with images of celebrities, models and members of other races with straight hair and the world tells you that you are not beautiful if your hair is coarse or kinky. Take it a step further and you need this beauty product or make-up to make you acceptable for others to look at, but I wanted to know what I really looked like, the way God created me.
When I finally made the choice to stop putting chemicals in my hair, the first months were really rough. I didn’t recognize the “curly head” girl in the mirror staring back at me. I was uncomfortable wearing it that way and would continue to flatiron it as often as I could. I also received mixed reactions from others. Some cheering me on and others told me, to my face, that they liked my hair better straight. If they weren’t bold enough to say that, they would wait until I flat ironed it again to tell me how nice my hair looked, and how much they liked it. Really? It made me feel like the way God made me wasn’t good enough. Like when he envisioned “Kenika”, he saw this slim chick with super curly hair, and a determined attitude. But everyone else told her somewhere along the way that this look didn’t suit her.
Ladies have you ever gone a day without your make-up? Or maybe you’ve stepped out to the grocery story with your hair thrown up into a ponytail? In these scenarios if someone tells us we’re pretty/beautiful/cute or compliments us, the first thing we say is, “Oh I look a mess!” Then we go into just how much effort we did not put into our look that day. As if someone acknowledging us without all the fuss, and saying we are beautiful, embarrasses us. We should embrace these moments and create opportunities to be our natural, beautiful selves. The more you get used to looking at you without all the bells and whistles, the more confident you will become to show people who you really are. Remind yourself that you are beautiful either way and you’ll grow more comfortable in your own skin. I still flatiron my hair, but I wear it curly as well. I still wear make up, but on the days when I choose to give my face a break, I give myself a break too.