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Adda B Say So:Makeup Wahala,What A Sorry!

By Fatima Zahra Umar

Recently Bilki and I have started fighting over makeup. The daughter is now 8 years old and she has started stealing (taking) my lipstick and powder. This behaviour surprises and scares me at the same time. It surprises me because I am not one for makeup. All this while I have been pumping self-esteem messages into this child, she has had her eye on my lipstick and foundation. It scares me because I also fear the effect it will have on how she sees herself eventually. I fear that she will grow up thinking that her beauty is only limited to the colors on her face. God Forbid.

I am also concerned that my rigidity towards painting her face might make her not as feminine as she should be. I mean I didn’t really wear makeup till my late 20’s when I started aging. From 25 I started to need panel beating for my face unlike when I was a happening babe. But that is a story for another day. *sips Ribena

Times have really changed or it is only now that one is becoming aware of these unhealthy images that bombard our girls every single day? Everywhere on social media, on TV, even among friends girls are constantly being made to feel less beautiful if they do not have contour abi is it contouring? These days to be beautiful your eyebrows must be on fleek, your lips matte (or matted?) and your eyes must be popping!! Things are so bad that brothers are now saying they have to pour water on a prospect’s face to be sure he is marrying the same face!

In all this madness what are we teaching our girls? That a face beat is more important than a character beat. We as a society are teaching them that packaging is way more important than the substance within. Like my cousin would say: What a sorry!

When I was a young girl, my parents did not encourage make up of any kind. My mother still only has white powder and kwalli(don’t they all?) as makeup for special occasions. My father always told us that makeup distracts people from your brainpower and that’s what I grew up with. He used to tell us that women who wear excessive makeup were covering up for their intellectual incapacity and empty character (before the feminists come for my dear old man, let me categorically state here that he is a Marxist Academic with Strict Professor spectacles)

So as with everything mom related, I turned to Jaruma’s in house expert on mummy affairs, Adama Aliyu for advice for me and other clueless mums on makeup for our daughters, and she had this to say:

‘I remember way back when I was in primary school in Lagos, my mom will make me wear eyeliner (kwalli, not even the kajal type, the powder one that could get messy fast) to school, sometimes my teachers will ask me to wipe it off because makeup wasn’t allowed. Ugh! We didn’t consider it make up, my mom will say, tell them it’s our custom and tradition to wear kwalli.Custom kor, they no gree that one oh. I didn’t even like it because I used to feel things moving around in my eyes so I used that as an excuse to wear it less and less unless I was forced.

But that is not the case at all in recent times. My girls love wearing makeup, if I would let them, they will wear eyeliner and lip gloss every day, even eye shadow and mascara, maybe not to school but after school and on weekends, especially when they wear traditional wears. Times have indeed changed.

At 8 and 6 years old, they know how to use makeup, I didn’t even teach them, at some point I used   to send them to wipe it off but I guess it’s not so bad if it’s not an everyday thing right?……. Right?

A friend of mine was visiting; she’s mama boys, like I’m mama girls. We were supposed to go out and I was running late so I asked her to dress up my 3 year old so that I could get ready sharp sharp. It took her like one minute to rub pomade and wear clothes and I was like ‘is that all? What is that?’

She said: ‘Abeg u know say I no sabi all this girly stuff, all we do is run the comb in the hair (if there’s hair), rub pomade, and wear clothes, then dash out’.

So I now told her, to brush hair, dust some powder on the face and neck and rub some Vaseline on the lips. My point is, it’s our fault as mothers, early on they see us using make up, so they want to follow along now, especially if the makeup case is easily accessible to them.

Parents are struggling to make up their minds about the makeup culture. Applying makeup has shifted from a teenage rite of passage to something little ladies now go gaga over in a selfie-obsessed culture.

So, we really need to know where to draw the line, all the TV they are watching is enough to make them want to try new things out, Disney has become something else, even the Disney Junior we think is safe is not so safe anymore, all channels must be monitored closely.

They already grow up too fast, I feel like letting them start wearing makeup early on is just encouraging them loose their innocence faster. It doesn’t help at all that Barbie and Disney princesses are all made up, some even come with their makeup kits…… Sigh!

It’s very important for parents to communicate with their daughters that they love them just the way they are, and the way they look is not the most important thing. Teach them that their inner beauty is what really defines them, not some sparkle dust or expensive MAXFACTOR.

How old should a CHILD be before they’re allowed to use makeup? Is it a slippery slope to let children mess with makeup or is it just harmless imaginary play? ‘

Abi how una see am?

Kill them with the love and kindness (with or without makeup) Because Adda B Say SO


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