Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder. But does it? I wonder who came up with that well-worn, but much loved aphorism. Sometimes, I wonder whether the females apostles of that saying use it as balm to soothe an aching and lovelorn heart, assuring it that a shining Prince Charming is just down the corner.
Well, it’s time to wake up and smell the coffee.
If there’s anything I learnt from the MGBN (Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria) pageant, it’s that beauty has a definition. It may be an unwritten definition but it is a definition nonetheless. All those MBGN contestants are delightful to look at; real eye candy, I wonder how those judges make the final decision. You’ve barely begun to savor the pristine beauty of Miss Lagos when the drop-dead gorgeous Miss Anambra sashays down the walkway. Society is adept at speaking from both sides of the mouth. It belts out fancy rhetoric, “Every woman is beautiful”, “You’re beautiful the way you are”, ” If Agbani Darego can do it, you can”, blah, blah, blah. Yet, we know that there is no way a fat chick will contest, talk less of win, MBGN. They-who-must-not-be-named will tell you, with unspoken word, that the line between ‘curvy and voluptuous’ and ‘fat and shapeless’ is very thin, even blurred.
The typical ‘beautiful girl’ is slender like a lily, her smile is so beautiful. We love to hear her laugh. She is so easy to look at, a sight for sore eyes. People love being with her. She is a work of art. Maybe, her farts don’t even stink. Who knows whether they have a fruity fragrant odor? Lol
Deep down in their closets, most girls know this. They want to be beautiful but can’t see it. They pose like models and dress up real cute but, in this instance, clothes don’t make the man(or woman). Lipstick, eyeliner, mascara and Brazilian hair are recruited in large numbers but when our plain Jane looks in the mirror, she still doesn’t like what she sees. Some bump it up a notch with cosmetic surgery and . . .nope . . . they still hate themselves. A few can live with it, knowing a happy life doesn’t depend (totally) on looks. Others just can’t.
On bleaching, it’s realistic to say that society factors fair women as beautiful. Lupita Nyong’o and Alek Wek are beacons of black beauty, but they are privileged exceptions. Dencia and Whitenicious will continue to spread because there will always be a demand, however subconscious, for light-skinned women. Imagine what it would look like if the next MBGN was black as night!
There is this concept that has been peddled around for quite a while. It is called ‘inner beauty ‘. Methinks it came with the ‘ religionisation ‘ of mankind, but that is a topic for another day. Suffice it to say that the current MBGN pageant is for the beauty you can see. Whether Ben Murray Bruce and his elite band of silvery merry men decide to organize a pageant for ‘ inner beauty ‘ is out of my league.
My question is simple. If I don’t fit into society’s definition of beauty, am I ugly? Sometimes, life abhors gray and comes in black and white. Excelsior!