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11.05.2015 Feature Article

A Letter to my future wife: Your wedding day make-up

A Letter to my future wife: Your wedding day make-up
LISTEN MAY 11, 2015

Dear Serwaa,

I want to appeal to you to let me have a say in how you will look on our wedding day. That day is one of the most important days in our life and how we look on that day matters, doesn't it?

On that day, I want to wear African print, but I would compromise and wear a suit if you so insist. On that day, I will subject myself to what you find appropriate for me to wear. You can even dictate my haircut. Wedding is for the woman, they often say. So I will do anything to make you happy that day, but permit me to also have a say about your looks on that day.

Serwaa, when I attend weddings, I often get disappointed when I see the bride. Some appear like Hindu goddesses after excessive make up and adulteration of their bodies with artificial body parts. They often appear as colourful as brand ambassadors of Azar Paint and look like the china dolls in Kejetia market when they pose for picture.

The only occasion I saw a bride with practically no make up was when Atta Kwame Jonah married Mercy Nana Yakah in October last year in Kete-Krachi. Nana Yakah appeared so real and even though I didn't comment about it, I have since distinguished her from other women when this issue comes to mind. Proponents of make-up may argue that it is good and enhances looks. But the truth is that some brides appear uglier in make up and excessive adornment than they naturally are.

On our wedding day, Serwaa, this is what I want you to do: be yourself. If you appear with artificial eyelashes, we will have to suspend the wedding until you go back to remove them. I hate artificial eyelashes and I can't stand the sight of it. I also want you to leave your fingernails the way they are without any extensions. Growing up, we associated such long fingernails with witches and evil spirits but it is not taking absurd dimensions.

I still do not understand why a lady whose fingernails are never polished should want to extend them on her wedding day. Who says you are ugly with your neat and well-manicured fingernails? Or has a wedding ring ever rejected a finger because the nails have not been extended? If no why must every woman wear extended nails on their wedding day? For what? Please, don't tell me everyone is doing it.

I don't know exactly what you want to do with your natural hair on our wedding day, but I will be happy if you keep it natural. I am not able to make any rigid suggestion about this one. But I must confess your natural hair was one of the qualities that endeared you to me. I love such confident women who are proud of how God made them and would not go to the ends of the world to get enhancement.

Some even go to the extent of peeling off their natural skin. I heard on the BBC yesterday that Cote d'Ivoire had banned skin-lightening products. I am sure women who bleach will find a way of smuggling them into the country. That is not my headache, my headache was when I heard the BBC news anchor say that one out of every three women in Africa use those products.

I have not conducted any survey but looking around in this country, I think the figure is too outrageous and sounds insulting to the women of the black continent who are mostly proud of their skin colour.

On our wedding day, your make up should be very moderate. You can mildly wear a makeup but I won't tolerate any face painting. Shape your beautiful eyebrows. Don't go and shave everything and draw weird lines across your forehead with coloured pencils. That is madness, not fashion.

Serwaa, I want anyone who attends our wedding to be able to recognize you when they see you after the ceremony. With what I sometimes see, it will be impossible to identify the bride after the wedding day unless you know her very well before the wedding. You have to be yourself. You don't have to bedeck yourself with such artificial materials to look beautiful. You are too beautiful to worry about that. Besides, such adornment and decorations do not add anything to your beauty. They rather take away from it.

One of the reasons I chose you is because of your naturalness. You keep your hair natural. You don't wear make up. In fact, when I first saw you, you were in your natural state, without even pomade. Only God knows how enchanted I was while I scanned your body with eyes of admiration.

Make no mistake about why I am concerned about your wedding day make up. It is not the cost I am afraid to bear. I want my writings and the books I read spiced, but my woman, I want her real and natural. So on that important day, don't throw away the reason I love you so much and come in a different format.

I have seen too many grotesque images at weddings and I dread to experience that on my wedding day. On that day, be yourself. Don't do what everyone else does. You are not like every lady out there. You are unique in an inexpressively beautiful way. These are the features I want to see on that day. God made no mistake when he created you so don't appear as someone else at our wedding.

I always want you to be that confident, real and natural woman I saw and could not resist. One these natural qualities and your impeccable character shall we build our marriage and the gates of divorce shall not prevail against it.

It's your love,


The writer, Manasseh Azure Awuni, is a senior broadcast journalist with Joy 99.7FM. His email address is [email protected]

Manasseh Azure Awuni
Manasseh Azure Awuni, © 2015

The author has 242 publications published on Modern Ghana.Column: ManassehAzureAwuni

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