Happy new month. How exciting is it to think we’ve made it to the last month of the year? I’m super pumped for this festive season just to see what surprises it has in store. When the year began I had a lot of resolutions I was to work on, and while making the list was a breeze, committing to it was a struggle. I am, however, pleased to announce my success in a few areas.
No I did not work out 3 times a week to get to my ideal body weight, ha! I probably grew three sizes since then, but I did grow to love the body I am in like it’s my religion. It has been a struggle, a process, an uphill climb. A waking up every morning to look at my naked body in the mirror and give it a hug typa struggle. Seems easy enough huh? I did this every morning, while in my little sanctuary, because you could not predict the things that the day would throw at you and your temple. From fat shaming to slut shaming to sexual harassment from people who would walk by, someone almost always had something to say, to hiss, to catcall.
My body wasn’t my own any more. I could not dress it how I wanted, feed it how I wanted or walk it with the familiar swing it loved to assume. My hips always too big for the matatu and bus rides, having your neighbor throw you cold stares for choosing to sit next to them and eat up their space. You don’t realize the transition, but people say it enough that your sub conscience starts to believe it; The hate spewed in the direction of your temple. It is difficult to treat your body right when you already harbor feelings of resentment towards the alien it has become. It seizes to be part of you or home, and starts to acquire an outside persona, outside yourself; like a stranger walking beside you on the streets, always bumping into you and never stopping to apologize.
When you don’t have confidence with your permanent residence, every other part of your life starts to unravel, because it literally is the first thing people see when you walk in a room. This ticking time-bomb, titanic about to crash into the iceberg. Depression has many walking faces, a sudden change in character, withdrawal from people and things that previously set your soul on fire among others. I think quite often a fate worse than death is life, for lots of people. There you are partying every night while so detached from the party itself, stress eating from under your bed with the boogieman because he’s your new best friend, overdressing and underdressing, a different unfamiliar face in your bed every so often because we feed on lies when our hearts are hungry.
Walking this journey I have come to terms with the fact that people will always have something to say, whether you’re doing good or not. No one’s opinion matters but your own. It’s easy to fat shame and impose your religious values on that fat girl wearing a bikini or sunbathing topless at the beach because you have not walked a mile in her shoes. You do not know the demons she wages war against on a daily. Nudity, that gets you wound up huh? Not the man, woman or society that has led the said individual to her own expression of political statement. It is not to prove a point, but to finally breathe and let her body breathe too. After drowning for so long, the body that had been suppressed, abused, cursed and punched at finally takes a breath. Nudity empowers some while modesty empowers others. Different things empower different women and it is not your place to tell her which one it is.
Almost two years later, I understand that loving my body is paramount to loving myself and living a happier and healthier life. Self love is the greatest middle finger of all time. I’m making healthier choices physically, mentally and emotionally. I am learning the meaning of love hidden under the wraps, handles and rings of fat that my temple dwells. It is my temple that I will cleanse and carry as I see fit. I will teach my daughters to carry the stripes on their thighs like a Tiger carries its own, with strength and grace. I will tell them that beauty is skin deep, and real beauty lies on the inside, in the heart and mind.
The female body is a work of art, a seductive and graceful force that has led to wars being waged. Feminine energy is not to be messed with and yet I see so many women downplaying the very power they possess. I admire and respect women like Joy Kendi, thickleeyonce, my old friend Kamene Goro, Maureen kunga and Huddah Monroe who are fiercely loving their bodies and putting out positive vibes surrounding the conversation about body positivity and feminine energy with a touch of feral instincts. The way they use art as a provocative medium to redefine womanhood and challenge the patriarchy is bad ass and I’m here for it a hundred percent. Hold on to your God-given power ladies. Be provocative. Be brave.
Don’t be part of the problem but instead be the change you want to see in the world. Let’s change the narrative around body goals and ideals. Give people chances to be unapologetically themselves and see how much more positive the world would be. Don’t be a Dick should be the title of our movement. (We should print t-shirts yeah?) I’m proud of a lot of the things I do, I find so much satisfaction in accomplishing my goals and speaking my truth which may need some translation sometimes. Here’s the LINK to my video with some more goodness surrounding the topic aye!!!!! Don’t tell anyone but it was my first time in a bikini, baby steps bishezzz. Haha. Because putting a bikini on your body constitutes having a bikini body daah!! Try it, let them fats jiggle a little. Get your tan on. As usual I digress, sorry.
God gives us just one body, one home truer to us than the womb we emerged from, love it and embrace it. Its little quirks and flaws make it uniquely suited for your journey through this life. You are beautifully and wonderfully made in the image and likeness of God, internalize those words, and don’t take them lightly. While He made the heavens and oceans and stars, he saw it fit to have one of little old you to complete the world, you are special and loved beyond anything you could ever fathom. It would be a shame not to love yourself.