Yep that’s me in that photo above↑. I am in my master bathroom with horrible lighting, no make-up, face washed and nothing on my face except Olay Total Effects night cream! I wrote this to encourage my fellow sisters about loving yourself and finding your own inner beauty. There are a lot of “Negative Nancy’s” when it comes to this issue of wearing make-up. Some people try to make us feel bad for wearing make-up.
I want to share my experience to dispel some of the myths! I love make-up, love the way I look when I am wearing it ( and more importantly my hubby thinks I am Fab with my make-up, I love you babe!). But, even without anything on my face, I am happy enough with my natural self to smile and blast my photo on the world wide web! CRAZY huh? Yeah, I know right! (smile) I sincerely hope my story will encourage some of you lovelies out there!
One thing that my mother taught me was to never be ashamed to be a brown-skinned girl. She taught me to love myself, and love my skin the way God made me. (Mom, for that I will always be grateful!) With that being said, it was not easy growing up as a brown-skinned girl whose family was from Nigeria. We always lived in predominantly caucasian neighborhoods and I was generally the only child of color at any event in elementary school.
I learned how to ignore the negative names and prejudicial assumptions that people made based on the color of my skin and ethnic heritage. Although my mother worked hard to make sure that my sister and I did not have self-esteem issues, I was not really proud of being a “darker skinned” girl or Nigerian for that matter. I grew weary of constantly having to combat the ignorance of people both black and white. I heard all sorts of negative commentary – “Girl, you are too dark to wear all that color“, “oh you are cute to be dark skinned”, “oh you are cute for an African“, I mean the list goes on an on!
It was not until I started my freshman year of college that I really began to find my identity and learned to appreciate being a young woman of color. Here I was, 17 years old on the campus of one of the largest universities in the country. I had new independence and was in class with many other young people all struggling to find their own identity!
The one pivotal moment that changed my perception was the day I met Bob (a caucasian male) during a Sophomore seminar class. We had to wear name tags and interact with people that we did not know ( you know those ice breaker games..sometimes you hate them, sometimes they are okay…smile). So, here I was chatting with Bob and he said to me “You are one of the prettiest girls I have ever seen”, in that one phrase every negative thing that I have ever heard just went POOF and VANISHED. It was amazing! (smile)
That moment just sealed the deal for me! I never saw Bob again, I don’t even think he stayed in the class! lol….. But I was determined to embrace who I was and remember what my mother taught me. I decided that I was going to enjoy my life, be kind to people, let them see my inner beauty and re-invent myself! I started wearing bright, bold colors and I made sure that I looked and smelled good every day. I never wasted my time with anyone who did not value me for who I was!
My lovely ladies both young and old I encourage you to do the same. If make-up makes you feel pretty then watch You-Tube videos about how to apply it correctly! But please do not use make-up as a cover up for your insecurities. Be happy with yourself, be okay with how you look without make-up. Love the image that you see in the mirror before you put anything on! If you do that, your inner beauty will flow from the inside to the outside and people will see it, admire it and you will be a beautifully happy woman!
The Mac, Lancome, Clinique, Bobbi Brown, Revlon, Cover Girl are all just tools that we can use to enhance what the Lord gave us!