How often have you walked past a group of men and have them call you all sorts of names like sdudla, mapakisha… and my personal favourite “my size” !! Basically all my life these have been my street names… gangsta right? No not really.
I come from a family where being big/fat/chubby/plus size is normal. Weight loss and diets were always a foreign topic at home. Going home to the home lands in Mt Frere would see me being paraded around the hood and my aunt showing off my big legs because being big was always associated with wealth (I actually wish this was true). Reality would hit when it’s time to go back to school, then the verbal abuse (and I say abuse because it hurt my feelings) would commence.
Now let me tell you why society is so phucked up. During this whole body shaming debacle, I used to wear a size 36… and maybe a 34 on good days. Size 34’s and 36’s please stand up…. I’m here to tell you that according to society, uxakile bra… you are heavy mntase. I went through the most during my High School year. My self esteem was basically non-existent and i hated everyone. I found comfort in wearing baggy clothing that did nothing for my figure by the way, I would hide my arms by wearing jackets, jerseys and long sleeved tops. This basically went on up until a friend of mine by the name of Caesar, came to my rescue. I remember we were going to donate blood and before you donate you need to weigh yourself. Caesar was behind me and my heart was beating so fast because i didn’t want him to see how much i weighed. I kindly asked him to go first to save myself the embarrassment, and he obliged. After i had weighed myself i wrote it down on my donor sheet and proceeded to the next step
and we sat in silence. After a while he asked me what I weighed and I just wanted to die, I reluctantly told him and he said “78kg Kush? Well I weigh 80kg, not so far from me buddy, either way nobody cares about that, at least you’re saving a life”.
I wont lie and say my life changed in any way that day because it didn’t, but his words planted a seed that helped to build my confidence.
I’m now a 23 year old who is way bigger than what she was in High School, accompanied by actual big thighs and complimentary stretch marks. I have the confidence of a 12 year old who wears a sport’s bra that so happens to support a flat chest.
The cat calling has however increased *lmao* but instead of wanting to cry about it, I mostly use verbal abuse as a coping mechanisms haha… but on good days I ignore it.
We as black women have so much to celebrate. For once we should try and celebrate one another.
Black woman you are beautiful in all shapes and sizes. You have the strength of a thousand men. Let us build each other up instead of tearing each other down.
SUBMITTED BY: @kush_mvango