I saw a woman today.
At first sight, I noticed she had no visible hips, no visible bum, everything ‘flat’ like people say. My 1st impulse was to smile internally, do a jig dance and say something like “ah, I gat it and she don’t!”. I stopped myself it time. I resisted the urge to do that!
Instead, I looked at the woman carefully and noticed she had a very pretty face with a very sweet smile! So I focused on that instead. Gradually I didn’t notice her “flaws” anymore.
Lots of times, we women dig into other women we meet, looking for flaws, looking for ways to put them down [albeit in our minds]. Somehow, for some very strange reason, most women tend to feel good when they run other women down. Why?
When I was younger, I had lots of people run me down, telling me all the things they felt were wrong with my body – from my legs to my height, my forehead even. For this reason, I didn’t like myself one bit! I remember always praying then for “God to make me beautiful”. Ohh, how God must have been shaking His head at me saying “my daughter, you are praying for something I have already given you”. At the time, my favourite pastime was seeking out people I was “better than”. Sorry for u if I measure your ass with my internal tape rule and find out that mine is bigger – even by half an inch. Ewoo, the kind dance wey I go dance for your head eh! LOL. It gave me some sort of power.
Slowly, as I got older, i started taking power from all those negative people that had created an Amaka who hated herself. When they call me “mbaji” (cocoa yam, on account of my legs), I quicky shot them down with “Nope, it’s called ‘strong legs’ and its really sexy. Update your beauty sense!”
Whatever negative they brought, I twisted a positive from it immediately. It helped a great deal that I had friends that loved themselves like ‘kilode’ – even with their shortcomings. I, subconsciously, surrounded myself with people who had a healthy self – esteem and gradually, mine began to grow.
Looking back now, I wonder what would have happened if I continued on that path of ‘shaming others to feel better’, oh boy! I probably would be the priestess of the hate clan by now! And the unfortunate thing with doing this is – you NEVER ACTUALLY FEEL BETTER AFTER YOU HAVE BODY SHAMED ANOTHER PERSON! Take this from someone who has gone down that road.
Infact, it’s more rewarding to praise and appreciate other people. That is when you feel better!
But, really if you look at it well, you have a ‘perfect’ body, face, hair etc – what value has all these things added to people around you? Like they say now “who you epp”? Because that is the most important thing in life – adding real value to people around you!
So when you meet someone who is constantly body shaming other people, who is so negative that appreciation rarely comes out of her/him, someone who only sees the flaws in people – feel sorry for them, because they are probably fighting their own insecurities. Don’t be harsh with them but gently and calmly tell them that they should seek help because they are on a path that leads nowhere.
So the next time you see someone you feel “you are better than”, resist the urge to snicker at the person’s expense. It’s hard (trust me) but it’s doable. Tell yourself “my mama raised me better”.
People with a healthy self – esteem don’t seek to pull down, they build up!