To bootylicious or not to bootylicious?
I noticed I had hips when I was 12 years old. At school, in the assembly line, during casual day when we had to wear clothes from home. The entire row of boys were gawking at my body, making all sorts of disgusting (tbh) comments. Bruh, it was
like my hips had grown overnight! I had never experienced anything like that before and I couldn’t deal.
It was in that moment when I developed my body insecurity.
This ‘little’ insecurity grew a second leg when I got to high school and people started asking my older sister and I who was older. Like fam, do I look 10 years older than my older sister or what?! She is four years older than me, for context, so I expected her to look older, ok!
All this commentary about my physique (sure, why not use a fancy Q word) made me somehow feel ugly and lesser than.
From then I was really concerned with what people had to say about my body. My plan was to be really skinny, that way nobody could say anything at all. My first challenge was getting skinnier than my older sister who has been petite her entire life. She had the advantage of experience. So I started following her diets, I tied a really tight scarf around my stomach everyday and I did sit ups. By jove, I lost weight.
Fast forward to varsity when I gained that ‘first year in res’ weight. Again, the guys were the first to alert me. They made it clear how much they liked “thick” girls and I fit the bill.
Again, I felt really demeaned by someone actually calling me thick, I still have issues with that description of my body. This time, though, I threw myself into gym. I became THAT girl that went to gym every single day, even on a Friday before meeting up with my friends to turn up.
I was the skinniest I’d ever been and guess who notified me of this? Yes, you guessed it. Guys notified me. My friend cornered me about my weight lost, saying that the guys at his res were worried about me losing all this weight. Apparently, they prefer me with a few extra kgs. (We can discuss why men feel the need to hold a caucus meetings about women’s bodies in another post). For the first time I actually didn’t care. It was the happiest I’d ever been with my body.
Since then my rule has been this: If you like what you see in the mirror, it doesn’t matter what they say. If you don’t, it also doesn’t matter, but change it for your own peace of mind.
Oh and if you’re wondering where I am now, I’m socially slim but mentally humongous and working to change it.