Growing up in a country where skinny is not the best of sizes I developed some sort of hatred for my body. Funny to know this started when I was six years old. By six I was all body flaws conscious. Why did I not have a little flesh, a little more curves, thicker jaws, fluffier arms were typical me time questions which never got answers. Watching E TV made me feel better about myself for about as long as I spent time in front of it, but as the screen turned black, I regained consciousness of where I found myself. So I stuffed myself, eating whenever I could in order to flesh up. I ate every 2 hours, yet nothing changed.

Chubby girls with curves and enough thick skin everywhere is the trend in my country, things got worse when I turned nine and started secondary school. I realised how bigger and nicer other people of my class were, they did not have curves yet but still they looked light years better than I did. So I got lost, felt inferior, begged for friendships, begged even for things I didn’t need and everyone around seemed to know I was their pass time; of course since I didn’t treat me well, nor love me, what will make others treat me well or love me? But the pass time friendships and charades were just fine for me, I wanted to matter, even if it wasn’t genuine.

Then in form 4 I started having some curves hipping out, I was twelve by then. But they couldn’t come alone could they? They came with acne all over my face and a complicated fungal infection which still flourishes all over me unnoticed. Life truly is a give and take course after all. Right when I was about loving me I found reasons not to.

I don’t take a lot of pictures, I don’t fancy taking them. Maybe because on a subconscious level I don’t want to see an acne ridden face in the mirror. I’d rather take pictures of my painted nails rather than one with my face in it. Snapchat filters have made it easier, but I rarely take no filter pictures because everyone is out to talk about the acne or fungal infection. They’re all trying to be concerned, but try hearing the same concerns from 4 different people in an hour and tell me about it.

I’m 20 years old now, I still stuff myself every two hours, grow little flesh on my skin. Have a lot more curves than before, but still not the African woman. So self, listen to me;

We might get skinnier, or blow out of proportion. We might finally get an acne free face or watch them double in size. We might get a fungal treatment that works or get covered in the infection. But we are going to enjoy it all the way.

This body has shaped my mind in more ways than I will like to admit. This body has given and written the stories I share. This body hasn’t given up on me regardless how many times I judged it unfit.

So I love it, cherish it, adorn it with the best I have because body, thou art worthy.

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