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Chimamanda Adichie – “Even When I Didn’t Wear Makeup In The U.S., I Wore Makeup In Nigeria Because I …..”

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Chimamanda Adichie – “Even When I Didn’t Wear Makeup In The U.S., I Wore Makeup In Nigeria Because I …..”


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Award winning Author, Chimamanda Adichie, who is the face of No7, the makeup brand owned by the pharmacy chain Boots, in a recent interview, speaks about her decision to wear makeup anytime she visited Nigeria and her fashion ideals.

Read interesting excerpts from Chimamanda Adichie’s  interview with Nytimes:

Why did you finally decide to wear makeup, no matter what people thought?

It’s getting older. You realize there’s very little time for rubbish. You realize life is short, and it’s so much better to be who you are. When I was younger, I didn’t have the sense of self to do that.

But it’s interesting because even when I didn’t wear makeup in the U.S., I wore makeup in Nigeria because I wanted to look my age and not too young. In Nigeria, in particular, it was easy for men to dismiss what I said because they thought I looked like a small girl. I remember seeing a man at the airport after my first novel was published, and he looked at me, quite quizzical, and said, “You look like the writer.” And I said, “Well, I’m kind of her.” His face fell. And he said, “I didn’t think the writer would be such a small girl.” There was such disappointment on his face.

At some point, I wanted to be who I am. And who I am is a person who enjoys, from time to time, putting a bright color on my lips.

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Will you continue to be a presence in the fashion world?

If you were raised by Grace Adichie, my mother, you had better be interested in fashion. From the time I was a little girl, my mother would dress me up. She would put some of her jewelry on me. I’m a bit of a shoe fiend. I make no apologies for it. The first makeup I used was my mother’s lip gloss. I remember putting on a lot of it, so it was quite shiny. She didn’t mind at all. She said, “You look like you ate hot jollof rice and didn’t wipe it off.”

There’s a part of me that likes shoes, and likes dresses, and likes makeup, and likes books, and likes to write. I think that’s the case for many women. But our culture makes us think we have to choose slices of ourselves that we’re comfortable showing the world.

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Do you consider fashion and makeup entry points to a wider audiences?

I decided to do this No7 thing because I thought it might be fun, and then they will give me free makeup. And I’m always up for free things. It wasn’t a carefully calculated thing. It was actually just my being blinded by the selfish overwhelming love of makeup. But I have to be honest, there were times when I thought, “Well, what have I done?” I wasn’t quite aware of how many pictures of me would be out there. It makes me feel a little vulnerable. I told my friends to stop sending me pictures of when they see me at the bus stop in London or something. It’d be very dishonest to say it’s all wonderful. It’s not so much a question of regret. But it does come with feelings of vulnerability that can be uncomfortable.


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Dayo is the 2017 NWA Fashion Blogger of the year and the Managing Editor for Fashionpheeva. She is a graduate of Aquaculture & Fisheries Management from Funaab and an Associate member of The Chartered Institute of Personnel Management of Nigeria. Dayo loves writing about fashionable people. You can follow her on Instagram @apphiaanna and @fashionpheeva

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