We Are Who We Are

It is obvious that we are clearly too concerned about our looks rather than the way we are because we allocate most of our time and resources to the care of the body, neglecting more worthwhile pursuits; or when our true identity of who we are is so dependent on how we appear to others that we can not face the world without wearing a mask. We have been slaves to deceptive and unrealistic ideals of beauty- the imperative to look forever young, perhaps!

People are plagued on their appearance because of the wide availability of shopping malls and fashion centres. Women and teen girls most especially, shop all day long, it seems to be a do or die affair to keep up with the latest fashion trends. No doubt, fashion drive them crazy. They do shopping until they are on the verge of bankruptcy.

Also, the mass media play a significant factor to this lifestyle. As television, magazines and internet present a huge number of celebrities with dreamlike appearance; people are not able to resist the desire to look better, rather to look like them.

Vouchers and discounts in addition, which is available in most shopping and beauty centres tempt people more to enhance their beauty. Sometimes, love affair is also involved for instance, in order to attract a girl, the boy can try to look as cool as her her male idol.

Apparently, people's care for their appearance do not change at all. They waste most of their time, thereby risking their lives just for a stunning look. They apply all methods to change from whom they are outwardly, but cannot change themselves inwardly ( hence they employ plastic surgeries, strict diet just in a bid to rejuvenate ) all these methods bring them more harm than good. Permanent scars and retorted faces after the wrong-going surgery and serious malnutrition and even death after the diets are the common consequences. For example, a wife of one of the one time President of Nigeria did it, but never survived. The most famous musician and dancer, late Michael Jackson, did it but had complications and many others.

Appearance make hypocrites of us all. No wonder the literary icon and monument of all generations, William Shakespeare, put it that:" the eyes of mind's construction is not written in the face ". You will agree with me that we should not judge people on their looks, but we are all guilty of that, whether we admit it or not. Lets ask ourselves these questions:

1.Why is it that the way we look and dress says so much about who we are as a person?

2. Is it really fair to say that we can tell a lot about someone by the clothes that they are wearing or the cars they are driving?

3. If this is the case, then why is it that so many in our world today try to dress like one another?

Maybe, it is because the fashion industries leave no room for self expression, or may be it is the fact that most people in the society, are insecured with how they look and so they go with what is "in vogue" according to the media.

We should not forget that no matter how many nips and tucks we indulge in, age will always have the last laugh, but who you are will be who you are. We had better start investing alternative sources of satisfaction while we can. It is not really a question of whether we should or should not wear lipstick, or dress in fine suits, but what rather matters is the meaning such self-care has for us and the role it plays in our life. People are too busy defining themselves in society's standards that they have no time to discover who they are in their own perspective. We know that proper and good appearance is necessary not only for norms but also for daily meetings and good communications.

From time onset, we Nigerians have been known to be the most fashionable people in the world. Both men and women are involved in this craze for fashion to out do each other and appear more outstanding than the other in dressing. Year after year, generation after generation different types of fashion have evolved around the world, and we have never been left out in this frenzy.

However, we must also note that there are more important things in our lives that need our care, and appearance is just one of them.

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Articles by Divramredje Lawrence Efeturi