by ‘Ifreke Inyang
“Yvonne Vixen, enough with the fake herve dresses already. Besides the price, wasn’t sure bout the others but the design on this one is a dead give-away. Also, wroNgggg shoes on a herve. Try better next time pls,” went the comment cool cat TheAmaka on a BellaNaija.com post titled ‘So Exquisite! All The Winners, Photos & Scoop from the 2011 Exquisite Lady of the Year (ELOY) Awards’.
That is what it is these days on the Internet. In a few minutes, a random, anonymous person belittles or completely condemns what you have spent days and weeks preparing for. We now have to ignore the temptation to talk about those lethal comments on Notjustok.com – at least they are not about fashion!
Perhaps the comments on fashion and style sites are easier to swallow. At least if a certain Ndidiamaka says your afro looks horrible, that can be rectified on the next red carpet. But what if it’s a lack of talent you’re being accused off? Can that not kill a tender music career before it even takes off the ground?
Okay, so maybe ‘these people’ actually have a point. Maybe they are really there to help you – and the advice comes from a place of knowledge and experience.
Exhibit A: “I love Rita’s short do and Omoni’s jewel coloured dress is bang on trend,” BukiOni commented on pictures from the premiere of ‘The return of Jenifa’. Right under the comment was a web address www.emblemofbeauty.blogspot.com – she runs an informed style blog.
If only she were the majority! Sadly (or thankfully?) not! “Why does funke always wear prom dresses former red carpet appearances??,” a certain Joy asked on the same post. “She is famous she should be getting dresses from Nigerian designers like Jul, Tiffany Amber and co, instead of all these childish dresses, and she should be getting them for free, that can help Nigerians expand their brand. I don’t like her style, she needs a stylist! Stop wearing prom dresses -_-”
A moment of silence, please.
On a recent post on the LindaIkeji blog, where the priestesses of harsh comments have made their home, a new post on Fathia Balogun’s new hair yesterday brought down a hurricane!
“Linda… She could scare kids. Can she just dye her hair again? Or visit a gud stylist?” someone called Kenneth said. “Very local breed indeed,” Anonymous 11.58AM declared. “Lekwa nu Mgbeke,” said BooBoo C. And for good measure, Anonymous 1:20PM went straight to the unrelated matter of Ms. Balogun’s troubled marriage: “the woman is growing older by the day. linda, tell him to reconcile with her husband oooooooooo at least to bring back her rejuvenation.”
If you thought this was a consensus, then you need to read up on the sociology of the comment box. Soon enough, someone with a different opinion was on hand to match ‘fire for fire’ – moving the argument even farther away from where it begun.
“People sha!” A commenter called Tinuke exclaimed. “And they wonder why they never make real headway in life. They now get to a certain age and will be praying abt household enemies when they are their own worst enemies. The question was do you like or not? why the insult? especially that bastad boobooC. Spare part omo nna. Its why you will slave in the sun selling bend down clothes tll you die. Every time there is a comment abt a yoruba person on this website you have to come with your tribalistic retarded behind to call them Mgbeke. And you wonder why igbos like you stay at the bottom of the barrel in naija….anyhoot the look is for a new movie role and it does not suit her at all. I dont like it.”
So sometimes it’s difficult to understand what the real issue is – on one dress you see “You’re trying too hard, dear” and “Why can’t she make the effort – she look like she ran straight out of the bath tub”. On the same get-up sometimes, there are as many people saying it tanks as there are those saying it rocks. That’s if they are not accusing you of the heinous crime of “re-rocking”.
At the end of the day, isn’t it stylists themselves who say it all boils down to doing what works for you and setting your own standards? So what if it’s a prom dress? So what if she likes prom dresses? After all, Don Jazzy seems to turn up at events straight from a siesta these days and no one bothers.
Sometimes, you can clearly see a celebrity change their essence all in a desperate bid to please the crowd. Not that it works – it ends up in more scorn and insults; while that celeb loses her (or his) very essence and personality in the process.
Perhaps they should take a cue from Don Jazzy.
Because, really, is it that serious?
Truth is, if you watch enough of Ugly Betty or Gossip Girl or Shalewa on Mnet’s Tinsel these days, then you know it’s all high school again – complete with school yard bullies, nasty cheerleaders and everyone else trying to ‘belong’.
And as with high school, the antidote is yet the same: yes, by all means, do your best to put your best dress forward, but whether it gets you constant praise or not, you do well to remember this – you are beautiful as you are. You just have to believe it.