I remember when I got my first weave.
I was in college and I had been regularly wearing my hair in braids, because it was just easier to manage. My hair was natural, African hair (i.e. no relaxer) and I had not quite learned to style it up until that point. I don’t know why I decided to get a weave, but I remember feeling like everyone would know it was a weave and people would make fun of me, or worse, think I was trying to be cute!
Yes, that was a real fear of mine. Looking back, I think that fear came from a deep-seated belief that I just was not cute and if I tried to dress up like I was trying to be, people would expose me for the imposter I was.
Strangely enough, nobody said anything. However, somewhere inside, I was constantly feeling some sense of guilt that I was being complimented for something that really wasn’t reflective of who I considered myself to be.
Now-a-days, I wear weaves on-and-off. Mostly I wear weaves for special occasions like weddings, etc. There definitely is a difference in the way people treat you when you are all “dolled up”. People look at you longer. People listen more. Whether you like it or not, appearance matters!
We talk a lot about transformations here on Ladies Again. We are constantly trying to encourage our readers to give up the baggy jeans and tennis shoes and invest in make up and push up bras! However, we understand why this can be difficult for many women. Some women feel like putting on make up and spending time on their hair is being fake or selling out.
People feel this way for a lot of reasons. For me, it was because I spent so much of my childhood as the wallflower who secretly envied the pretty girls yet was surrounded by negative friends (read: feminists in the making) who were constantly talking smack about those girls. They would say things like:
- Those girls are stuck up
- Those girls are not that smart
- Those girls are mean
- Those girls don’t make good girlfriends/wives
Yet as time went on, I met and became friends with many beautiful women who were kind, generous, devoted, and loyal wives, sisters, friends and girlfriends. On top of that, many of my male friends who were constantly talking smack about the pretty girls to me, secretly had crushes on many of these girls.
Eventually, I had to get over the lies that I had been fed all those years that those girls were somehow a different caliber of people. Ultimately, I had to get rid of this whole idea that somehow wearing makeup, nice clothes and a cute hairstyle does something to your insides as well.
I mentioned in a previous post that I wanted to talk about how to be universally appealing without selling out. That’s what I hope to do here.
My biggest fear
I’m a Christian, and a very strong one at that. I believe in Jesus, forgiveness and heaven. I believe that the world is full of corruption and a relationship with God is our only hope for salvation. Unfortunately, somehow, in the lessons I learned about being a good Christian, somewhere along the lines I consumed a message that said that “pretty girls like to sin”. It was probably jealous friends who hung out with the frumpy crowd (of which I was among at the time). The fact of the matter is that everyone sins, the Bible even says so; and some of those girls who were hating on the pretty girls were also exploring their fleshly desires in secret corners with horny guys as well.
I would like to express that after all those years hiding my beauty and standing back while the pretty girls got to pick which guy they wanted, I eventually began spending time with some of these beautiful ladies. After getting to know them, I found that many of them were just like me, and that the only difference between pretty girls and ugly girls is the time they spend on their appearance.
Putting it in plainer terms: pretty girls have the same insecurities and feel the same pain that everyone else does. The only difference is that they look really good while they’re experiencing it.
Selling it versus selling out
The issue of selling out who you are to get a date or to fit in with a group of people is a legitimate issue, though. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying it isn’t. There are cliques that will literally try to haze you before accepting you as one of them (and acceptance may still not be guaranteed after that).
I want to get one thing straight. This point I’m about to make is so important that I’m going to leave it at that, because if you don’t understand anything else in this article, try your best to understand this. Here it is: repackaging yourself is just so that you can get people to look and you do not have to completely change who you are (eg. values, morals, etc.)
Once you have mastered this, and guys are going out of their way to talk to you, you will be in a better position to get the guy of your dreams, because you’ll have many more guys to choose from!
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Author: African Femininity
African Femininity is a first generation American-born Nigerian. That basically means, her parents were immigrants and raised her with a mix of selective cultural values from both traditions. Needless to say, this left her with a very dissonant understanding of what being a “lady” meant. Now, as an un-married 30 year old woman, she is on a mission to delve to the root of being a woman in a world where conflicting cultural values and traditions are leaving many confused and disillusioned. She use the power of the pen to defend a woman’s right to choose her own lifestyle: be it housewife, social climber or being conventionally employed. Check out her Amazon author page for books written by her at http://amazon.com/author/shadowjackson