Don’t you just hate really feminine women?
They just make being a woman look really easy. The truth is that I am so envious of them, I actually feel like puking when I see them.
Are you a bit confused?
Ok… let me explain.
A woman passed by me at the market today. It was almost 5pm. She was dressed flawlessly in a beaded Ankara top and a smart pair of jeans. Her black mules had no dust and her toes were perfectly manicured. Not a single strand of hair was out of place. She even had a ribbon that pinned part of the hair at the side. Her face was professionally done and her skin was obviously well cared for. She was smiling and spoke with the perfect female voice. Not shrilly high or shemale low.
The worst part was the cloud of perfume that floated around her.
I was upset.
How do they do it?
I am in my late 30s and I don’t know how they always put themselves together like that.
Me at the market 5pm means I am coming from work and had to stop by to buy stuff for dinner. I would be wearing palm sandals having dumped my shoes in the back seat. There is no working air conditioning in my office so I cannot try wearing makeup. No, that is not the truth. Even if there was, I find making up very tiring. Sure I can do it for a photo shoot or once in a while. But to ‘pancake’ my face every single day is not why I came to this earth. Besides, my job requires that I be outdoors a lot. Ok, ok, no excuses, I am not a makeup person.
I would not be in the market looking all pink and flower smelling with demure monalisa smiles by 5pm. Heck even when I am on vacation, market runs are hurriedly pulled over tops, the closest pair of trousers and either my white or black palm sandals. If I have a weave on, there will be no earrings, if I have my short hair I will look for clip on earrings so that I don’t have to bother with nuts and bolts. Makeup? Lol! Whatever for?
There are women that do a beauty routine every single day and it is not a chore to them.
Step 1. Wake up very early and pray.
Step 2. Some facial mask or mud or scrub or whatever those thingies they put on the face before having a bath are. Brush teeth, floss teeth and use mouthwash.
Step 3. The actual bath itself is a complicated 1hour ritual. Use bathing gloves to exfoliate, use pumice stone to scrub soles of feet. Some drops of salvon in the water. Scrub and rinse, scrub and rinse. Repeat till satisfied.
Step 4: Cleaning of outer and inner ears with cotton buds and stare at the mirror looking for only God knows what.
Step 5: Special creams for the knees and elbows and knuckles, special oil for face back and feet. Some SPF kini ko for other places. There is plenty of massaging of the cream into the body like kneading of bread.
Step 6: This step actually started the night before. She pondered and selected what she wanted to wear the previous day. It was ironed and hung waiting for this step 6. Carefully selected tissue like panties and lace bras. Waist trainers and spanx is wriggled into.
Step 7: Accessories that compliment the chosen outfit. Earrings, bracelets, wristwatch, necklace, rings and all the gbo gbo sturves. Note that some upbeat music has to be playing in the background.
Step 8: Makeup. In the past, this was white talc, an eye pencil and lipstick. If you were adventurous, then some eye shadow. These days (I have to pause and shake my head), I do not even know half of what is used. Primers, contour brushes, liquid foundations, colour E something something powder, highlighting stuff, blushing stuff, different layers of stuff, eye shadows, eyelashes, mascara, fillers… I am tired biko. The things can fit into a suitcase, a large one.
Step 9: The hair. Brushes, oils, sprays, edge control and all the other things women use.
Step 10. Select shoes and bag. Make sure the bag contains everything needed in case they need a fresh coat of paint during the day.
Step 11: Perfume carefully sprayed behind the ears, the inside of wrists and liberally all over.
After all these steps, she may not even be going out.
Me on the contrast.
I wake up late and contemplate whether I want to lose weight badly enough to stumble to the gym.
Step one. I brush my teeth and BAFF (not to be confused with bathe)
Step 2: Where did I keep that oil they said is good for African skin but I have not seen any change? Rub it hurriedly.
Step 3: Grab some clothes and be angry that a bra is absolutely necessary. Girdle? Why make myself uncomfortable? Am I the first person to have a big stomach? What clothes don’t need ironing? Ok, that top and can I wear capri pants to the office today? No that is too much. I will wear jeans.
Step 4: roll on and perfume. I am considerate.
Step 5: Snatch my purse, my laptop bag, water and flask and remember on time to wear wedding band and earrings and a wristwatch.
Step 6: I wear whatever shoes are presentable and close to the door on my way out.
Step 7: I comb my hair peering at my car side mirror.
I get to the office and realise my feet are white. Not to worry, I have a permanent jar of Vaseline in my car.
But come to think of it, why am I angry at such women?
They take their time to look good, it matters to them.
It matters to me to look good, I am just not patient enough.
When conversing with such women, I feel like a man. I don’t really want to talk about 7 different ways to make Jollof or where to buy the full frontal lace wig. I want to argue about politics, or speak on gender issues or anything aggressive. Such women go mute when you speak about things that require raised voices, furrowed brows or unladylike laughter.
I mentioned hair beht I have to go back once more. These dainty ladies have new hairstyles every other week. Up dos, down dos, Ghana weaving, dreads, million braids… see this million braids baffles me the most. How will I patiently sit for braids so tiny that you would need a needle to loosen them? Do they have butts of steel? I would literally rather watch grey paint dry.
Back to the girly girls.
They naturally make men want to do things for them.
“Wait, the door is difficult to open… there I have opened it with my big muscles and I have a big wallet and equally big penis if you need that as well.”
Ok, the second part is silent. But such women are so toastable, they should be baked, sliced and placed in a cellophane bag ready for breakfast.
I have some sisters that are this way. You open their bags and you will see.
1. Neat makeup bag with already sharpened eye pencils and no broken powder.
2. A wallet with money neatly arranged according to denomination. No folded and stuffed change lying about. ATM cards, ID cards and relevant business cards
3. A hidden compartment with a sanitizer, mouth spray, tiny tube of lotion, sanitary pad/tampon, panty liners and a little sample perfume spray.
4. Hair brush with not a single strand of hair entangled.
I think they were made this way. Naturally deliciously feminine. When I was in secondary school, my morning work at one point was to clean toilets. I was in Hostel B (to show you I am not lying…). One of the seniors was in the toilet and I had to wait for her. She took a while so I guess it was no 2 she was doing. She came out and I did not have much time to clean. I quickly scrunched my nose to wash the toilet. My people, na so I walked into a delicate flowery scented toilet. NO SMELL. And guess what, she was in her nightgown, she hadn’t even had a bath. I have so much respect for her, I feel it’s a bummer that she even shits.
Sometimes, I sit down and think about my life. I then go to a beauty shop to buy some products.
They ask me my powder colour and I truly don’t know. They look at me like ‘this woman is not serious.’
I don’t know any products I react to. I simply never use anything consistently to attach a reaction to any particular product. After I buy, for the next 3 days I will be a diva harrumphing at all those careless women that don’t bother.
But a stream eventually meanders to the source. I still go back to me.
Now what was the point of all I just wrote?
Not every day preach.
Some days just gist without a point.
No vex, but una know say I be like dis ba?
Signed Obiageli Fire (Biodun is a lady, Obia wrote this article. Of course.)
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