On Thursday 26th January 2017, I was privileged to attend the January edition of Dream Oval Foundation’s, monthly thought transfer series (DOTTS). The January edition focused on equipping participants with the right knowledge to help prepare themselves to leverage countless opportunities that come their way.
The speaker, that was invited for the January edition was Mrs. Dzigbordi Dosoo. She is the CEO of Allure Spa in the city. She is also a Global Speaker, Life Coach, Consultant, Corporate Trainer and Talk Show Host.
During the course of the session, she shared a true life story which caught my attention thus prompting me to write this post.
She recounted how her mom had a beautiful bright skin color which many people admired and sometimes was referred to as an Angel. Her mom’s skin color always gave her dad bragging rights about marrying a pretty woman and he mostly attended public gatherings with her. In 1977 tragedy struck her. She together with her dad traveled to the United Kingdom and while there, a lady introduced her mom to a facial cream that was meant to enhance her already beautiful skin. Her mom innocently acceded to this lady’s suggestion and smeared the cream on her face. Unknown to her, the cream contained mercury which bleaches the skin. On arrival at the Kotoka International Airport in Ghana, her mom’s facial skin peeled off due to the reaction of the bleaching cream on her face to the sun rays. This incident caused her mom to go into depression and led to other mental complications.
I guess by now, your reaction is that of lividness towards the lady who gave Dzigbordi’s mom the cream and sadness filled with empathy for her mom. I’ve been pondering over this incident since that day and imagining my mom in this situation because this incident could happen to anyone. Someone might attribute this incident to ignorance because if her mom had taken the pains to read the constituents that made up the cream, this situation could have been avoided. After a careful thought, I came to the conclusion that it was out of trust that Dzigbordi’s mom used the cream her friend gave her. Trust is built among people over time and doesn’t have any element of doubt or skepticism. If I trust someone, why should I be concerned about the person giving me something to hurt me? (NB: I’m not implying the lady who gave Dzigbordi’s mom the cream meant it for harm).
Most of us are going through challenges such as this as a result of trusting people. We do not know ourselves and appreciate who we are so we trust some people because we perceive them to be either well read than us, well brought up than us, well educated than us, more traveled than us, and have some distinct expertise than us. We are easily intimidated by people who fall in the category mentioned above and we sometimes fall prey to their poor judgments and become their puppets. We become easily gullible to whatever they say, allow them to run our lives and that of our families, accept whatever opinion they have about us as absolute truths and we allow them to pass negative judgment about us . Some of these people manipulate us because they have some kind of monies we can’t boast of so in order to be in their good books and be beneficiaries of their money, we allow them to run our lives for us anyhow they wish.
It would interest you to know that some people who fall into the categories mentioned above are not what we think they are. After careful self-introspection and retrospection, one would realize that these people lack the basic of common sense and good analytical skills but because we have an inferiority complex, we allow them to lord themselves over us with their charisma and confidence.
The media and society also have a way of defining our self-identity and if you don’t fall within their requirements, you might look down on yourself.
Most at times, women are the worst culprits. In our Ghanaian society, if you are a female within the age range of 30+ and not married you might not be seen as a woman or qualified to grace some occasions or perform some obligations. Even if you decide to defy the odds, the conditions around you won’t favor you hence making you uncomfortable and give up in the long run. That is why you’d see women who are 30 years plus without husbands become restless and sometimes end up with men that under normal circumstances they shouldn’t have been with. No wonder nowadays there are a lot of marriages being blessed but lacking the “happily married ever after” element.
If you’re fortunate enough to get married, you’re faced with another hurdle which is childbirth. Woe unto you if your husband’s family members don’t hear the cry of a baby in your house within the first 3 years of your marriage. You won’t qualify to be called a woman or worthy to be perceived as one. That is why you’d find a woman restlessly crying to God for a child, jumping from one spiritualist to another and taking all kinds of concoctions in the name of childbirth. Some women end up devastated physically and emotionally and in extreme cases mentally derailed. Of late, the manner in which testimonies of childbirth are given and embraced in our churches makes people who don’t have children feel left out. Childbirth is now seen as a “blessing” that if you’re not fortunate to be a beneficiary, you are tempted to believe God doesn’t love you or you have wronged him hence being barren is your punishment. You might be tempted to think without a child, God’s favor on your life is incomplete. That is why you’d see some women jumping from one man of God to another just to be able to conceive and in some instances, they are taken advantage of sexually by some unscrupulous pastors. Ironically and sadly, society doesn’t subject men who aren’t married at a certain age or can’t impregnate a woman to the treatment women are subjected to.
Being light skinned is now equated to beauty on our televisions and magazines.When you watch the television critically, females who are light skinned are always portrayed as beautiful and are used in most skin care adverts. This makes some dark skinned females feel left out and in order to be seen as beautiful and accepted, they end up bleaching their skin. Elegance is portrayed with tallness. Skinny, flat chested and flat bellied guys like us don’t have the confidence to go hunting for girls any longer because muscular looking guys with 6 packs are now portrayed on T.V. to be strong and the preference of girls. Lazy as I can be, I’ve refused to hit the gym and build muscles and six packs😄😄😄😄😄😄 Lol.
Growing and looking old is now perceived to be something bad. Lately, aging women are buying all sorts of skin care products and subjecting themselves to all sorts of treatments just to look younger. Ironically, old age eventually catches up with them no matter what.
We’ve allowed people and society at large to define who we are and it’s time we claim back the power we’ve given to people to define who we are. Society has created a paradigm that if one doesn’t kowtow to, it makes you look odd. In order to fit into this paradigm, some people are drinking and injecting themselves with all manner of drugs just to slim down, applying all manner of body creams to look beautiful, and they end up destroying themselves in the long run in trying to fit in.
God created us differently and that’s what makes us unique. Our uniqueness is our brand and the onus lies on us to build it rather than changing it. One doesn’t need to be light skinned to look beautiful, tall or slim to look elegant, bear a child to qualify to be a mother, have a husband to qualify to be a woman etc.
We are created fearfully and wonderfully in the image and likeness of God and that’s the most important thing. If God the creator of this world thought it wise to create us the way we are, what’s our business being worried about it? Why should we bother about what someone who has no stake in our life thinks about how we look? If God is not ashamed to create us and even dwell in us why should we be ashamed because someone doesn’t like who we are?
If you want to have a glimpse of what it takes to form something out of clay, just observe the processes a porter goes through before bringing out magnificent mugs and other pottery products.
When God created the world including us, He was pleased. There’s this popular saying that “Monkey no fine but ein mummy like am”( A monkey doesn’t look handsome but its mother likes it). God loves us for who we are so let’s value ourselves and live the epic life he created us to live.