I want to be beautiful but-

I want to be beautiful but-

Beauty, a concept we have been taught since our childhood to crave yet one that holds heavy burdens on its shoulders in whichever context it may be used. I suppose you could say the same about any concept but today let us take a dive into beauty in the professional /intellectual world.

Do you have a desire to put more effort into your appearance?

Do have a desire to be more beautiful?

Raise your hand if your answer is yes and plead guilty to the so-called sin known as the pursuit of beauty.
Hello guilty people…
This is nothing to be ashamed of.

The problem…

One day, I was talking to my cousin about a female classmate of mine who always looked snatched. She is always well dressed and her make up is always well done.
“There is this girl in my class who always looks snatched everyday. Her eyebrows always look good, her makeup is great and her hair is always on-point”

“It’s so sad that an intelligent girl who is doing architecture is a slay queen”

“Wait? What? What makes you think that? This girl doesn’t chase sponsors or boys. She is amongst the top students in my class. She is not a slay queen.”

Then I tried to explain that this girl is classy , her makeup is not overdone and person X proceeded to insist that she was still a slay queen. Actually, whether her makeup was subtle or red_carpet worthy does not make her a slay queen(which in this context would mean a girl who dresses up to attract sponsors).

I often find that predominantly male or more abstract and considerably tougher fields of study tend to put women in a box painted with stereotypes and assumptions. Putting in significant effort into your appearance makes you a slay queen: a female who has nothing to offer to the world other than her appearance; a female who is neither capable or competent enough to advance herself thus has to rely on others for economic empowerment.

I have always wanted to put in more effort into my appearance but I haven’t because I was afraid of being seen as less competent or less intelligent. However, from now on henceforth, I refuse to be shamed or feel ashamed of looking good because I am doing it for myself and no one else.

At some point in school, one of my classmates was bashed for changing her hairstyle every three weeks and she was told that she wasn’t doing any work. I have seen lecturer’s subtly look down on female students who put in effort in their appearance. Lecturers have glamourized going without baths before a presentation because they stayed up the whole night working. At some point I actually felt guilty for daring to take a bath before leaving the hostel to print work for a presentation/pinup.

Some of my female classmates have been harassed by male counterparts when they put in effort(for example putting on a dress or putting on makeup). The sad part of this situation is that they don’t speak up against these humans. As a result, some of my female classmates are afraid of putting in effort for fear of being harassed. If they do get harassed, they speak of it in hush-hush tones for fear of being told that they were asking for it. This whole situation is saddening.

As a girl with average academic performance, I tend to think that I am unworthy of putting in more effort into my appearance because I haven’t proved that I have ‘enough’ brains to back it up. I feel that I should get closer to the top students before I earn the right to be pretty in peace, without anyone saying that I am an airhead. I fear that the boundaries I have established in my class setting will be destroyed. I fear what people will think of me.

What is going on?

A good portion of us have been guilty of looking down on ladies who put in effort into their looks especially ones who work in previously male dominated ‘prestigious’ fields. In these fields, there has been a trend where women downplay their femininity in order to blend in with the male dominated environment. I am just going to deal with the pursuit of beauty in particular. The pursuit of beauty has been deemed frivolous and thus those who engage in this pursuit can only be deemed frivolous. However, at the same time, women who shun this pursuit are looked down upon as well.

Remember the story of the man and the donkey? You are better off not listening to anyone other than yourself.

All humans desire some form of beauty and have the choice of whether or not to pursue it. Beauty represents vitality, life, power and privilege. Therefore, it is normal to desire it and pursue it. Therefore, go forth and do what thou willt.

What to do…what to do…

Number one, forgive yourself.
Wanting to be beautiful does not make you frivolous or vain You should never be ashamed of putting in effort into your appearance no matter the job or the field of study. If you want put on makeup everyday, do it. If you want to dress up all the time, do it. If you want to put in effort periodically, do it. Doing this will not diminish your intelligence or competence.

Number two, take courage.
Take a deep breathe and pursue your endeavours of putting in effort into your appearance. Just do it.
Start something today: whether you are deciding to jump into the deep end at the start or starting at the shallow end and making your way there slowly.
Feel free to make it a part of your routine especially if you have a desire to make yourself beautiful everyday. The beauty of doing this is that it eventually becomes effortless because it has now become a part of you.

Number 3, always remember who you are doing this for. It is for you and you alone. Whether it is a way to enhance self confidence or it is a source of happiness, it is all for you. Never make a third party your reason for doing this. (A third party is anyone other than yourself.)


This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Tracy Waithaka


  2. Keziah

    Good advice there. Just go for it. Wear your lipstick if you want to, it won’t reduce your intelligence!

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