Looking good is some women’s business. Looking beautiful for some persons is more important than food. Some prefer to appear trendy instead of attending to household pressure.
Beauty, they say, is in the eye of the beholder. Every woman by creature is beautiful but some persons feel that the way they were created is not enough. They feel that perhaps the creator should have added more features to their physique.
Artificial beauty did not start today, it has been there as far as man exists. From time to time, there has been one form of additional make-up or the other that women especially, must add to their natural look.
When you look at some of our elders, especially women, you notice certain drills or symbols (tattoo) on their skins, mostly on their hands and legs, in form of designs with dark prints. That is a form of artificial beauty. These days, some young ones still use such to beautify themselves.
It is not only women that are involved in artificial beauty, some young men also have likeness for it. It is common nowadays to see younger male folks spend money to pierce their ears to wear earrings. They also style their hairs in various forms to appear like women so as to look more handsome. This, no doubt, costs them more money than being in their natural look.
Every generation grows with it’s own new systems, items, styles of artificial beauty. Before now, African women generally and Nigeria in particular had their hair in natural form.
As civilisation and westernisation continued, Nigerian women started copying, for instance, perming of their hair to look like the white women. They started using western-produced chemicals (relaxers) to make their hairs look sleepy and smoother.
Nigerian women used to plait their hair with black thread or go with their hair well cut at low level. In terms of weaving, it was without attachment. The issue of women weaving hair with attachment came with civilisation. That is also a form of make-up.
The quest for extra beauty aside the way women were created has been from one generation to another.
Two or three decades ago, ladies used mascaras to darken and thicken their eyelashes. But in this 21st century, another system has evolved. Fixing of artificial eyelashes has become the order of the day.
In that case, it becomes difficult for them to scratch their eyes incase of any itches. Some of their eyes turn reddish because of the touch.
There was a lady who was fixing her eyelashes in a salon, unfortunately, she got a phone call that her mother was late. As she started crying, it was difficult for her to clean the tears that were flowing down her cheeks.
The reason was for fear of the eye lashes falling off while cleaning the tears off her eyes.
One funny thing about fixing of artificial eyelashes is that some persons cannot close their eyes properly. The beauty they have in mind before fixing is not really achieved as their look become something anybody cannot behold. Both the shape of their eyes and facial outlook automatically change. One begins to wonder if that is the beauty they are looking for. Instead of looking beautiful, the reverse is the case.
As years go by, artificial beauty becomes more sophisticated in the society. The price and cost for looking more beautiful than women were created naturally becomes higher than their natural look.
The cosmetic industry becomes one of the most viable industries worldwide because some women desire artificial beauty. Some engage in cosmetic surgery to alter any part of their body which does not give them pleasure especially the fatty parts. Some go for surgery to make their slacked breasts to return to their original shapes as well as those with big tummies.
It is interesting to note that currently, Nigerian ladies have started to give preference to their natural hair and this is attracting a lot of admiration for them. Many prefer that natural look with low cuts. With that, the cost of maintaining the hair by ladies is reduced.
I think this is commendable as it will save the women from the negative effect of chemical used in manufacturing hair relaxers.
It is also common to see ladies on low cut hairs that are either light complexion, red and other funny colours.
People have been addicted to artificial beauty to the extent that they insert certain substances into their bodies to make them become more robust and attractive to their admirers.
I don’t understand why we should be crazy about adding more to our natural look. Every woman wants to look attractive in a packaged manner without recognising the implications of artificial beauty and make-up.
In fact, women’s quest for beauty has taken different dimension as they tend to appear trendy at home, in offices and as they go about their businesses. That is just to feel belonged and achieve self-esteem.
I recall a few years back, my pastor who trained as an engineer advised women against the use of lipstick. He said that one of the chemical components of lipstick is lead and that it is dangerous to humans. Many women may not understand the reality of what he said until it manifests.
I think those who are naturally beautiful should not go for artificial make-ups. They should be satisfied with the work of their creator. Women should not continue to paint their faces to look like masquerades and should not lose value due to artificial beauty.
It may interest you to know that persons who apply make-ups excessively are mocked instead of being admired. Make-ups can be applied lightly.
