Mazeedulkhayr Mukhtar Oyeleye writes,

Rambling through the streets and relishing the touch of the mild Lagos sun amidst the bustles. The mildness gave me a sapience of the semblance of faces and canvasses established in our society. It struck me that it wasn’t my first time of coming across such. It was a common scene everywhere I’ve been. The difference this time however, happened to be that I had the luxury of time to bring the pieces together.

I might find the actual reason The Creator gave us faces rather than canvasses unintelligible, but I am unperturbed by the thought, as the mortal mind can barely envisage God’s Supreme ways. The appalling phenomenon behind my worries is the way these faces we possess are beaten up in the likeness of canvasses. Had we all easels, hanging over our shoulders, held in place by our necks instead of three legs, to support framed canvasses, would we have any identity, race, genuineness, semblance and perhaps relevance?

I reflected over the last question and could only come up with negative answers. I doubt if the 11 years-old Iranian, Tara Sharifi who beat the Mensa IQ Test record shared by Albert Einstein and Stephen Hawking can do otherwise. Our identities will be dynamic, just like the colour of chameleons. Our names will have no significance as our faces can be changed by just evening out the initial face with sand and repainting a new one with a primer. Anybody can then be somebody, and everybody a nobody. It definitely does sound absurd, but neither is the treatment of our faces like canvasses more sensible.

Makeup is meant to improve the quality of the wearers skin, giving it a make-over. Unfortunately, it has been adopted in today’s society in the most revolting of manners. Faces are subjected to the brunt of heavy layers of chemical substances, all in the name of makeup. The outcome is but a make-under and in hapless cases, dermatological issues, chief amongst which is skin cancer. Is a disgusting look worth the application of excessive amounts of makeup like layers of lead and paint on a canvas at the expense of health complications? If the belief in deficient appearance causes so much worry; isn’t a dab of cosmetics enough to set it right? Does the face have to be painted up like Leonardo Da Vinci did the Mona Lisa on a canvas, in order to look or feel better? If your answers are affirmative; you definitely have a grasp of life through a delusional monocle, this is thus a wake-up call to you.

The physical and medical implications of excessive makeup, is pretty significant, but Religion is not on the supporting side either. Islam rules against wearing of makeup in public except eyeliner or kohl as it was a practice of the holy Prophet and permissible for males and females. The ruling was deducted by notable scholars versed in Islamic teachings, from the 33rd chapter of the holy Quraan [Al Ahzaab: 33]. The Christian scriptures has similar statements one of which is in the book of Jeremiah [chapter 4:30]. It is thus evident from the views of the most dominant religions in our society that wearing makeup has a weak religious basis.

Similarly, I’d like to lend credence to a popular proverb in our indigenous society which says “as you dress, shall you be addressed” A lady with a face made-under like an ugly portrait on a canvas, will be addressed with significance similar to one accorded a figurine, bereft of respect, without knowledge of her true personality. Beauty lies in self-respect as looks can be deceptive in a society like ours, where faces tended like canvasses is the order of the day.

I implore every guilty one in this regard to save her face, faith, health and self-esteem, with the right decisions before afterthoughts set in. Should digression from religious doctrines and societal ethics be ineluctable, let’s at least give moderation a warm embrace.

Hearken! Reflect!! and Decide!!! 

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