Being an empowered woman in a society that is in a subtle opposition to it can be a daunting journey.
On the topic of beauty I’m sure we — who are well acquainted with today’s social media — are all aware of what the world’s beauty standards are.
It’s out there, we all know. Majority of the looks on social media are characterized by having the perfect skin, perfect bodies, perfect teeth, perfect hair and on and on. And it is quite easy to get lost in such wannabe sight… Trust me, even for an empowered woman who should know better.
Instead of embracing our imperfections, most of us women, and men hide behind filters to posses the same perfection we see on social media.
We go to the extent of not only filtering our looks but also our personalities. We belief that by filtering, we are presenting ourselves properly to the world, and we do so much to fit into the world’s narrative that we lie to ourselves.
“You alone are enough. You have nothing to prove to anyone.”
– Maya Angelou
One woman who refused to conform to this narrative is the Nigerian singer Teniola Apata, professionally known as Teni the Entertainer.
Unlike every other public figure who struggles to keep up with the social media narrative, Teni seems to have successfully detached our focus from the stereotype of what a female celebrity image ordinarily is, sexy and wanting, to what really matters, the art and the person. She is the perfect example of an empowered woman
Anyone who’s a fan of Teni knows she really digs the retro vibe as it’s quite evident in her everyday style.
On occasion, she goes a bit extra in her traditional Yoruba attire. In other times, Teni is mostly in her boogie pants, t-shirts, and colourful jackets. She is simply in a world of her own, a world that does not seek to please anyone.
In an interview with Vogue Fashion News Director, Chioma Nnadi, Teni talks about living life without limits and redefining what it means to be a woman.
The interview reads in part;
“There’s an assumption that women have to look a certain way to be feminine, but I don’t want to conform to that stereotype,” Teni says. “My thing is this: You don’t get to decide how I choose to live my life. I’m being me—respect that. UGA, the university I went to, was mostly PWI—that’s short for a predominantly white institution. I remember someone even asked me if I had elephants in my backyard, it was wild. The other students would look at me crazy when I showed up to class in traditional dress, too. But you know that’s who I am. That’s my culture. If you can wear your blue jeans, I can wear this.”
Teni has proved that you don’t have to be perfect to be loved or desirable. She has proved that you don’t have to look like an hour glass before you can be yourself.
Embrace your imperfections, it’s part of who you are. Nobody is and can ever be perfect so you shouldn’t let what others think or say about you define you. Be the empowered woman you are meant to be.
Being you may be as hard as it sounds but you’re the only one who can, so be you and do you proud.