Happy New Year!
No it’s not too late. This is when my year Is officially starting. A lot has happened since last year but let’s talk about our bodies today, shall we ?
My journey of how I view myself has been a painful one growing up!
I have always been petite as some like to refer to it or even skinny as some call it or let’s just say the dictionary.
When I was young, I was in a girls primary school for 8 years, surrounded by young ladies who matured way faster than me. That meant, all areas of their bodies were changing fast and it was nothing they could hide or control.
I remember a teacher who once told us, if we hadn’t received our periods before by the age of 12, there was something wrong with us and we needed to seek medical advice! Well you can imagine, I thought I was abnormal for very a long time 😂
What’s interesting are the experiences I have had to date. Some have said I am ‘the small bodied girl’, ‘you eat, but where does the food go ?’ ‘Why are you trying to work out again?’ ‘Ati, you’re trying to get toned?’ ‘Haiya! Are you okay? Naona unareduce tu-(I see you’re losing weight- direct translation). I have honestly tried to gain weight to ‘feel more confident’ but to no avail especially because I take after my mums side of the family where people are small. The same way it poses a challenge for some to lose weight.
In today’s world, we call it body shaming- making one feel bad for having the bodies they have. So if they’re overweight, we tell them to become skinny and when one is skinny, we tell them to eat more(become fuller) cause they shouldn’t be looking they way they look. I am not advocating for unhealthy bodies, please eat right and do your best to work out and be healthier. What bothers me is the confidence in language we use when telling someone off about their body. It’s quite disheartening!
As I continue to experience these things, It also seems as though maturity of both mind and age and even a sense of acknowledgment as a ‘grown up’, has been tied to body size. The more voluptuous you are, the more woman/mature you are, the more fertile you are! 🙆🏽♀️ Do you think this is true and have you experienced it yourself?
But the irony is that the generation of today is diverse, everything is changing. 14 year olds look as if they are well over 25 years of age and I who is about to turn 25 years, continues to look 17 to many people. But men oh men, this may be a blessing in disguise right? because I may still be looking snatched at 60 years old, if the Lord wills of course. 😎
Anyway, I am learning that culture is everywhere and literally has a say for everything. If you wanted to Google any issue you were going through, the internet would have plenty of solutions for you. Such as, how you are meant to look and dress, what type of job is best, the car that will steal the most attention, the best neighborhood to live in, how to find your ‘soul mate’. I mean the list is endless!
If I lived up to the expectations of society, I would have drowned in my own sorrows already. But at some point, I gave into the lie that how God created me, wasn’t how I was meant to be. I looked at other ladies and coveted the curves they had that I wish I possessed, or the smooth skin and luscious hair that I felt I lacked. Even my toe nails looked funny and I would always blame my dad’s side of the family for that 😂 (I have since outgrown that thinking) I like my imperfect toes.
I remember some time last year working for a medical company that covers cosmetic surgery. Here is where I learnt how much people really valued their appearance enough to spend money that could buy a new car! But I don’t say this with judgment, I came to realize that changing our bodies physically through cosmetic surgery, is also accompanied by some psychological traits of how we view ourselves. Not for all but majority of people who want fuller bodies in all the right places have been influenced by something that says ‘This is the standard of beauty’ whether you are male or female.
Now don’t get me wrong. Once again, I am definitely for someone feeling confident In their body, even if it’s working out to make yourself more toned in those particular areas whether it’s your chest area, arms or glutes. I am just not a fan of someone changing a part of them permanently because society has ingrained in their minds that that is the standard of beauty, love and acceptance! Because it really isn’t.
When God made us in his image and likeness, He made us for his glory, and we were enough for Him. As I write this, I am not fully in love with my body but I’m learning to accept that God molded me and said I am enough, just the way I am. This knowledge should give me peace but most times, I allow other peoples loud opinions to affect me. It really isn’t easy when social media is becoming uncontrollable and constantly forces down our throats what is ‘socially acceptable’
Just like I am here to remind myself, I am here to remind you too. Wewe ni mrembo, you are beautiful in your not so smooth skin, and saggy areas, with your not so long hair and huge nostrils and your different body size. You are beautiful. Of course I am not saying just relax, if your desire is to be more healthy- go ahead and work out and eat right but don’t kill your self for peoples approval. It just isn’t worth it. Your identity comes from God and I hope you can step out confidently today not only knowing that, but believing it too.