What are the Nigerian Beauty Standards? (2024)

Nigerian model wearing green top smiling

Nigeria, where beauty is really beautiful. A country, that appreciates dark skin, unlike almost every other country. If you have ever noticed Nigerian beauty carefully, you would have seen the difference between them and any other people. 

Here, I am not saying that the rest of the countries have the same people, my opinion is that Nigerians are very much different from other people.

Well, let us have a look at the beauty standards of Nigeria.

Have you ever taken note that African women are different in appearance than other countries? Nigeria has always represented the African side of beauty to the world that was otherwise overlooked. Nigerian beauty standards are influenced by a mixture of traditional African culture, Western cultural norms, and personal preferences. Nigerian women are often praised for having full figures, dark skin, and a voluminous head of hair. A clear complexion, a curvy figure, and long limbs are also considered to be desirable traits that characterises a Nigerian woman. 

In addition, there is a focus on fashion and grooming, with many Nigerian women taking great care to dress stylishly and apply makeup flawlessly. Jewellery, especially earrings and bracelets, is also an important aspect of traditional Nigerian beauty standards. If you take a careful look at pictures of Nigerian women, colourful and big jewellery pieces are a highlight for a woman’s styling.

Women are often expected to wear their hair in natural styles, such as braids, twists, or afros. Mostly, women style their hair in a neat manner. The preference for a curvy figure has been attributed to the influence of Western media, as well as to traditional African ideals of beauty. However, as with many cultures, beauty standards in Nigeria are constantly evolving and being influenced by various factors, including globalisation, access to technology, and changes in fashion and pop culture.

In Nigeria, there is a wide range of beauty standards, but some common traits that are often considered beautiful include:

  • Dark skin: A dark skin complexion is highly valued in Nigeria and is seen as a symbol of beauty and good health. And the good thing is that the people of Nigeria naturally have dark skin. In other words, they are born beautiful.
  • Full lips: Full lips are also considered attractive and a sign of beauty in Nigeria. So, women even apply bright red lipsticks for it. 
  • Curves: A curvy figure, especially in women, is highly prized in Nigeria and is seen as attractive and feminine.  If I tell you in detail then it is not an hourglass figure. Yes, that is why I call it unique. Most of Nigerian women have a pear-shaped figure. Big butts are appreciated a lot in Nigeria.
  • Natural hair: Natural hair, especially thick and curly hair, is also highly valued in Nigeria and is seen as a symbol of beauty and good health. Genetically, Nigerian women often have thicker hair in comparison to other countries. 

They are also expected to have a well-manicured appearance and to dress elegantly, especially for formal events. Mostly, women prefer to wear their traditional attire for special ceremonies.

For men, physical attributes like height, broad shoulders, and a muscular build are often seen as desirable. Facial hair is also viewed as a sign of masculinity.

In Nigeria, there are certain facial features and body types that are considered desirable. For women, these generally include:

  • Facial features: Clear skin, high cheekbones, full lips, and well-defined eyebrows are often seen as attractive. A sharp nose and a well-proportioned face are also desirable.
  • Body: A curvy figure, with a pronounced hourglass shape, is widely considered to be the epitome of beauty in Nigeria. Women with a larger bust and hips, and a smaller waist, are often praised for their figure.

For men, the following features and body types are often considered desirable:

  • Facial features: A well-defined jawline, high cheekbones, and a chiseled face are often seen as attractive.
  • Body: A muscular and toned physique, with broad shoulders and a defined chest, is widely considered to be the epitome of male beauty in Nigeria. Height is also seen as desirable for men, as it is linked to power and strength. These standards are linked to the primitive days of Africa. 


Nigerian women often take a multi-faceted approach to maintaining their beauty, combining both traditional and modern practices. Some common methods include:

  • Skincare: Maintaining clear skin is a top priority for many Nigerian women, and they often use a combination of natural remedies and products to achieve this. Some popular ingredients used in skincare include shea butter, coconut oil, and aloe vera. Women also frequently use facial masks, exfoliating scrubs, and toners to keep their skin looking fresh and healthy. So, these are the secret items that make their skin look super glowing. Sometime they use vitamin C korean serums to achieve brighter skin.
  • Hair care: Nigerian women place a great emphasis on having well-groomed hair. Many opt for braids, weaves, or wigs as a way to protect their natural hair, while others may use chemical treatments like relaxers to achieve a desired style. Regardless of the method, women often take great care to keep their hair looking healthy and styled. You may have seen that their African hairstyles are popular in other countries too.
  • Fitness: Staying in shape is important to many Nigerian women, and they often incorporate exercise and healthy eating habits into their routine. Aerobic exercise and weightlifting are popular, as they help to tone and sculpt the body. Some women may also turn to waist trainers or other body-shaping products to enhance their curves. For this reason, you may notice that Nigerian women actively participate in sports and other activities. 
  • Fashion: Have you ever seen or ordered African style jewellery online women? If not, you must order it for their unique style. Nigerian women are known for their love of fashion and for their ability to dress elegantly for any occasion. They often invest in high-quality clothing and accessories, and they take great care to choose outfits that complement their body type and personal style. 
  • Gele”: Have you ever taken a loot at the colourful head wrap worn by African women? The traditional headwrap, known as a “gele,” is a staple of Nigerian beauty and fashion. Women of all ages wear the gele to complement their outfits, and it is considered a symbol of elegance and sophistication.
  • Aso-Ebi: Aso-Ebi is a traditional Nigerian concept of matching clothing and accessories, typically worn at special events such as weddings, parties, and other celebrations. It involves wearing similar clothing, typically made from brightly colored fabric, to show solidarity and to create a festive atmosphere.


In conclusion, beauty standards are culturally and socially constructed, and they can change over time. Nigeria has always stood apart for its beauty standards that have wonderfully evolved to include a combination of traditional and contemporary ideals, with an emphasis on clear skin, well-groomed hair, a curvy figure, and stylish fashion. While these standards can provide women with a sense of pride and confidence, they can also create pressure, foster competition, and contribute to discrimination. Ultimately, it’s important to remember that beauty is subjective and that everyone should feel confident and comfortable in their own skin. Women are encouraged to focus on their own individual sense of beauty, rather than conforming to societal expectations.

Read more: 5 Best Korean Vitamin C Serums for Hyperpigmentation [2023]




Leave a Comment