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  • Walt Shakes

    Walt Shakes

    Walter Ude (@Walt_Shakes) is an award-winning Nigerian writer, poet and veteran blogger. He is a lover of the written word. the faint whiff of nature, the flashing vista of movies, the warmth of companionship and the happy sound of laughter. He blogs at mymindsnaps.wordpress.com.

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We have been coached to abstract the idea of beauty as being perfect; Perfect physique, perfect eyes, perfect nose, perfect lips, and perfect hair – in other words, too perfect to be human.

It seems to me that once you have moved up your way to the top of the entertainment industry and have being elevated from being a mere human to a super-perfect star, then – and only then – can you be called “beautiful”.

The question of who decides who is beautiful is one that has always puzzled me. So I did a bit of investigating on my own. I asked around for my usual company to define beauty. I got answers like “J-Lo”, “Brad Pitt”, “Halle Berry”, and “Beyoncé”. In some instances, some even tossed out “Genevieve Nnaji” and “RMD”. I rest my case.

beautiful-black-womanDoes having a well-toned figure/physique, piercing brown eyes and high cheekbones make you beautiful? And if so, does that mean that I – with my ordinary looks – have lost out on this prestigious title?

The pressure to be perfect, created by media hype, has gotten numerous youths, especially the girls, into a frenzy – so much so that teenagers believe that worthiness is not their birthright. There’s the dieting, the fashion-consciousness – which is just a pseudonym for tighter tops and shorter skirts –, and the heart attack they almost get when a parent suggests a hair-cut. How on earth are they supposed to get Beyoncé’s flowing hair if they are visiting the barber every now and then? And I’m not even talking about the youngsters above their twenties. In the cosmetic surgery-jammed cities of Los Angeles and New York, you get 16-year-olds talking about getting nose jobs and tummy tucks. Whatever happened to “what counts on the inside matters” and “being pure of heart”?

Growing up, I had a cousin who was blessed with a tendency to be chubby and thick, short, unforgiving, stubborn hair (cursed with it more like, she always emphasized). But her mother always assured her that she was the most beautiful girl ever. But uh-uh…she knew better. When she got into secondary school, not even motherly love could pacify her insecurities that just got worse. She thought that if she could put on a little mascara, walk like Naomi Campbell, and fit herself into a dress that Mariah Carey would wear, she too could be called “beautiful”. She quickly learned that trying to meet everyone’s passive expectations was humanly impossible.

I’m not trying to disparage those fortunate ones who’ve been blessed with successes in the gene pool contest. In fact, I’m human enough to turn for a second look each time a girl with a stunning face and an arresting derrière walks by; or to sigh with envy whenever I see a guy with abs worthy of the Mr. World beauty pageant.

I’m also trying to encourage those of us with beauty imperfections. I’m saying that when someone asks you who you consider to be the most beautiful person in the world, you should majestically raise your chin, brush your shoulders off and reply, “Me!” Why? Because at the core of it all, you are perfect, whole and complete. God is your artist. He created you. You are His definitive work that can never be surpassed.

Leave a comment


  1. Oh Mr Walter! What will I do with you. You just said everything and more that I have been trying to say to my siblings for two weeks. True beauty isn’t the clothes,weave or expensive shoes and loads of make-up. Its what’s on the inside that makes a person worthy to be called beautiful. Thank you for reinforcing this lesson into our minds.

  2. Oh that more people get to believe this! It’s sad to see people define themselves by their looks or certain body parts…

  3. Yemie

     /  March 1, 2014

    A lovely piece of writing, very deep, honest and true. The substance and the very essence of a person’s my own idea of true beauty even if such a person does not fit the bill created by all the media hypes we’ve been constantly slammed with. True beauty radiates from the inside and you’d be blind not to see it. Naomi Campbell’s beautiful, on the outside; but when folks close to her begin to tell tales of just how hot tempered and uncouth she can get, flinging devices at peeps without giving two rats’ ass, whose horse is gored, then you’d truly begin to wonder and ask yourself if that’s true beauty. Beauty’s all emcompassing and no one should wait to be told by anyone just how beautiful they are. Admit that much to yourself everyday, you’re an ‘origo’; who was conceived and made by God all so wonderfully and fearfully. You’re what you believe, if you say you’re beautiful; then heck, you are. Build up on your self esteem, rise up above all the shallowness and excel in that beautiful persona you’ve been given by God. At the end of the day, our personalities outlive our ‘physical beauty’ as we age and by fire, by force; we fall back on our persona. Double thumbs up Walter, great thinking!

    • Yvonne

       /  March 1, 2014

      lol, your reply is as long as the post but very much in line.
      Walter honey, happy new month, and this needs to sink into the heart of plenty girls.

  4. Marthy

     /  March 1, 2014

    While most of our superstars are quite beautiful, there’s amazing beauty outside the industry. The industry happen to be no yardstick for quantifying beauty, and for me a good case in study is Brad Pitt. I keep looking at that guy and wonder why folks bring up his name when beauty is discussed. Few years ago, Robert Pattinson was called the most handsome man alive and I’m like, “WTH?” Djimon was called the most beautiful black man alive for heaven’s sake. What were they thinking? We just have to consciously refuse to be sucked into that entertainment-style borders of beauty.

    • I actually share your bewilderment, Marthy. I mean, Brad Pitt is good looking and all that, but till tomorrow, I’ll never understand his swoon factor. Why his name has become synonymous with Hollywood comeliness.
      However, that aside, they’re all hot and smoking. Hollywood fairly teems with beautiful people. Entertainment industries worldwide have come to define what beauty is. And that shouldn’t be so.

  5. beautiful piece

  6. williams

     /  March 1, 2014

    I laugh in Efik!!! You yourself know the gospel truth, that it’s either you’re beautiful, okay, or ugly. No matter what people say, as far as physical beauty is concerned, you know the truth.


  7. quintybabe

     /  March 1, 2014

    If were to be asked who i consider the most beautiful person in the world, i will say My BROTHER, not because he is tall, dark and handsome. He is that and much more, he is the most selfless person i know. He is indeed the most beautiful person on earth

  8. manueladesola

     /  March 1, 2014

    I agree with you. This was why I wrote something on beauty here http://manueladesola.wordpress.com/2013/12/26/you-are-beautiful-just-the-way-you-are-its-yuletide/?relatedposts_exclude=330

    I think our ladies lay to much emphasis on outward appearance.

  9. Just perfect! I remember writing something like this before, but I cant just resist reblogging this

  10. I’m so reblogging this. And doing a follow-up soon enough,,,if I can get my ass up

  11. Reblogged this on Chisom Ojukwu – Words are Work and commented:
    Beauty, beauty, beauty…Walter Ude captures ‘The Quintessence of Beauty’ in this piece. It got me thinking. And I’ll soon be putting those thoughts into words. Meanwhile, enjoy this ‘mindsnap’

  12. Dr Aitasweet

     /  March 3, 2014

    Heard something like this before. But never really quite like this. Real food for thought. And yes, I have learnt from this. Thank you Walter.

  13. cutie

     /  March 6, 2014

    #TearInMyEye. Deep talk.

  14. Uzoma

     /  March 11, 2014

    The whole truth. I:m so tweeting this

  15. Adeleke Julianah

     /  September 30, 2015

    This sums it all up.
    I’ve never been a fan of heavy makeup. I don’t think I’ll ever be.
    This, Walt, is didactic!


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