THE ANCIENT SAYING THAT IS STILL full of wisdom is that “Not all that glitters are gold.” Many spouses, but especially, husbands, have woken up to a nightmare when they suddenly realize that their beautiful spouses are anything but beautiful. Beauty needs no recommendation, it is plainly seen by all. Beauty needs no embellishment, there is nothing to make up, it is unique and does not need anything to conceal or enhance. Makeups hide the reality, but because makeups are intended to present a beautiful face to the world, it is always hiding something, it may be pimples, flat nose, or rectangular chin or facial discoloration or as often is the case in Nigeria, dark skin, etc. When it is not hiding something, makeups are often designed to enhance something, such as a beautiful face, or good eyeballs, aka “sexy eyes” or luscious lips. In essence – makeups deal with a world of make belief which is often far from reality. The beauty created is thus essentially fleeting, it is like chaff that is blown away, no wonder, ladies thus beautified avoid the rains and swimming pools, lest some errant water smear the beautiful layer and reveal the covered imperfections.

Why would you lay a new foundation if there is one already? Why would you conceal if it is not ugly or unpleasant or an aberration? Why would you enhance if it is perfect? People do all these because of their preconceived notion of beauty that they need to conform to. The make belief world of Makeup is a microcosm of the nation called Nigeria – It is a nation founded on half truths and false hopes. Hence, the ship of our nation is foundering at anchor, unable to sail to new found lands of economic development, political stability and technological advancement. Nigeria is a make-up nation, neither British nor American. Our youth are restless at home and our adults yearn for home in their sojourn. In truth, there is no core to hold our reality and our beauty is only skin deep.

In the past and to well -meaning adults, the admonition is to appreciate oneself, and then assert yourself instead of waiting for external affirmation. These are the things that make-ups undermine. Make ups is premised on the notion that you are not good enough and you need to be “tushed” up, so that you can display a celebrity-like face and posture.

Do not get me wrong! I know you must work to realize your dreams. Hence, you must wake from your dream to realize it. Everyone of us must work at it and as Gary Player once observed “The harder you work, the luckier you get.” This is not the same as presenting a false front. It is important to remember that in the right light and at the right time, everything is extraordinary. But what happens when you have lost yourself in becoming like someone else? As someone one said, “You were born an original, do not become a copy of someone else.”

Every reality is a possibility, waiting for perfection, waiting to reach full potentials, but the foundation must not be rocked, otherwise the whole edifice will crumble. The Chinese sage Lao-Tzu warned us a long time ago that “when you are content to be simply yourself and don’t compare or compete, everyone will respect you.”

Until we face the reality of who we are, we cannot make a headway.  Who we are in the depth of our heart is the building block of our destiny, the springboard for success and there is no other way to start from that point. However, today, too many people are paying too much attention to the material things of life, to the passing things of life, to the ephemerals, to surface beauty instead of internal strength and beauty. We are human beings, we are not the sum of our looks.

What then is the way out of this conundrum? After creation, God entrusted the world to us to till and look after. We are thus called to be co-creator with God. So instead of making up – create yourself anew. Focus on important things: Like the eagle, fly; like gold, be valuable. Like the Sun, shine bright. Like the river, flow unlimited; like the palm tree, flourish and like money, be useful.” All these have nothing to do with making up, they deal with core matters. Then time is of the essence, each of us has only one life, we should not spend it making-up and covering up, but recreating new opportunities for ourselves. It was Jim Bagnail who says that “The most profound choice in life is to either accept things as they exist or to accept the responsibility for changing them.” Are you ready for that, or do you still want to make up?


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