Let’s take you back, you’re ready to go in your skin tight low waist jeans and low cut tank top, makeup on flick and shoes to die for. You take one last look at the mirror and think “Girl, you looking fine!” You pick up your purse, and head for the door, only to hear “Stop right there young lady, you’re not leaving my house dressed like that”
For the boys, you just got that new hippy hairstyle, and look in the barber’s mirror one more time and think “watch out girls, hot just got hotter”. You pay the barber and head for home, on getting there, you knock and your dad opens the door. He takes one look at you and says, if you plan to continue living in my house, you better go back there and tell that barber to shave it all off”.
The old school Nigerian parenting style, the authoritarian parenting style has one major rule, whether your parents are Igbo or Yoruba, whatever tribe, the rule is the same; ‘fit in or get out’.
In the fashion department, this rule rules, pun intended. In the typical Nigerian parent’s house, you wear short skirts, it’s a no-no. Your braids or weaves are too long, it’s a no-no. You want to leave the house in trousers? Big no-no. Full face of makeup? Nope, not happening. Ripped jeans? Not in my house. Grow you beards out? Nope, not in this house. Dreadlocks? Oh, heck no! Tattoos? You already know the answer to that, Big NO.
However, we have to give it to our parents, they have developed with the times. It’s no longer a ‘my way or the highway approach, it’s now a “I’m going to keep dropping little hints until you get it” approach. You know what I mean.
Nowadays, when we dress up in a way that seems inappropriate to our mothers, they don’t get mad. Nope. They position themselves where you can clearly see them, and give you “the look”; one eyebrow higher than the other, lips pursed and arms folded. If that doesn’t get the message across, then the fall back on the age old and effective, loud and drawn-out “Ok ooo”. If you still don’t get that obvious hint, they pull out the big guns, the “Hmm, that’s what you’re wearing?” warning.
We’ve all been there.
Big thanks to advancement; Nigerian parents have become a lot more lenient, and are even “rolling with the times”. The younger generation won’t understand this, but the oldies will never forget.