Everyone seems to have an opinion on award winning author and celebrated feminist speaker, Chimamanda Adichie, signing up as the face of the No7 READY campaign, with many expressing surprise at her decision to be associated with something as frivolous as make up.
No7, recently hosted a round table debate on the role that make-up plays for women today and Chimamanda was joined by Cherry Healey, Sarah Willingham, Gizzi Erskine, Gemma Cairney and Louise O’Neill, to share their experiences of make-up and the positive impact it has had on their lives when they get it just right.
Chimamanda explained the precise point that she gave up make up early in her career in a bid to be taken more seriously among her peers, and subsequently how she came to embrace and love it again as an enhancement of her own self.
“Generally, if you are a serious intelligent woman in Lagos, Nigeria and you wear makeup and dress up, people don’t really judge you harshly, because culturally there is an expectation that you should care about your appearance. I always say that I think that Lagos is the most stylish city in the world, by which I mean, people will make their own clothes, but they will look incredible. Women who have almost no money will be wonderfully turned out.”
“And so when I moved to the US to go to college that’s when I discovered that there was a connection between being considered a serious woman and wearing makeup, and wearing high heels, just sort of caring, like you spend some time looking in the mirror. And that’s when I first started to pretend. Thinking, these people are not going to take me seriously if I whip out my bright red lipstick at the writer’s conference. And so I stopped. It was actually quite a deliberate thing.”
The full length video content can be viewed here.