Beauty is in the Eye of the Beerholder

"Beauty is in the eye of the beerholder"

My beauty-filled daughters

I first read the quote "beauty is in the eye of the beerholder" when I was in my late teens and I assumed it meant that when you're drunk, everyone looks good. As I grew older, I revised my original interpretation of this saying. Now I think it means that the people who see themselves as the global gatekeepers of beauty are drunk. 

They have to be right? Otherwise why would I have to give up on buying the popular beauty magazines because I didn't see anyone in the pages that looked like me and all the makeup and hair styling tips were eye-rollingly stupid and catered to a different demographic! But my one woman protest did not change the fact that I couldn't even find a suitable foundation in the makeup aisle. And I searched. And despaired. 

Until... IMAN. She did for me what Alek Wek did for Lupita Nyong'O

This was an African woman that the "gatekeepers" allowed to grace the pages of beauty magazines. She was permitted to come in, but was not given the tools to work with. So she created the the tools because she wasn't just an exotic woman with a pretty face. She was smart too and did not hide her intelligence behind her beautiful face. She learnt to mix her makeup herself and then went on to start Iman Cosmetics-makeup for women of color. 

This is where you roll your eyes and wonder why mummy is telling you this long, convoluted story?! Patience my dears, it's my story to tell.

I love Iman because until she created the perfect foundation for my skin tone, I couldn't even dream of wearing makeup. I tried all the big name brands and all the brands marketed for black skin and nothing worked. I either looked ashy or orange. With the choice of looking like a ghost or a martian, I opted for neither and often went without makeup. That would have been my choice for my wedding day as well (GASP!) until a friend suggested that I look for an Iman makeup counter. I found one, and for the first time in my adult life, wore full face makeup and looked fly! 

Her makeup saved my bruised beauty-ego. And then I read her book and it put believable pictures behind the words I've always heard that "everyone of every color is beautiful". 

Before I knew I would have daughters, I bought a copy of the book for my future daughters. I'm saving it for you because I know the time will come when you will look at the world surrounding you and wonder if you qualify to be called beautiful or if your physical features are deemed worthy enough for a company to create beauty products especially for you. When that time comes, I want you to remember that you are always beautiful to me. If my words are not enough, I will hand you Iman's book and let you read her story and know that beauty is of many colors. If the "gatekeepers" want to tell you that beauty is 5ft8, blonde and 120lbs; tell them they are drunk and probably smoking their breakfasts too!

Because your mama said so!

Peace out!

This April, I'm participating in 2 blog challenges and want to use that as motivation to write not about my twins but for my twins. They have a unique heritage of being born in the US to Nigerian parents and then growing up in Canada. There's at least 3 major cultures that they have to straddle and this is number 2 of the 26 things I have to tell my twin girls about who they are and their heritage

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