Beauty is in the eye of the “beer holder”

16th March 2017
Social Beat
Column

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By Keletso Thobega -


This other nincompoop got much less than he bargained for when he got lucky with a yellow-bone one night... or so he thought. This chap was at a drinking hole, enjoying his tipple when he locked eyes with a beauty who made his heart skip a beat.

She had long hair, smooth caramel skin, a gorgeous smile and delightful hourglass figure. The man was convinced that she was conceived on a Sunday with Luther Vandross ballads playing in the background because her beauty could only be summed up in song. The urgency of getting close to her intensifed and he was consumed with a curiousity to get intimate with her.

As the night progressed, they got together and by the wee hours of the morning, she was giggling in his house. The man was convinced that his ‘gods of copulation’ loved him because she agreed to a roll in the hay. She then took off her hair, which was a wig and while he was disappointed, he kept quiet.
She then excused herself to go and wash her face and when she returned, gone was the smooth glowing skin; she had unsightly dark patches. As he was still coming to terms with this sight, she removed her teeth, which were dentures. By now the man was frightened because in his eyes, she looked like a cross between a constipated hyena and newborn rat.

As she sat down and fiddled with her legs, the man was horrified. Mind you he was also drunk, so his mind, which was now working overtime, convinced him that she was about to dissemble her legs. The now hysterical man shouted: Ijoo, batho thusang, motho o a fela!

Sometimes you might spot a lass who looks close to Kim Kardashian and later realise that she is in fact a Somizi or Macy Gray look-alike. Thanks to make-up, most women, even those who are naturally facially challenged, can be pretty and beautiful. The contention over the use of make-up and other “enhancing” products is how for one it lightens the skin and how it can “trick” a man. There is no doubt that make-up makes many women feel glamorous and confident but its appearance feeds a fantasy. It is impractical for it to be worn daily. In fact, constant use of make-up has been known to destroy the natural skin.

It is undisputable that make-up can give any woman a confidence boost, however, what is the use of a pretty face without depth, substance, personality, love and humility for one? Obsession with facial beauty is frivolous but in our vapid and shallow world, it means the world to many people. The value of the beauty industry is estimated at $265 billion and is expected to increase as technology improves.  This is an industry that feeds off convincing women that they are not good enough; that they can look better and that looking better will give them a perfect life.

Black women in particular, are often made to feel that they are restricted in what is appropriate for them – their bodies, clothes, make-up and over all appearance. Make-up is also assumed to mean women want to look white, particularly if she also spots long fake hair and the works. The debate of the remnants of colonialism and intellectually and mentally colonised perceptions I will leave for another day but we cannot disregard that most so-called modern black women look to the west for inspiration for their looks.

While a lot of women wear make-up to look and feel good, it is still assumed that men are the ultimate judges of beauty to the point that some men arrogantly assume that the effort women put into their appearance is about them. At the end of the day, beauty is subjective. It is a case of different strokes for different folks. There are the proud Koko Ya Setswana like yours truly, and those who believe in exaggerating their appearance with make-up.

But all women are a work of art – their strong points and so-called imperfections tell a beautiful story – from the acne, marks, scars, stretch marks, cellulite and so forth, they tell a story of a life worthy to be celebrated. As for the external beauty, perhaps we should leave the verdict to the beer holder!




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