As a woman who lives in an urban society in the 21st century, I am constantly being bombarded by messages from media and advertising and even the people around me. Many of these messages encourage me to look better, be healthier, dress better; but how many of them encourage me to do it for myself?
As much as women have progressed recently, the sad thing is that in the society we live in, we are still seen as objects who should look pretty for the sake of other people. This may be changing in other places, but it is very much the case in Nairobi. What women wear and how they look are constantly being judged and criticised and held to ridiculous standards that we aren't allowed to dictate ourselves. I remember hearing the tale of a woman who got married and was made to shower, dress up in Indian traditional clothes and make-up EVERY single morning by the time she was at the breakfast table; whereas her in-laws did not adhere to these standards.
Unfortunately, many of us are at a stage where if we wish to dress up or put on make up, it is naturally assumed that we are doing so to impress others. If people discover that we may be doing so because we genuinely enjoy it, we are seen as vain. Isn't it time that women were allowed to join the 21st century too?