Heaps of Love

There is a quote that says that there are two most important days in your life, the day you are born and the day you find out what/who you were meant to be. While I love to talk about this topic, this post is dedicated to something slightly different. As a woman, there are probably two other important days in your life, the day you mature from a girl to a woman and the day you embrace that maturity and changes that come with growing up. Wearing this red bandage dress loud and proud is my way of embracing womanhood.

As a little baby, I had hips. I was clearly a toddler but when I stood up in my diapers (or whatever we used at the time), you could clearly see well defined hips. So when we had guests over, they pointed and laughed at the baby with hips.

At 10, I went on a swimming trip with my primary school class. It was at the amusement park (Didi’s World) and they had these amazing water slides. The following week, one of the tabloids put a picture of my 10 – year – old body in a bathing suit with something about “yummy babes” at this new “happening” site. Needless to say, I was upset. But rather than directing my anger at the people that thought it was funny to make fun of me, I directed my anger towards my body. That is when I first started to skip meals, wear t – shirts and jeans and occasionally throw up if I felt I had over done it with a meal.

If you get my drift, I am alluding to the fact that at 12, I was well into developing an eating disorder and even once purchased some slimming pills that I later found out had a very dangerous component that was slowing down my heart rate at an alarming rate. Good thing my big sister caught it early enough when she walked in on me forcing myself to throw up in high school. She took one look at me and started crying. If it wasn’t for her crying, I don’t think I would have ever stopped.

Eventually, everyone else got their growth spurts and their bodies rounded into shapely womanly curves so I didn’t feel like a weirdo anymore. It’s taken years to learn self love and even border on being body proud. But I have finally got here. I think, also being older and being a little more self – forgiving helps. I celebrate by wearing this red bandage dress with cut outs and smiling from the inside – out.

Why am I talking about this at all? Because very few people will come out and admit their struggles. (Mental or physical) because, after all, This Is Africa (TIA) and you should not be living in a “movie of sorts”. Because most people consider these to be silly problems when the continent is starving. I have slightly different opinions.

None the less, we are living in a world of Instagram and filters to crop life into a picture perfect moment. Lord knows what this is doing to adult minds, not to mention the children and adolescents that are growing into the world of  plump lips, little waists and curvy bodies.

Stand out and be proud of who you are because you are entirely uniquely, you.

And to everybody else, do not forget that no one picks their looks, their name and their family. Be kind to each other, we already have the odds against us!

Heaps Hips of love (… get the joke?)


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