Does that ring a bell? It does to me. Quite a lot of bells, actually. It’s a phrase I have always had an issue with; an issue I struggled to identify at first. Then I figured: maybe the issue lays with the phrase, maybe it was misconstructed.
Perhaps it should have been: Don’t judge a cover by the book
Obviously, I was wrong.
I thought even deeper about it, realised that my issue with it had nothing to do with the phrase or its construction. I figured it had everything to do with the location of my ears: my environment. Nigerians. A human collective that teach a lot of culture but are out of culture. A people absolutely judgmental and overlook the concept of a fair trial. A people who make unnecessary things necessary, and give the necessary an invisible coat to hide under. A people whose priority would be a myopic analysis of the cover in lieu of the content: homes, schools, churches, companies, etc. Everyone acting more Christian than Jesus, holier than the Pope. Being absolutely judgmental, they have made everything about what we wear, or how we look, that they actually forget to check what really matters.
These days, a job interview is a fashion critique model. Properly ironed suits and pristine shoes. And we must not forget the afro hair and the censor it receives on the altar of professionalism, like it wasn’t in vogue in the last decade. Of course, it’s a different case if it is a male caucasian with the hair.
Horses**t, in my honest opinion. Nobody’s hair came with a user manual.
It’s even worse for young men on the streets, being assaulted on a daily by men in uniforms; all for what? Hair a little high? A tattoo somewhere?
Another misguided quote: “You will be addressed how you are dressed.” Yeah, right? But who made the standard of what properly dressed should look like? Being properly dressed is overrated, especially in this part of the world.
So, yeah, don’t judge a book by its cover. Suicide bombers wear suits and ties this days.