I met Raz back in 2003. A half Madagascan half Luyha girl with the body of a goddess. (I recently got that ‘body of a goddess’ line from ours truly). I looked at her in adoration and ran to Winnie. “What can I do to look like her when I grow up? I want that body… hips like those, curly hair like that, same everything. But mostly the hips. She laughed. “She’s Luyha. And besides, hips are determined by the pelvic bone. I doubt we have those genes’. Everyone has a different body structure….She went on, but I was no longer interested in what she was saying. At 11, I had just discovered my body idol and nothing would stop me from getting such. The idea of an hour glass body became an obsession from that moment. I can’t say that boys were my motivation then; my head had not yet started reacting to their presence. I had not started getting the tingly feeling from boys’ stares which leaves your head feeling lighter and I did not even imagine that there would come an age when boys’ comments and opinion on my body would matter.
story for another day…All I wanted was that perfect body and height. I went through my teenage years and early twenties with that picture-perfect figure all in my head, waiting for the hour of body tranformation!
But the giver of bodies had another design for me. In fact, he gave me the complete opposite of what I wanted. I grew up to be a small girl. I endlessly wished I was taller, wider, more visible… I look back and realize that I always wanted to be more than I was. When it came to my body, I was never enough! My weight was never enough, I never left the presence I wanted to leave. My hair never turned curly, my hips never got the perfect curve I had in my head…and my height never went as high. I spent years waiting and hoping that I would bulge out. Then there was Granny who said I was sickly thin. It got to my head and I started eating like a pig. The only part of my body that responded to the heavy feeding was my fingers, they became nicely fat and evidently well fed. In high school, they teased that all my fingers were thumbs. In campus, they baptized them sausage fingers. And they know how to stay loyal to those names: these fingers.
But it was in campus that I started learning how to accept my body. Mostly because I realized that every girl around me had a body struggle. Even the ones I thought were picture perfect in every dimension did have things they hated about their bodies. No one seemed comfy with their body. There were those who complained of their tummies,(obsession with flat tummies), sometimes foreheads, sometimes big ears(IKR), uneven skin tone,mostly love handles, and predominantly small boobs/small hips.
Ironically, it was in campus that people would ask me what I did to keep such an amazing body. HOW?! Clearly they did not know the finer things in life if they considered my body amazing. I took the compliments on my body as blind flatters. Such is the reality. No one ever seems to be in perfect terms with their body. We are always looking for that which we feel that we are short of. Small girls crave to be big, the big ones sweat about losing their weight. There is the obsession with beach bodies, and the obsession of perfect curves. The desire to break necks just by passing by.
So this goes to all the girls out there battling with body insecurities. When you love your body, it loves you right back…and the world retaliates in a hundred fold. All you need is to understand your body and know what to flaunt and what to keep in low key. You are imperfect, permanently and inevitably flawed. But tell you what, it is because of this that you are uniquely beautiful.
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