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Dear Diary, They Made Me Look Like Masquerade

I wasn't just at Chidinma's wedding, but I was also on her train. Chidinma was my school mum. I did mention her here and here.

I Looked Like Masquerade

I love weddings. Oh, believe me I do! I’ve been to a lot of weddings – so many that I have lost count. And I’ve been a bridesmaid a couple of times.

I remember the first time I was part of a bridal party, it was Aunty Mercy's. I was a naive 9 year old “little bride” who was forced to hold hands with her "little groom". His name was Emeka. (Maybe that's why I'm obsessed with the name). I remember being dressed up by my very own mum. She was the best make up artist I ever knew.

At 9, I was oblivious of the cost of the bridesmaid dresses, or whether or not the bridesmaids had combed the length and breadth of Yaba Market in search of shoes and weaves at the bride’s insistence. Many years and a few bridal parties later, I’ve become familiar with the struggles of a typical Nigerian bridesmaid. I have worn my fair share of unflattering bridesmaids dresses, dug out my hard earned savings to pay for some aso-ebi's I could never wear again even if my life depended on them.

Mum dressing me up as a "little bride"
Thankfully, being on a bridesmaid these days is more fabulous. Bridesmaid have become the ultimate accessory for every bride. Brides now ensure the dresses reflect their personal taste and style. Many brides are also choosing sensible styles that can be worn many times over after the big day.

I know that brides might insist her bridesmaids to wear the same dresses, the same accessories, the same shoes and maybe the same hairstyles. It became a shocker to me that some might insist on the same lipstick.

Like seriously?!

Oh no! Kuku kill me please!

I didn't want to. 

"Amaka, you have to wear this lipstick unless you will be different."
"Amaka,  you have to wear the lipstick so that our pictures will be fine."
"Amaka, we are to match the red lipstick with our shoes and fascinators." 
"It's not as bad as you think. It will fit you."

These sounded like my responses:

"I don't mind being different"
"Must I use a red lipstick?"
"Uh-oh. I'm not sure I want to do this"
"No. No. No."

After many deliberations and what have you. One of the bridesmaids forcefully grabbed me by the neck and rubbed the lipstick on my lips. 

You should have seen the expression on my face. I hated what I looked like. 

I looked like masquerade.

I hate to admit it, but it wasn't entirely their fault that I looked like masquerade. I should have stood my ground like Daniel did when the king passed a decree that nobody should pray. I really should have insisted that I DO NOT WANT TO, SO I WILL NOT.

Anyways, I didn't do it for me. I did it for my friend. That day was all about her happiness and smiles. A bride has to be the most beautiful woman on her wedding day. And boy! Chidinma was. (Happy Married Life,  Maami!) 

I wonder what is going to be like for me when it’s time. I wonder if I’m gonna be true to myself to keep it ‘natural’ and simple or succumb to pressure and go all out. I wonder . . . 

This is not my real face. You dare not use it against me

Question: Ever been influenced into doing something you wouldn't usually do? Had a similar experience?

Written by Nwamaka Ajaegbu 
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