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Saturday, 12 October 2013

AMS Stories: Personal Struggles: A Perfect Physique


 Growing up in Nigeria without a mother was really difficult, other parent constantly looking down on me and saying to my face that I am ugly because of my stature, I was never told I was gorgeous, cute, pretty or beautiful with the exception of my father.  My father died when I was just sixteen year old; it was really heart breaking….

 I heard people use the word (good-looking or beautiful) to describe my friends. I heard people use that word to describe babies, but I was never personally told by my friends or family members that “You are cute. You’re gorgeous!  You’re pretty!” If I had ever been told that, I don’t remember. What I could remember was malicious word that make me feel insecure in myself and in the  community I used to live, people used word like; “You’re too skinny”, “You have no bum”,  “Your breast are too small” “You look like a man” “I hope you won’t break into two”  “Your legs are too tiny”……. I remember when I was 4 years old a particular neighbour closed her door against me just because she thought I had a bad sickness and she was trying to prevent me from spreading it to her children. I cried that day I still remember L
I do remember being sneered at even in my primary school days and it always had something to do with my physique and my school uniform. I remember in my secondary school days, there was this boy, anytime we boarded the same bus home, he always joked that there is nothing attractive to love about me.  After my father’s death, I got into an argument with my sister’s boyfriend, and he called me “Sickler” which meant that I was an ill person, and I am affected by sickle- cell anaemia, while she stood there. And she let him.  I was hopping mad, I was wounded inside, I was insulted, and most of all, I felt worthless.

With the expansion of social media, I can't think of how many children or teen are getting criticized and bullied everyday because of something on their body that may not be perfect. I was hurt in my own home and at school, but my already crushed self-esteem would have been hundred times worse, if I had to be exposed to those comments every time I uploaded a photo or a picture on my Facebook at that time.

By the time I went off to polytechnic (Just like college in England), I was tired of the everyday commentary on my imperfect figure, so I got a job as a teaching assistant, I made some money and made an appointment to see a doctor who prescribed a tablet that improved my food intake. Luckily, the tablet was working, I was getting flesh and my bum was coming out and my stature was improving day by day.  I also used some medication that was prescribed by an individual all in the name that I wanted to get a rounded figure and be accepted by my friends, family and society. I went to the extreme using all sorts of tablets with bad side effect. There was a time my face was puffed-up………"Gah, I gave up" you don’t really want to know everything I went through "ouch it hurt".
 
 Has a nice physique changed my life? I can say it has to some extent during my college days even though I still look small but my body tone and skin was OK. I was able to wear jeans, fitted dress and off shoulder tops, which makes me, seem a bit more sweet and welcoming.  I’m less insecure about my stature now, compared to my teen years.  But then again I’m also upset that I allowed people, who don’t even matter and who are not present in my life (who knows where they are and what they are doing right now), to make such a lasting impact on my esteem as a child that I was and as an adult that I am now.
 
I’m upset when I log on to Facebook or Twitter, and I see someone condemning someone’s personal appearance; their shape, their hair, their skin tone and other things that they were born with.  The other day, someone on Facebook said “you look horrible with that ugly face you have on your head” to someone on my timeline and of course, they have no picture on their profile because they definitely wouldn’t dare subject themselves to those same insults.
Last year, someone close to me made a comment about my face she said “look at you, don’t you know you have a high cheek bone and your teeth need fixing”. I was really upset, with the fact that I was going through some stuff ………..and my responds to her was “everybody in my family has a high cheek bone and gap tooth.  Besides, I look like my father and I am not a bastard”. She kept quiet because she knew I was hurt by her comments. I went into my folder and I showed her my father passport photograph. Then, I said “you see I look like my father and I am content with the way I am”.

Most of the time when people say bad things about you, it’s a reflection of how they are really feeling about themselves. There are people in the world who are scared to look at themselves in the mirror.  And 80% of the time, they aren’t being told they are “attractive” either, so it’s so much easier for them to exert that energy onto you.
I guess people don’t realize how much their words can really affect someone. You have to be careful what kind of energy you put out into the universe. The saying “if you have nothing nice to say then don’t say anything at all” should really not be taken lightly. But it’s also really important for people to build their self-confidence and learn to love who they are because there is always going to be someone in life that tries to put you down. You can’t let them. Be happy in who you are and know that you are beautiful and wonderfully made.

