“I love intelligent women. When I come back from work, I like to have intellectual conversations”.
Adetola gets this feedback quite often when she engages some men in basic conversations. Her topics of interests are quite diverse and she does not consider them as anything beyond the range of a human with basic memory and average intelligence. She finds it quite demeaning when men say that. It was not that she can not take a simple compliment. Rather, it is the underlying insinuation that women are generally stupid and incapable of higher functions. It is a compliment she never said “thank you” to. There was never a time any of her male friends said anything and another male complimented his intelligence.
“I love to have intellectual conversations. Not all these slay Queens who don’t know more than make up.” Ayodele emphasised with an expression of disgust on his face as he gesticulated the lack of intelligence by slay queens.
Adetola stared on in silence at the display of unintelligence and stupidity. Her silent adoration of the bearded representation of foolishness was mistaken for amazing listening skills. Ayodele kept on talking, but Adetola had stopped listening. There was never a time an intelligent man used the phrase “intellectual conversations” in relation to engaging the opposite gender.
The image of a slay queen flashed through her mind. A slay queen, as classified by the new age man, is a beautiful lady with an awesome sense of style, beautiful make up, lovely hair, but lacking mental acuity. Adetola remembered that her brilliant friend, Funbi, with a master’s degree in law went to make up school but her make up skills are very basic. She herself, Adetola, the acclaimed intelligent lady, has never contoured her face because she does not know how to.
Make up blending is an art and a science on its own. Adetola wondered if it ever occurred to these men that only fine artists could do what slay queens create on their faces before the evolution of makeup a few years ago. Contouring is the dexterity to play with hues and shades of the same colour to create an illusion when light falls on them. It’s incredible. She remembered that the few people who create such magic on paper without a degree in Fine Arts are now applauded as skillfully talented artists. Why are slay queens considered dumb? They create perfection. They redefine beauty. They give us joy. They make us happy. The smile a bride wears on her wedding day when the make-up is set. The creative blending of eye shadows on the brows. Adetola tries to get into a slay queen’s mind when she selects seven colours to blend on her brows and goes ahead to blend one skillfully into another till all you see is seamless beauty. Whenever she tries it, she creates a caricature. She can barely match and blend anything beyond two colours. Heck! She is terrible with colours. Beyond the primary and secondary colours, she can barely name them. Slay queens rarely combine primary and secondary colours.
“I mean! You’re beauty with brains, unlike slay queens.” Ayodele jostled her out of her “listening”
That’s the other compliment Adetola never acknowledges : Beauty with Brains.
Adetola believes it highlights the bias that beautiful women are not smart and the least an ugly woman could be to compensate for her lack of beauty is to be smart. It is widely believed that a woman cannot be beautiful and smart, and a woman who does not fit beauty standards is still doomed anyway because women are generally not smart. She has always admired how “slay queens” have converted their beauty enhancing skills to money making skills. They run YouTube channels with a large followership and incredible video editing skills. They become ambassadors because of the content they create, consistency, and the level of engagement and influence in their community. They go on to partner with popular beauty lines, and eventually launch beauty products on their websites. They own a company and live the good life. They go on vacations, attracting the envy of insecure men who attack them. Slay queens achieve greatness without an MBA. These are the impeccable qualities of slay queens that make men of substance seek after them. Adetola had no desire to entertain non-edifying conversations seeing that the world was overwhelmed by the covid-19 pandemic.
“The aftermath of this pandemic will be overwhelming. The oil war could have been better handled if we weren’t faced with a failure of leadership as a race. Covid-19 has questioned globalisation. It will take time and concerted efforts to revive the nations. These are indeed interesting times.” Adetola continued the conversation she started before Ayodele interjected with his love for intelligent women.
“Forget!” Ayodele exclaimed. “China is responsible for this. China lied, people died.”
“Agreed.” Adetola lowered her voice to pass the cue to him to stop raising his voice. “We saw these things all over the media since December. The World Health Organisation was alerted on the 31st of December. We saw the people of China wear water dispenser bottles, we saw their doctors wear one-piece suits, and we laughed as China hurriedly built a hospital in 10 days. We saw it crumble. The last time we saw that was during ebola, yet we believed it was just flu and ignored visible warnings. The reaching effects of Covid-19 is a failure of leadership. I think there’s enough blame to go round, or we can get to work”.
“See, China is trying to rule the world.” Ayodele continued. “In fact, they’re trying to use the antichrist to give everyone microchips through 5G technology. They’re even using Bill Gates to push it.”
Adetola chuckled in her mind because she just could not imagine that she had respectfully engaged a man with such a mentality for about an hour. She shuddered at the man who just said he wanted “intellectual conversations from women”. It was ungodly for her to continue such a conversation.
Her phone rang.
“I have to take this call.” Thank goodness! What a perfect timing for the phone to ring. “I’m sorry I have to leave. I’m scheduled to see a friend and I’m running late”. She lied.
“No qualms”. Ayodele rose as Adetola grabbed her bag. “can you drop me at the train station? “
“Oh dear! I’m not going that way but I can call you a cab” Adetola lied. “I’m calling an Uber for you right away.”
Adetola rushed to her car and pulled out of the parking lot. Her phone did not ring. She simply swiped her screen and played the music she had on pause to escape the “intellectual conversation”.
“Never again! ”
She registered a mental note to avoid “intellectual conversations “ in the future as she drove to the mall to shop for make up.
The year is 2020 – the acceptable year to wear and master mink lashes.