Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Inner Beauty Matters
A wind of change is blowing on beauty industry. For the past few months the industry has made very strong statements.
Its starts with songwriter and singer Alicia Keys. In order to regain her confidence, Keys stopped wearing makeup entirely — including during photoshoots and performances, then she started a new hashtag campaign #NoMakeup.
Today Boots UK is creating a revolution by making award-winning author and celebrated feminist speaker Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie the face of No7.
“Our culture teaches us that to be taken seriously, women should not care too much about their appearance. So I stopped wearing makeup and became a false version of myself,” Adichie said. “But then I woke up because makeup doesn’t actually mean anything. It’s about how I feel when I get it right—what makes me walk ever so taller. It’s about the face I choose to show the world and what I choose to say.”
As a feminist, she is aware that she has to explain her relationship with make-up.
In her Ted Talk she said that the word feminist was “so heavy with baggage, negative baggage. You hate men, you hate bras, you hate African culture.”
Instead, she said, she wanted to be identified as a “happy African feminist who does not hate men and who likes lip gloss and who wears high heels for herself but not for men”.
While this highly specific definition of a feminist was tongue-in-cheek, she still felt the need to defend wearing make-up earlier this month.
In a 9,000-word Facebook post she wrote a guide to how to bring up a feminist daughter.
“If she likes make-up let her wear it; if she likes fashion let her dress up. But if she doesn’t like either let her be.”
She advised that raising a feminist didn’t mean forcing her to reject femininity: “Feminism and femininity are not mutually exclusive. It is misogynistic to suggest that they are.
“Sadly, women have learnt to be ashamed and apologetic about pursuits that are seen as traditionally female, such as fashion and make-up.”
This comes from personal experience.
In her Ted Talk, she revealed that when she was getting ready to teach her first writing class she felt a pressure to avoid looking feminine:
“I really wanted to wear my shiny lip gloss and my girly skirt but I decided not to.
“Instead I wore a very serious, very manly, and very ugly suit. Because the sad truth is that when it comes to appearance, we start off with men as the standard, as the norm.
“If a man is getting ready for a business meeting, he doesn’t worry about looking too masculine, and therefore not being taken seriously.
“If a woman is getting ready for a business meeting she has to worry about looking too feminine, and what it says, and whether or not it will be taken seriously.”
After a while she scrapped the suit, and said she was a better teacher once she was wearing what she felt comfortable in.
Cet article est disponible en: Français