“I love you but I can’t lie to myself. If you will just lose weight, you will be perfect… your weight is the only thing.. but I really love you”
I kept on smiling when he said that. Of course there was nothing to smile about but what was I expected to say in return?
“Ehmm, it is just fat, I love you enough to jog from Jos to Lagos to lose it”
I did really like him though and I was crushed that despite all we had shared and how much we enjoyed each other’s company, he could not wrap his heart around my ‘fat’. But I kept on smiling.
I did lose weight after that. It was not for him though, he did not deserve me. To be honest, I did not feel who I was deserved anybody’s love and that made me lose weight.
My father called me one day and said.
“You were never a skinny child. Don’t let anyone tell you that you are not beautiful. You look a shadow of who you are. Are you dieting? Is anyone asking you to lose weight?”
I told him I wasn’t dieting which was true but I refused to tell him that someone had told me that my ‘fat’ was in the way of true love.
It is a miserable life for a woman that is not considered attractive. I hate to use the word ugly to describe how people look physically. I have been called ugly before and it was very hurtful. Ugly is like an accusation for something someone did not get right. Your nose should be narrow and straight. Your eyes should be wide spaced and not hooded. Your lips should be curvy and sensuous and not heavy and thick set. Your cheek bones should be high and your face oblong. Your hair should be luscious and thick and your body should be lean with feminine curves in just the right places. Your boobs and butt have the artistic license to be exaggerated but only so and not too much or else it may put some people off. So when you fail to be all these things, you are then described as ugly.
Beauty on the other hand is celebrated like an individual’s personal achievement. We even have competitions that display the very best of human beauty. People gravitate towards beautiful people. A smooth complexion (preferably light skinned) and a flash of perfectly even teeth and everybody wants to know you and be friends with you.
How many rich and successful men settle for ‘unpretty’ women? No, really, how many? Think of all the celebrities you know, all the men have beautiful wives. I am not talking about the wives of their youth when then they had very little. I am speaking about the woman that came in after the ‘pepper’ arrived.
Knowing what we know and weighing my personal experiences, if beauty matters this much, why do we judge women harshly when they try to correct ‘ugly’?
Dencia knows something and is making money from it. Light skin is beautiful and light skinned girls get a lot of attention. “Oh, don’t alter yourself, it is wrong”; “black is beautiful” and a lot more things are said but Dencia is making a lot of money because talk is cheap but whiteniceous is not and light skin flies of the shelf fast.
Women that can afford to, go under the knife shaping and whittling away ugly. Filling their cheekbones and chins, chiseling away imperfect noses, sucking stubborn fat away, implanting breasts and butts that immediately transform their careers and love lives.
Those who cannot afford to or are too scared of extreme interventions do what they can do. They pile layers of foundations, blemish removers, powders, fix eyelashes, contour the ‘Chaka the Zulu’ nose their fathers gave them, highlight non-existent cheek bones and get professionals to stencil the recent one eyebrow fits all. They wear padded bras, fake butts, waist trainers, spanx, body magic and anything that would make them feel close to perfect. Sometimes we say the makeup is to enhance our beauty but sometimes it is to detract from or blot out what we consider ugly.
You see, beauty is important. People respond to beauty. Beauty opens doors and hearts. Living with ugly takes too much hard work and prayers. Can we not pretend about it?
I am still friends with him, he was honest. Looks matter and my fat mattered to him. But being where I am today (and kgs heavier) I would not have worried so much that he did not think I was beautiful. Someone did, my husband (a shout out to orobo lovers, they know something you other guys don’t.)
Where I am today.
I am very comfortable with my face. I do not hide it. I don’t even care who thinks I am beautiful (my kids call me beautiful, I will enjoy it till they grow up and maybe think otherwise). I want to lose weight for health reasons and fitting into some type of clothing would be nice but now it is not about how anyone views me.
I spent my 20s caring about that and believe me, I am so over that. I am still kind of mixed up though, like I am surprised when people think I am pretty because I never EVER see that. But on the scheme of things, it matters little what anyone sees.
But I do get it, and I never judge a woman’s striving for beauty.
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