Fixing of nails is another business. After fixing nails, some women find it difficult to perform house cores. Washing their personal belongings becomes a problem. The artificial nails become so long and sophisticated to the extent that the bearer cannot handle objects properly. Those in that habit also find it difficult to eat food with the fingers.
There are people who feel they should have been born in certain colour but when the reverse is the case, they seek artificial make-up. Use of skin-toning cream and soap becomes the option for artificial beauty, to the extent that the users start having dark spots on the skin. Blisters occur on their faces and legs.
Unfortunately, this is an era when there are different kinds of cancer affecting women especially. It becomes difficult to identify the kind of make-up that can be cancerous.
It is high time people stopped following trend to the detriment of their health.
Ladies should not present themselves as laughing stock with unnecessary make-up as they can still be cherished in their natural outlook.
By: Eunice Choko-Kayode
Benefits Of Breastfeeding For Mother, Child
It’s a good idea to nurse your baby if you’re able. Breast milk provides optimal nutrition for babies. It has the right amount of nutrients and is easily digested.
If you have been considering not breastfeeding your new baby exclusively, you are probably inundated with information. It’s a personal decision only you can make, but the benefits can never be overemphasised.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends exclusive breastfeeding for six months, and continuing even after solid foods are introduced, until at least age one year or until both mother and child stop.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends breastfeeding until two years old or longer because the benefits continue as long as that . These health agencies recommend breastfeeding as early as one hour after the birth of a baby for the biggest benefits.
If you just need reassurance that breast milk is the right choice for you, the benefits are enormous to both mother and child.
These recommendations may not be easy but important.
The science-based benefits of breastfeeding are amazing for you and for your baby.
Breast milk provides ideal nutrition for babies.
Most healthcare professionals recommend exclusive breastfeeding for at least six months or much longer.
Breast milk contains everything baby needs for the first six months of life, in all the right proportions. Its composition even changes according to the baby’s changing needs, especially during the first month of life.
During the first days after birth, the mother’s breasts produce a thick and yellowish fluid called colostrum. It’s high in protein, low in sugar, and loaded with beneficial compounds. It’s truly a wonder food and not replaceable by formula of baby food.
Colostrum is the ideal first milk and helps the newborn’s immature digestive tract develop. After the first few days, the breasts start producing larger amounts of milk as the baby’s stomach grows.
About the only thing that may be lacking from the mother’s magical milk supply is vitamin D.
Unless you have a very high intake, your breast milk won’t provide enough. Vitamin D drops are usually recommended.
Breast milk contains important antibodies.
Breast milk is loaded with antibodies that help the mother’s baby fight off viruses and bacteria, which is critical in the tender and early months.
This particularly applies to colostrum, the first milk. Colostrum provides high amounts of immunoglobulin A (IgA), as well as several other antibodies.
When you’re exposed to viruses or bacteria, you start producing antibodies that then go into the milk. It’s immunity, baby!
IgA protects the baby from getting sick by forming a protective layer in the baby’s nose, throat, and digestive system.
Formula does not provide antibody protection for babies. Medical reports show that babies who are not breastfed are more vulnerable to health issues like pneumonia, diarrhea and infection.
Breastfeeding may reduce disease risk.
It may reduce your baby’s risk for many illnesses and diseases, including: middle ear infections. Breastfeeding, particularly exclusively and as long as possible, may protect against middle ear, throat, and sinus infections.
Respiratory tract infections. Breastfeeding can protect against multiple respiratory and gastrointestinal acute illnesses.
Colds and infections. Babies exclusively breastfed for six months may have a lower risk of getting serious colds and ear or throat infections.
Gut infections. Breastfeeding is linked with a reduction in gut infections.
Intestinal tissue damage. Feeding preterm babies breast milk is linked with a reduction in the incidence of necrotising enterocolitis.
Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Breastfeeding is linked to a reduced risk of SIDS, especially when breastfeeding exclusively.
Allergic diseases. Breastfeeding is linked to a reduced risk of asthma, atopic dermatitis, and eczema.
Bowel diseases. Babies who are exclusively breastfed may be less likely to develop Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.
Diabete Breastfeeding is linked to a reduced risk of developing type 1 diabetes and non-insulin-dependent (type 2) diabetes.
