Back in High School, one of my numerous nicknames was ‘Trendy’, so you can say I know a thing or two about trends. Something, someone, some place or some news is always trending. Some trends last a while, others go by so quickly.
Today, amid all that is going on around us, I find it rather interesting that designer face masks seem to be making waves in certain parts of the globe. As I wonder what use the outfit matching mask will have after COVID, I am reminded that trends typically do not last forever because with humans, yesterday’s new is today’s used.
I remember a time when being a skinny Nigerian girl was not the ‘in thing’; at that time, ‘Big and beautiful’ was the only face of beauty or so we thought. I got teased a lot for my skinny frame and received several ‘you need to gain weight’ lectures from everyone and anyone. My mom even shared her own tales of being told that she will not have babies because her waist was too tiny. Imagine that!
But, all of that changed in one night when a Nigerian girl with a tall and skinny frame was crown ‘Miss World’. In 2001, Agbani’s victory was not just a win for Agbani but a win for all skinny girls who had been subjected to so many laughs. That night, Agbani was trending and a host of slim beauties began to trend too. Interesting how nothing about them changed, just a temporary shift in how we perceived ‘Beauty’.
Every story has a moral, in this case I will say, don’t make fun of others when you are trending, don’t feel bad when you are not trending and be careful what trends you follow or choose not to follow. Some trends add value if you catch the profit buzz, others add nothing to you or your immediate environment.
I have seen a few trends in my own lifetime. Once upon a time, cool guys hopped or bounced and all of a sudden teen-aged boys everywhere, were bouncing to an invisible beat. After a while, it faded away, leaving them disfigured and confused about the place of the ‘bounce’ in adulthood. I have also noticed the gradual convergence of the bust and hem lines, someone once said at this rate, all that will be left will be a belt. O how can I forget the dangerous slits in all things dresses and skirts that look like a pathway to where they should not lead. Some days, I feel like I may have just walked into the Garden of Eden. I remember that back in the days, makeup was used for touched up purposes, but now they feel like mask, and the wonderful ‘before and after’ pictures that splash all over the internet feel like you were handed a scam; leaving behind a trail of broken and disappointed hearts. Young boys wearing trousers that sit closer to the knees than the waist. While some even got into trouble because of ‘Bopdaddy’. The list is endless.
While some trends are good, others are just a waste of time and energy and you don’t have to feel out of place if you decide to take a rain-check on them. I will like to invite you to do two quick exercises with me.
Quick Exercise 1 – Find a trend worth following, it must be life giving, value adding and make a visible difference to you and those around you. Something that give you a legacy and leaves a smile on your face at your 85th. COVID-19 has led to an increase in charitable causes, you can hop on that trend and decide to stay on even after the pandemic has become the stuff of history books. What is in it for you? Joy, satisfaction and a blessedness that only givers can feel.
Quick Exercise 2 – Resist the urge to jump out of impulse on the bandwagon of the next feel good trend and gain private victory in self-awareness, discipline and self-control.
Remember trends come and go so quickly but they leave behind different imprints on us all. In the words of William Shakespeare, “Know thyself and to thyself be true”, you are more than a trend and trends should only define you if they are worth following. I hopped on a trend so many years back, this one is tested and trusted and for some reason it has lasted more than two thousand years and counting. We are not called to be conformist blown by every wind of doctrine, we are called to shine the light and lead the way.
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Stay safe and have a good week!