Memo blog

The other side of body shaming...

Accepting and loving your body plays a big role in you being a woman because if YOU don’t love YOU, no one else will......

‘Do you even eat?’. ‘Why are you so skinny?’. All my life I have had to deal with these questions, a question that more than often broke me and made me less confident. It was okay in the days of primary school because mom had said that I was growing, that I will gain weight. “Your weight is okay, she would say.

My high school years were the worst, I was the skinny dark girl, always asked if I ate… honestly, I would not be alive if I didn’t eat. Even my doctor could never explain my weight, I was a healthy person, I just didn’t gain as quickly as my peers.

Photo by Oladimeji Odunsi on Unsplash

Often body shaming is associated to bigger girls and never the tinnier ones because society says it’s okay to be skinny but society is never mindful of what they say to a skinny girl. Now, when I got to high school, I hated it, I hated having to wear my uniform, which was a long skirt and a blazer that looked too big, in fact nothing would fit like it did every other girl…I hated having to walk through those gates where everyone had something to say about how skinny I was… the big voice I had, the little girl who questioned and even had answers to everything, she disappeared, she was suddenly softer, if she could she would be invisible just so no one would tell her about how she looks..

"I would google things like “how to gain weight”, I would try eat as many times possible, but I remained the skinny girl and to make it worse I developed acne. Skinny, dark and pimples, I just wanted to lock myself up and never be seen."

My whole life, I have weighed less than 50kg’s, my high school life I weighed 38kg, and varsity I got to 40kg… In front of people, I would say how my weight was fine and I liked it, but behind closed doors, I would keep wondering what I had to do to gain and look like everyone else and one day someone said to me: “drink cooking oil, maybe you’ll gain weight”, “eat fatty food”, I am certain those people never thought of the health implications of doing that.

I hated my body, I hated how it was hard to find a pair of jeans that looked okay on me, I hated that every piece of clothing of mine had to be tailored and yet, no one saw how things affected me.

Photo by Matthew Smith on Unsplash

As a 26 year old melanin popping, skinny girl, I wish I hadn’t hated myself so much, I wish I listened to my mom who said I was beautiful as I am, but most importantly, I wish society would also check up on the skinny girls who are teased by their peers and remember that not only big girls are body shammed. And if everyone would stop putting their hands around our wrists to measure how skinny we are, STOP IT!

The skinny girls who don’t like how they look, I hope they see beyond weight, everyone is beautiful in their own way, regardless of their shape. Lift up your head and let that confidence beam. Accepting and loving your body plays a big role in you being a woman because if you don’t love you, no one else will.

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Photo credit Nyakallo Tefu

Nyakallo Tefu is a 26 year old journalist by profession. She’s a freelance news anchor for Eyewitness News for 702 and 947, freelance writer and a part time model at Pace Models. 

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