Childhood leukemia. Breastfeeding is linked to a reduction in the risk for childhood leukemia.
Breast milk promotes baby’s healthy weight.
Breastfeeding promotes healthy weight gain and helps prevent childhood obesity.
Reports reveal that breastfeeding for longer than four months has a significant reduction in the chances of a baby developing overweight and obesity.
This may be due to the development of different gut bacteria. Breastfed babies have higher amounts of beneficial gut bacteria, which may affect fat storage.
Babies fed with breast milk also have more leptin in their systems than formula-fed babies. Leptin is a key hormone for regulating appetite and fat storage.
Breastfed babies also self-regulate their milk intake. They’re better at eating only until they’ve satisfied their hunger, which helps them develop healthy eating patterns.
Breastfeeding may make children smarter.
Breastfeeding may help baby ace those tests. Some studies suggest there may be a difference in brain development between breastfed and formula-fed babies.
This difference may be due to the physical intimacy, touch, and eye contact associated with breastfeeding as well as nutrient content.
Reports indicate that breastfed babies have higher intelligence scores and are less likely to develop behavioral problems or have learning difficulties as they grow older.
However, the most pronounced effects are seen in preterm babies, who have a higher risk for developmental issues.
Medical research clearly shows that exclusive breastfeeding has significant positive effects on babies’ long-term brain development.
Breastfeeding benefits for mothers are so rich and rewarding.
Breastfeeding may help a mother lose weight.
This information has always been said at the antinatal class and other medical seminars. While some women seem to gain weight during breastfeeding, others want to lose weight.
Breastfeeding does burn more calories and after three months of lactation, a mother will likely experience an increase in fat burning compared to non-lactating mothers. Though the difference is not clear.
Breastfeeding helps the uterus contract.
During pregnancy, mothers uterus grows immensely, expanding from the size of a pear to filling almost the entire space of the abdomen.
After delivery, the uterus goes through a process called involution, which helps it return to its previous size. Oxytocin, a hormone that increases throughout pregnancy, helps drive the process.
The womans body secretes high amounts of oxytocin during labour to help deliver the baby and reduce bleeding. It can also help the mother to bond with the new born.
Oxytocin also increases during breastfeeding. It encourages uterine contractions and reduces bleeding, helping the uterus return to its previous size.
Studies have also shown that mothers who breastfeed generally have less blood loss after delivery and faster involution of the uterus.
Mothers who breastfeed have a lower risk for depression
Postpartum depression (PPD) is a type of depression that can develop shortly after childbirth.
Women who breastfeed are less likely to develop postpartum depression, compared to mothers who wean early or do not breastfeed, according to a medical study.
However, those who experience postpartum depression early after delivery are also more likely to have trouble breastfeeding and do so for a shorter duration.
If a woman has any symptoms of PPD, it is important for a mother to report to her doctor as soon as possible.
Breastfeeding reduces your disease risk.
Breastfeeding seems to provide you with long-term protection against cancer and several diseases.
The total time a woman spends breastfeeding is linked with a reduced risk for breast and ovarian cancer.
Women who breastfeed have a lower risk of high blood pressure, arthritis, high blood, fats, heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, etc.
Breastfeeding may prevent menstruation
Continued breastfeeding also pauses ovulation and menstruation. The suspension of menstrual cycles may actually be nature’s way of ensuring there is some time between pregnancies.
You may consider this change as an extra benefit. While a mother is enjoying precious time with her newborn, it’s just one less thing to worry about.
It saves time and money.
To top the list, breastfeeding is mostly free, barring expenses for any lactation consulting and breast pumps. By choosing to breastfeed, you won’t have to spend money on formula. If you calculate how much your baby needs to drink daily, spend time cleaning and sterilising bottles mix and warm up bottles in the middle of the night (or day), figure out ways to warm up bottles while on the go you may discover that breastfeeding is better and cheaper.
Breast milk is always at the right temperature and ready to drink.
Some mothers have always given one flimzy excuse or the other for not feeding babies exclusively, the truth is that exclusive breastfeeding is better than any formula a mother can think of.
Eunice Choko-Kayode With Agency Reports
Different Hair Styles For Women
Braided hairstyles can make you look natural. They can also make you look trendy. The following hairstyles will make you look attractive.
