Has Teni Broken The Stereotype Of A Nigerian Female Celebrity Image?
Perception is certainly one of the numerous issues celebrities have to meet in the eyes of the public. Just as every other public figure struggles to keep up with looking alluring, which usually involves staying in shape, more often than not, maintaining a slim body, Teniola Apata, popularly known as Teni the Entertainer, seems to have successfully detached our focus from the stereotype of what a female celebrity image ordinarily is, sexy and wanting, to what really matters, the art and the person.
In trying to disentangle our human and social interaction, society expects female celebrities to look a certain way, thin and portable, enchanting sexy little divas, and they, in turn, feel pressure to live this lifestyle that is not exactly theirs.
In Nigeria, you can literally count the number of successful female artists with your fingers. This could be because it is a lot harder to maintain a female artist. To attain and complement their successes, the world expects them to be the total package and most of them and their management struggle to keep up.
While the male celebrity can throw in a plain t-shirt and sneakers, and in some cases, repeat clothes, the female is expected to always have a lean body in a sexy dress, wearing a glamorous look, portraying the perfect sex appeal and never repeat clothes.
Away from a few occasions where she goes a little extra in her traditional Yoruba attire, her sugar mummy looks, Teni is habitually in her boogie pants, t-shirts, and colourful jackets. This image has distinguished her from the rest and has given the world clues on how to feel about her as well as what should matter when topics relating to her brand arise in conversations. She is simply in a world of her own, a world that does not seek to please anyone.
Some male celebrities, for example, have, under our watch, grown from the lean, good looking artists to what seems like “not so in shape” superstars and it doesn’t look like the world has issues with that. But a female celebrity will mostly not get away with a little bloated lower tummy. It is a lot harder for a female to break into the public scene and stay relevant without having a sexual drive to her brand to spice things up unless she is really talented and is ready to grind through thick and thin like Teni who seems to have turned this table, her career will be cut short.
Teni is no exception to cyberbullying, no she is not, factually, she has been called fat, bullied in the most horrible ways on social media, but her bubbly personality and confident looks make you think she has totally overcome the pressure that comes with being a celebrity and meeting up with what society envisages of female stars, to be sexy.
Her social media fun contents and engagements show great relatability to her followers and a deep connection to the streets.
Although she recently hinted on her Twitter page that she would be starting her fitness journey next year, if you have ever envisioned her as a sexy diva in a dress, you might have to wait a long time because it seems Teni is here to break the stereotype of your typical Nigerian female celebrity image.
Get the latest news delivered straight to your inbox every day of the week. Stay informed with the Guardian’s leading coverage of Nigerian and world news, business, technology and sports.