The six-year-old girl sat in the corner of the salon wailing in anguish each time the afro-comb came near her hair. “Auntie, the hair is paining,” she cried, tears streaming down her face.
By Keturah Kamugasa
The six-year-old girl sat in the corner of the salon wailing in anguish each time the afro-comb came near her hair. “Auntie, the hair is paining,” she cried, tears streaming down her face. But when the hairdresser suggested either stopping the combing or cutting off the hair, the young girl wept.
“No, no, auntie, I want long hair!” So she had to bear with the pain of having her hair straightened with a blow dryer and afro-comb. As soon as the hair dresser was done, the little girl gazed admiringly at her reflection in the mirror and said, “Auntie, I have stopped crying now, I am smart!”
Women are taught very early in life that there is no beauty without pain. I am sure many of you can relate. Do you recall those early morning tears as your mother or maid got you ready for school? Yes, you wanted to look pretty, but the kaweke (kinky hair) on your head was just too tight and painful to comb.
But tears soon turned to a broad smile at the sight of the beautiful ribbon adorning your hair. You could not wait to go to school and sat at the edge of the car seat lest your parents drove past the school! And what about those times when the maid pushed your head firmly between her thighs while plaiting your hair? Woe unto you if she was one for bad personal hygiene! Your head seemed to be locked between her thighs for eternity.
I strongly believe that corsets were designed to test a woman’s threshold for pain. Originally made of whalebones, they left some women with fractured ribs — all in the name of beauty. A corset is able to turn a broad waist into an enviable wasp like waist and I very well know.
I have three corsets in my closet, two fashion ones and an orthopeadic one. I have a love-hate relationship with all three. My favourite one (and I say this grudgingly) is the one that transforms my figure from flabby and shapeless to toned and curvy in a flash.
However, it is so tight that when I eat, I feel as if the food is stuck in my throat! I also have to sit very carefully. The good news is that it is great for posture and portion control and, of course, many people come up to me to find out what diet I am on or the gym I am attending!
It is all about vanity actually because the compliments I get make up for the major discomfort I have to endure for the duration I have the damned undergarment on. Even going for a pee becomes a huge task. First you have to undo about 20 tiny hooks, answer nature’s call and then hook yourself up again. If you have a running tummy, you need all the breaks you have to avoid soiling yourself as you undo the blasted hooks.
Many women have a terrible relationship with food and yet it is supposed to nurture our bodies. We either eat too much or too little. That is why even when a woman is naturally slim, she will want to deceive other womenfolk that she eats one meal a day to stay in shape.
It is like a sin for a girl to admit that she actually does eat. Other women might not think she is worthy of the title, ‘woman’ unless she admits to experiencing some degree of pain or discomfort in her quest for beauty.
Yes, there are women who do work out and are very careful about what they eat. Susie has never been slim, but she hits the gym five times a week, has one major meal a day, does not eat red meat and only uses olive oil in her cooking. A bottle of mineral water is one of her major accessories.
“I have fat genes and I know that I have to work hard if I am to avoid diabetes and other lifestyle-related illnesses,” she says. Monica has a weighing scale and is an expert at calorie counting. She will quickly tell you how many calories your restaurant food contains. What a put off. She’s someone you avoid hanging out with unless you’re fasting.
With skyscraper heels being in vogue now, many women are suffering in silence. You see them teetering on impossibly high heels while trying to walk elegantly. The wise ones keep a pair of flats in the car and under their desk at the office so they can take off the offending footwear when the public is not watching.
However, there are those who insist in walking all day in heels and having to pay a chiropractor and physiotherapist more than what they spent on the killer heels. But hey, the end justifies the means.
What can I say about these artificial nails except that they are a necessary evil? They come with many advantages like nail polish staying put for weeks, nails always looking elegant and chic plus they are really glamorous.
But I can tell you that there are many women walking around with damaged nails because of their love affair with acrylics. These nails (powder nails, gel nails, acrylics, etc) are quite addictive. They appeal to your sense of vanity like nothing else.
I think that beauty that causes more harm than good is not worth it in the long run. That is why I will not be wearing artificial nails for a while! What about you?
Does beauty have to be painful?