Criss-cross goddess braids
This is perfect during periods you want to give your hair a break or when you are going on a vacation. When you don’t want to style your hair every morning. The good thing about this kind of braid is that it does not take too long during weaving.
Dynamic side-swept cornrows
This is popular among blacks because it protects the hair. It is free from heat for several weeks until you desire to loose it.
Asymmetrical godess braids
Mix plaits of different sizes into braids hairstyles to create texture and dimension. Here, tiny braids are unnecessary. It is more exciting than the regular braids. It makes hairdo to look like a fun. You can add beads to the tips.
Long chunky black braids
Always in total style. The hairdo feels very hot with alternative thin braids. No matter the volume and length, you can style the hair in ways your natural look will take.
This hairdo is beneficial in the sense that it makes cornrow hairstyles look more natural and less bulky by creating a narrow and flat point at the hairline. This protects the edges.
Cornrows enclosed by headband braid
There is no room for breakage when you have this hairdo. It is better to protect the hairstyle by wrapping the hairdo with hair net at night.
Jumbo double-twisted updo
Here is a simple ‘updo’ for black women with natural hair that can work when going for an event. It can done in a few minutes.
Intricate boxer braids
The style of hairdo showcases your personality and your personal taste. When you braid hairs, it protects the hair and makes you look gorgeous. So always search for hairstyles that protect your hair and gives you the best.
Reverse flat twists
Traditional cornrows go from forehead to nape, but if you have shorter hair, you want to have some volume on top of your head, reverse them. When you reverse them, bunch of curls look very sweet and makes one look younger.
When you braid your hair, you forget about hair styling for several weeks. Braided hair will help you give your hair some rest and protect it from harsh environmental hazards.
Women And Rubbing Of Powder During Naming Ceremony
The significance of rubbing powder by women during naming ceremonies can not be over-emphasised.
Naming ceremonies for newborns are always a thing of joy.
In some parts of our Nigerian culture, as soon as the news of a baby is announced, the women within that neighbourhood will gather and begin to sing songs of joy.
In most of our local communities, naming of a child is seen as symbolic and significant, hence the need for invitaiton of friends and relatives for a ceremony or party to announce the name of the child.
Naming ceremony is usually marked with prayers by the family’s Christian faithful.
It is celebrated with gifts, refreshments and some other activities depending on the tradition of the people or the place where the child is born.
One usual practice in naming ceremonies in some parts of Nigeria is rubbing of white powder. In some places, immediately after the birth of the child is announced, women around the neighborhood get white powder or white native chalk and rub it on their necks and faces.
I have always wondered why it is done that way. This is common practice in our local communities and even in urban areas where women dominate. Sometimes they do it in the markets once any of their neighbours or a member in the market has a new-born.
In some areas in Nigeria, they use nzu (white native chalk). Normally, they do this while singing joyous songs as women are gathered and soft drinks, garden eggs, peanuts, cucumber and others are made available.
Apart from the fact that the white powder is used on necks during the child’s naming ceremony, some women also use it around their abdomen and womb area. This is usually done for everyone who took part in the naming ceremony.
They also say that rubbing the powder around the abdomen shows that more babies will be born.
Even after that day, other women who visit the family are normally provided with white powder to rub on their neck while they present gifts to the new baby.
The use of white powder at naming ceremonies at the birth of the child is said to signify purity of heart, goodwill and welcome for the new child. It also signifies happiness and joy of a gift of a child.
In some places, other preparations include cooking of rice, preparation of pounded yam with different kind of soup during the naming ceremony.
Reports have it that Palm oil is also a significant part of the naming ceremony. A drop of it, they say, will be put in the baby’s mouth and everyone present at the naming ceremony will also taste the oil. It is said that tasting the oil is a sign of blessing for the baby.
In some communities, things like honey, sugar, kolanut, bitter kola, alligator pepper, palmoil, sugar, sugarcane, salt, and alcohol are also used at naming ceremonies, all having different meanings.
Some other important activities at naming ceremonies are prayers said for the newborn and the parents, eating and drinking and of course, announcing the name of the child by the parents, through the person officiating the ceremony.
Eunice Choko Kayode
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