Today as I was dancing naked while looking at myself in the mirror, I felt a great sense of appreciation for my body, and for the mirror.
There’s a SNL skit where J.Lo didn’t know she was a beautiful hot babe because her step sisters wouldn’t let her look at herself in the mirror, she believed whatever they told her about her looks.
This took my mind to what image I could be holding of myself now if I never saw a reflection of myself, considering the message others sent across to me for years.
I was a skinny girl almost all my life till late 2017. My body weight remained at 45kg from basic school all the way to last year of university. My BMI was 16 and underweight is from 18 downwards.
I didn’t have bulimia or any underweight health concerns. I actually ate a lot.
Throughout this period, I personally didn’t think I was not beautiful nor did I realize how skinny I looked. To me I was just a slim girl. I loved my looks.
But my family, friends and classmates didn’t always think I was beautiful, and not even just because of my weight.
I did get teased a lot for my weight, one classmate said I was like a skeleton with a head on it.
My teacher in high school named me ‘smallie’ and I got called that by my mates even after graduation.
Male classmates said I was so flat my naked body wouldn’t turn them on.
Then I got teased for my facial looks.
Some friends after seeing my mother or a picture of her will make comments like, “your mom is so beautiful, what happened to you?”
At university I got told a number of times how my roommates were more beautiful than me.
I was in make up for my graduation from university, and it was beautiful. Days after that I went home and my mother made this comment; “wow make up really changes people, see how beautiful you were looking on your graduation and look at you sitting here now😂”.
I also got laughed at or made to feel awkward about my flat chest, my wide mouth when I laugh, exposing all my teeth when I smile, and how I look like a boy(I do look like my grandfather and my mom said she thought I was a boy when I was born).
All of this never really got to me. I will never say I was bullied in school. Everybody did get along with me and liked me, again these were comments from my friends and family.
I never like to make a big deal of things, so whenever I heard such comments, I will keep any hurtful feelings to myself and laugh it off. Sometimes I don’t even get hurt in the moment but later when it resurfaces in memory.
Though I didn’t acknowledge to myself that such comments were having an effect on me, they did affect me.
I’m not a big fan of taking pictures but I disliked it even more when after every group picture taken, people will be making fun of how dark I look, or how all my teeth are showing, or how I look just being there in comparison to the others. So I avoided taking group photos. Sometimes this judgements were from myself..I look at myself first in the photo and think I spoiled the picture.
The most hurtful comment about my looks I ever got actually was from such a situation. We took a group photo after a ceremony and after every shot, our director will look at the picture and say it wasn’t right. After a number of shots she just said; ” Judith you are the fault, stay out of the picture.”
I did cry that night.
Before university, I also tried to use natural homemade means to make my breasts bigger and for a while it seemed to be working…till I had hard porn star-looking boobs and milk started oozing out of my nipples (tumeric nursing mothers, tumeric)…that freaked me the shit out(thought I got breast cancer) and kicked some sense into me.
I think I didn’t make how people saw me any better because of how I dress too. I’m used to wearing whatever I feel comfortable in, which mostly apparently isn’t really nice, like I’m not putting in effort enough to look how I’m supposed to to fit my status. That, almost everyone complained about.
But whenever I put on something and I look at myself, I think I look great. Then I step out, and apparently I don’t.
The first thing my mom does upon seeing me(well, anyone) is to critic something about my appearance. It’s either my hair looks messy, my clothes doesn’t show someone who traveled to the place(or fit a university graduate), or why am I in Crocs or plastic sandals?
Sometimes I try to dress the way people think will be appropriate, but I am not able to do that for long, maximum a month and I’d be back to dressing how I want.
Not all my friends and family made fun of me though. Sometimes comments from some people made me feel good about myself.
My best friend in basic school, she told me that she loved my smile, how my lips pulls to one side and showed more teeth than the other corner. She thought it kinda was swag and started to smile like that too😁.
In high school too, a female senior told me admiringly, that I looked like a boy, but like a beautiful boy. People had always told me I looked like a boy, but she was the only one that mentioned it in such a way that made me feel maybe looking like a boy was not a bad thing.
I do not like make-up or things I personally (sometimes judgementally) will consider not natural. I’m also just as a being not a fashionable sort nor do I care about looks.
I do think of myself as beautiful, but I’m not likely to get face scrubs or various lotions to maintain a beautiful skin..if I have pimples or acne, they are there till they aren’t anymore.
I’m not crazy about shoes, nor bags, or new clothes.
I don’t judge them as superficial or anything, I just don’t care about such things.
So for something I don’t even like, to be used to define my beauty after using them one time or so…that’s like what the eef?
I’ve worn make-up on my face 4 times in my entire life, and yes I did look beautiful with it on. That’s the purpose of make-up anyway…to make things more beautiful. But to get told I don’t look beautiful without it? That’s fucked up in my world.
Some random taxi driver also literally insisted I wear earrings because as a woman I don’t look beautiful without them🤨.
Don’t get me wrong, people are not always telling me I’m ugly. Actually the above are all the instances people have been mean to me in the area of my physical appearance. I receive more positive reactions because I’m a people person and apparently have lots of inner beauty 😘.
Interestingly I did get lots of compliments from people outside, mostly men of course.
So I’d get ready to go out, look at myself in the mirror and think I look beautiful, step out and get random people tell me I look beautiful, then get to my friends or family and they say/insinuate something is wrong.
I’ve always known I’m beautiful and I got more confident in that awareness after I gained weight in 2017. I’m still slender looking but with a healthy BMI now. My locs rock and my shabby dressing fits my Rasta/hippie persona and look.
Today as I was dancing, it dawned on me how unappreciative I’ve been of my body in the past, and how less I affirm that appreciation to my body now.
So this post, and the images in it, is my letter of appreciation to my body.
My body, my beautiful home, my earth.
I love you so much.
I appreciate you for being the body that houses me.
I worry for the earth, and neglect you,
Forgetting you are my earth, if you go out, I go out.
On my body, I have beautiful kinky locs.
I have ears, eyes and nose that functions without fault.
I have beautiful full lips, a wide mouth, strong white teeth, a protective tongue that pushes out anything I shouldn’t take in.
My skin is dark and doesn’t burn from the Sun.
Every inch of my skin is tough, from forehead to my soles.
My breasts are perky and cute.
My mid body will one day carry our babies.
My hips and buttocks are filled in proportion to the rest of my body.
All of my limbs and joints are able.
My feet and legs walk for miles and miles on end.
My body is pro at maintaining body weight.
This body hardly fall sick, what upsets other’s stomach, does nothing to me.
In this body, I experience the world,
I see, smell, taste, feel, ear.
For all the times I forgot to say thank you,
For all the times I didn’t acknowledge your journey and scars,
I love you, and you are beautiful.
I am beautiful 🥰.