At first when the ‘blush’ crept into the beauty make up ‘itinerary’ of the Nigerian woman, not so many people were enthused. Granted, some ladies who were not shy about taking on new beauty er … challenges embraced it with open arms and willing cheeks. Many though were a bit sceptical about applying colour on their cheeks. They saw it as alien to the African culture. Others thought the black woman had no business having any kind of rouge on her cheeks because, in their argument, we do not blush. Yet others are of the opinion that the black woman blushes but because of the colour of our skin, it is not noticeable. One of my crazy friends here in Warri even cheekily said, ‘una skin wey black like winsh, thick like ponmo, how blush wan take make sense?’ Needless to say, I had no replies for him. Well, in the midst of all the arguments for and against the use of blush by the African woman, the fashion-conscious woman couldn’t be deterred.
Applying the blush well though, takes learning and practice. In the beginning, ladies looked like clowns dressed in normal garb, but as time progressed and the art was perfected, even the sceptics began to rethink their stand against the innocent ‘blush’. They saw that even black women could look good in ‘blush’. More and more women began to use the blush and it even became a symbol, sort of, (not social standing per se) but maybe fashion saviness. Those ladies who took the bold step of applying a touch of colour on their cheeks walked with their heads higher than their fellow sisters. One cannot help but notice them in parties, feeling like Jeanie Mai, necks sticking out like peacocks, boobs jutted out and on the alert like fully loaded guns; a funny sight I tell you.
Despite the fact that women have made giant strides in the art of applying the blush, there are still those who have still not mastered the skill. These are the ones that add the much needed comic dose at a party. Even if it was a comedy show, they still add just a little more sprinkling of comedy. There cannot be too much comedy abi, because I haven’t yet heard that someone died laughing. I was in front of the church the other day at the close of service, waiting for my friend to bring the car around, and who did I notice standing by my side? For the life of me, I almost had a heart attack! Hmmm, it was a beautifully dressed lady o. Lashes fixed, nails ‘did’, you know the works na. But wait…hahahaha what’s that red on the side of her face? Kai, blush don suffer for Nigerian women hand. I couldn’t understand if she made a mistake while applying it and since she was already late (maybe) and she just thought, ”what the hell”. OR in the process of making up, her powder finished and she decided to use the blush as replacement (talk about replacement therapy, lol). OR the scariest option of the three: she deliberately applied the blush to almost her whole face because that is HER style? If it’s the third option, ha, wahala dey o!!!! People, you needed to have seen this woman; the whole of her left cheek was painted red. I even ‘use style’(you know how e dey be na) check the right one and it was painted the same way.
To say I was shocked is to be honest, putting it mildly. I was rooted to the spot staring and thinking, “So this is what it has come to?” I didn’t know whether to laugh out loud or to call her aside and tell her gently. I quickly decided against the latter o, because the lady looked mean; before dem go insult me for church! The blush has really given people (both the wearer and the ‘looker’) different reasons to smile in appreciation, to laugh and shake ‘head’ and to stand back in horror and hope not to have nightmares that night.