Wait a minute; let’s do a little bit of clearing the air around here. This is the scenario: when we are going out, especially for a social gathering, (when it’s purely pleasure or business spiced with pleasure), why do we dress the way we do? I know I’m sounding rather philosophical here, but that’s what I’ve been asking myself.You see, there was a time I attended a certain graduation party. My hair was already fine so I didn’t bother with the hair dresser. All I needed was to hold it back with a black band because in that particular case, simplicity was elegant. I had a pedicure meticulously done; it was a red-hot colour and looked mwah!
Then, I worked on my face a little: mild eye shadow here, a little lipstick here, gloss and no talc powder, thank you. Not to mention, my African-themed outfit was ironed a day before, just to continuously keep a step further than an UMEME power cut. On top of that, I had to go to an aunt’s place to pick some shoes I’d left there sometime back because they matched the gold-coloured attire.
Come D-day, I was tiptoeing on about three-and-a-half-inched heels, after about ten minutes’ practice, struggling for balance. That is so unlike me! I could bet to keep away from heels for six months and not miss them one bit! In short, I don’t ware high heels unless they are absolutely necessary and I have a ride – in a car (obviously).
Next scenario: there was no car ride. Actually, my cousin and I were going to have to walk a distance to the taxi stage, take a matatu and then get off at another place. What’s more, the actual venue was far from the main road, so you can figure out how much I sacrificed in the name of being pleasing to the eye from head to toe yet the heels were killing me and no one gave a hoot about my nail vanish!
Who was I trying to impressing anyway? I’m sure no one noticed the extra miles I went to live up to the ‘expected standard’. Yeah, I hear you feminists. You’re probably yelling your lungs out that I should dress for me – for my personal satisfaction. But lets face it, how many times do we all put in extra effort because of both an imaginary and actual audience?
Now, last weekend, I attended a cousin’s high-profile wedding in Entebbe. Prior to that, I’d been in Gulu two weeks. My aunts were on my case, fussing that I make sure my skin is flawless by the wedding day but as far as I am concerned, by any standard, my skin is okay, thank you. In fact, you can even check it out yourselves.
One aunt particularly reminded me to work on my hair, saying she was doing the same. Finally, one asked me to go to Gulu with Fair and Lovely. You know, my skin tends to get a ton darker after a long sojourn up north. But excuse me, I like – actually love – my skin tone and I’m not about to change it. Plus, the last time I looked into the mirror, black was indeed beautiful.
Well, the big day reached and I drove down south (the bus driver actually did all the practical driving). I carried a little rebellion with me so forget the Fair and Lovely. Forget the sophisticated hair do. What manicure? That wasn’t necessary, thank you.
What it took was a wild Afro hairdo, a cute outfit, nice copper jewelry, the right tone of lipstick and compulsory high heels (okay, my feet needed a massage by late evening). I felt good and was actually hot enough to make the relevant heads turn. The difference here was that I didn’t go out of my way to impress whoever. I was just myself and managed to pull off a good impression! Don’t ask me to prove that, just do it yourself.