Last Friday,I was at the Nigerian headquarters of Mercedes-Benz, Weststar Associates Limited, for a press conference, during which Beauty Business Week was formally introduced to journalists.
While the CEO of The World PR Media Limited, Mrs Tayo Afolabi, was reeling out the programme of events, she placed so much emphasis on beauty products, especially Shea Butter that certain writer looking virtually dazed, probably wondering: “Why the hell am I expected to put Shea Butter story on my automobile pages?”
Well for purely car magazines like Auto Car and Motor of the olden days, Shea Butter might have no place. But a typical motoring journalist would afterwards serve his or her readers with an exciting human angle of motoring. I mean for a pure automobile journalist, well, it’s all about engine, body, bolt and nuts. But for motoring journalist, it’s a wider and wild world.
Many years ago, I attended a presentation of automobile prize to the winner of “The Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria.”
I think 2003. During an exclusive interview , I asked her a very human angle question, which formed my headline.
Question: Would you have sex in a car?
Answer: Ahaem..that’s not fair…well.. No, no.
And on my motoring page the following week, I had a widely read story headlined: “I won’t Have Sex in a Car”, says the Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria.”
See what I mean? Beyond automobile, motoring also involves beauty, sex, crime, fashion, safety and indeed, most human endeavour.
Automobile or motoring has to with humans. It revolves round human lives and lifestyle. Motoring journalism mirrors and revolves around automobiles, auto parts, in-car entertainment, safety, driving, lifestyle, auto tourism, repair/maintenance, fashion/beauty, health, sports, politics, policies, education, sex, crime and InfoTech.
Most important in this write-up are beauty and fashion, which
bring to mind Jeremy Clarkson, a renowned British-born motoring journalist sacked from BBC Top Gear for smacking a colleague, and incidence that demonstrated the saying that “a hungry man is an angry man”.
Anyway, his wife once chose to acquire a particularly fine-looking car(name withheld). Against Clarkson’s disapproval, the writer’s wife fell in love with the beauty of the machine, not necessarily its engine, which is also not bad.
When knitting together his stories for TopGear magazine the following week, his wife’s choice of car came in handy. Writing about choices auto lovers make, Clarkson refereed to his wife’s car. His description of the car’s safety status sounds scary.
Clarkson: “My wife’s choice of car is as safe as having sex with a chain saw.”
To Clarkson, and quite right too, because a modern car now comes with smaller but more powerful engine, enabling a driver to travel at a speed of over 300 kilometre per hour, where permitted, it needs combination of both safety and beauty.
So where do Share Butter and Motoring meet then?
My answer is simple. A driver, who travels often, sitting for a long time , especially on those driver’s seat covered with artificial leather, has tendency of having bum rashes, popularly known as drivers’ bum in Europe.
And guess what is the best treatment for it ? It is Shea Butter. You see?
Don’t forget, there are modern cars that come with cosmetics boxes.
And I have seen cars customized to wear lipsticks and eye lashes. Don’t ask me how that is possible.
Talking about fashion, there are super rich around the world, including Nigeria, who, as a matter of fashion, when attending special occasions, have to drive or travel in a car with the same colour as their clothes, shoes and bags(in case of female).
Therefore, to a designer of modern passenger cars, beauty and styling are fused and melted together, if they must attract buyers.
Truth is, from years immemorial, human; unlike lower animals, have always been beauty conscious. This has become more pronounced since automobile was born.
I was having discussion with a colleague. To make cars affordable for Nigerians, I suggested a simple and brainless car like cars of the 70s and 80s, using carburettor, contact set and condenser.
His response was quick: “Count me out, I won’t buy it.”
What came to his mind is: “How the hell am I going to travel about in ugly things like olden days Peugeot 504, Volkswagen Beetle, Opel Record or even highly safe but box-looking Volvo?”
Honestly, that reaction is the reality of modern world. No matter how safe a car is, without beauty, it becomes unattractive, except to vehicle towing companies. Even as conservative as the Mercedes-Benz G-Wagon has been, it combines beauty with luxury and strength.
It is on this note that I commend organizers of Beauty Business Week, holding from today till Friday for their innovative concept.
World’s very first automobile was as ugly as an Amoeba, talking about the first working self-propelled land-based mechanical vehicle, built by a French inventor named Nicolas-Joseph Cugnot. It was ugly but for that age, exciting.
In this modern world, many humans out there prefer gadgets that combine both functionality and beauty.
That is why it is exciting to know that, at last, somebody or certain people dared to amalgamate beauty and automobile, talking about three-day Mercedes Benz World PR Beauty Business Week holding from Wednesday May 17th.
As you read this piece, the event has kicked off, featuring beauty stakeholders, beauty professionals and beauty enthusiasts in a series of seminars, workshops and Master-Classes. Organizer assures visitors of opportunity to network.
Spiced with lots of entertainments, the event has on ground Famous Maria Okanrende as official Host, renowned Kaylah Oniwo of Cool FM as official Host for the event’s Seminars and Workshops, as well as famed Jazz musician, Jazz Atta as the official Jazz artist of the event, sure to treat attendees to classically soulful music at “The Lipstick Garden”.
Well that’s about it. Now I need a cup of coffee.
See you at the event.