My relationship was also threatened; it comes as no surprise to me that my former boyfriend constantly insulted me, verbally, mentally and emotionally because of my stature.  You know, for a man to find you and truly love you is rare these days, even some of the men in the church are vain.  Most of men look at the container instead of the contents, men of nowadays want ladies with BB & BB (BIG BREAST AND BIG BUM). You know what? They've missed the point, I am beautiful, talented and go-getter. As far as relationships, what’s really weird is, as I am getting older, I am more satisfied with the woman I looked at in the mirror every day. I am going from strength to strength, and it allowed me to walk away from situations that weren’t good for me a lot faster. For that reason alone, it’s very easy for me to walk away from a relationship. If I feel more insecure after praying in a relationship than I do while I’m single, that’s not the relationship for me. At present, I’m glad I’ve had a few years to really get to know me, and embrace my imperfections and what makes me not so perfect, as well as my strengths and I will carry on love and embrace me.
 
My experience reminds me every day that when I have my little girl that I will make sure that she is told every day before she walk out of the house that she is beautiful, perfect and wonderfully made. We have to get to our children, before society gets to them.

In the photo, I used at the top of this post; I was modelling that dress for a friend of mine. Even though I still have issues with my figure, I agreed to model on her clothing line website. I thank God because I am still standing and alive. The red dress seems so much more beautiful on my body than it really was.

Just remember there is no two alike and your flaws give you character and make you irreplaceable. God is good and full of good sense of humor. Stay blessed and appreciate yourself you are wonderful just the way you are…


De  moi a vous,  mes chers lecteurs (this means from me to you, my dear readers

 
 

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31 comments:

  1. Spot on. Always saw you as beautiful - The light of God shines from you.

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  2. hahahaha, sorry dear but i cant help but laugh, at least your piece has brought a smile to my face while on my sick bed, i don;t know how you looked while you were young but i surely know how you look now and trust me you are beautiful, have you read the story of the swan? i think you should stop worrying about superficial things and concentrate on making yourself a more beautiful person from the inside, God bless you :)

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    1. U are my school daughter at onireke high school.my dear u r wonderfully made n beautiful

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  3. Love this piece Alaba and I can tell it was genuine. It takes a lot of courage to write something like this. Keeps it coming!

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    1. Thank you so much reader, I shall keep it coming.

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  4. I love this story,very good point of view. You are beautiful just the way you are

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  5. It´s a shame people have to be little someone because of their lack of self-confidence.

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  6. I love your message and those pictures!

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  7. Trust my word, you never lie on that question.

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  8. I completely understand you Alaba.

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  9. You are beautiful in every single way my darling friend. love yah

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  10. YELLO,YOU ARE A PRETTY DAMSEL.YOU ARE BEAUTIFULLY AND WONDERFULLY MADE BY GOD.NEVER LOOK DOWN ON YOURSELF,ALSO IN LIFE,DONT ALLOW PEOPLES ACTIONS,COMMENT AND BEHAVIOURS DICTATE YOUR REACTIONS,PLEASE GET INTOUCH WITH ME ON 08065688670,WE NEED TO SEE AND GET TO KNOW EACH OTHER BETTER!

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  11. Hey my beautiful friend! That was lovely xx

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  12. This is incredibly inspiring, keep it coming dear. You are pretty

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  13. Mariam you know how I feel about you, all will be well with you just hold on and take good care of yourself my dear sister...lovely write up, God bless you.

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  14. Very funny...just wondering if you are talking about you - all those never crossed my mind. Just reminded me of my mum telling me i have flat ass. My dear you are who God says You are. Beautiful and wonderfully made. The way you see yourself matters more than the way others see you.

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    1. Lol, my sister you make me laugh and thanks for the advice

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