My first real crash course in packaging was in 2012. I was in Nigeria that Christmas chilling with a friend and we decided to hit up a new bar that had just opened and was touted to be this cool and swanky spot. It was a hot afternoon and we were dressed in what I thought was appropriate hot afternoon attire - a maxi dress and casual sandals for me, and since this spot was literally down the street, I skipped the makeup. Ol' dude also kept it pretty simple in jeans and a polo shirt. I didn’t think anything of our baffups, after all it was in the afternoon and we were just going for regular ol' drinks. So that's how we landed at the spot looking very casual and unbothered, and the bouncer gave both of us once-overs and dismissively said "Sorry, only members are allowed inside". Hollup, Hollup! We had so many questions: Members? I didn’t realize one had to be a member to get into a lounge and cool off with a drink. Everything screamed BS but what could we do? The bouncer wasn't giving us any face despite all our questions so we jejely chopped our ela ojukan and carried ourselves elsewhere. But the thing peppered me small sha...like ahn ahn, a whole Mgbeke like me getting bounced? Did they not know who my father in Heaven was? Some real nonsense and ingredient.
Now the funny thing about this cool story was that my sister and some of her friends had planned to meet us at that same "member-only" bar. So when we got dismissed, I sent her a quick text, telling her not to bother going to that bar and to come and meet us at the other place instead. Darris how my sister rolled up to the spot looking fly in heels, a nice outfit, and makeup on fleek. Her friends were also looking just as nice and put together. Me sef I come shame small, like kai I no even try sha. In all their flyness, they rallied me and my boy up claiming that we should all go back to that bar since they really wanted to check it out. And while I was so skeptical that we would get another round of bouncing, we got to the door and that same bouncer who claimed members only, let all of us in just like that without any wahala at all. No hassle, no questions. I was quite amaxed.
That was how I truly learned that sometimes in order for people to take notice, you have to package yourself accordingly. Best believe that for the rest of my trip, I made sure that every time I left the house, I was looking as takeaway as possible. The fear of ela is the beginning of wisdom.
Since then, I have seen/observed how packaging has helped some people's cases. A girl/guy might not even be that fine, but the way they carry themselves and pull things together just gives them that extra oomph factor that definitely gets them noticed and opens doors for them (literally and figuratively).
You know how sometimes you see people in the airport dressed to the nines just to fly, and you're wondering why they need a full face of makeup and need to be so dressed up for a simple plane ride. Well, my family friend once got upgraded to business class on an international trip for no reason, and she swears that it was because of how she presented herself at the ticket counter. Personally, I'm all for traveling in true comfort i.e. some comfortable shoes, leggings ('cos comfy leggings are forever the truth), and a make-up free face but if some nice baffs and a beat face will get me that business class upgrade, then please show me the way so that I can comply.
I also learned so many lessons about packaging in the workplace when I transitioned from working for the Government to the non-Government sector. The former is definitely way more casual than the latter. The first few weeks at my first post-Government job, I used to look around in awe at the falshunz in the office. From my experience, I quickly learned that a lot of times, people tend to take more notice when you are well dressed. You might not even be that smart, but by the time you dazzle them with nice baffs, you have won half the battle. Whoever came up with that "dress for the job you want" idea sure was onto something.
Even with all my observations and lessons learned, I still don’t have the packaging game down pat on a consistent level. Some days I step out looking like I made some real effort, and some days I don't. But to people are consistently on their game, I say please keep it up. I absolutely enjoy seeing well-packaged people…It just so aesthetically pleasing. I appreciate the babygirls and babyboys out there who give me some visual candy to admire with their packaging game. Keep up the good work guys, and remember…if anyone is beefing you for doing too much, just wave them off and remind them that it is better to be overpackaged than underpackaged #Mgbekewisdom.
And that is all she said.
Happy New Year folks!