We asked our followers to share a no make-up selfie with us and tell us a short story about their journey to self-love, self-acceptance and self-confidence. Here are our five beautiful winners and their stories.
“You are too fat!” He screamed. “I’m not fat, I’m thick.” I answered. “There are girls who are dying for me and I chose to be with you and you have the guts to answer back at me.” He continued. A thunderous slap followed those hurtful words. So I decided to work on my weight. Maybe it would make me look a little bit better for him. I woke up early to do some exercise and bought a healthy meal plan so I could eat right. All these still didn’t appeal to him. I blamed myself whenever he went out and didn’t return till the next day. One beautiful Sunday morning, as I listened to the Pastor preach, he kept repeating “You were made in the image of God. You are the only ‘you’ that God has. You are unique, not by human standard but by God’s standard.” I repeated those words after him and said them to myself at my private moments. Those words gave me the strength and confidence to quit that relationship. I made peace with the ‘Me’ I see in mirror. I am one of a kind. I’m special. I’m unique and God loves me just the way I am.
This is a story of self-acceptance. I was big and happy. Accepting your body and the way you look is one step to true happiness, no size or look can give you that. I have been called fat, shapeless and big eye/lips. An ex once told me “You are not completely fine. It’s not only facial beauty a woman needs, she needs a well curved body too.” I smiled over that because I accepted my body and no one could break my confidence. I love my big tummy, big thighs and chubby cheeks and because of that acceptance I found true happiness and love.
I like early morning runs. It’s a time when I can reflect on what I’ve been through, what I am now and what I want to be. It’s just me, my music, the road…and these two guys? Oh, they’re robbers. As if stealing my solitude was not enough, they want money, my phone. I don’t want trouble. Let them take what they want. I just ask for them to leave my body alone. What did he just call me? Did he just use the F word? And just like that, all the pain from years of abuse, both physical and emotional came rolling back in. With a reminder of why I am on this path, this journey. Why I’ve worked so hard. Why they call me ‘Rolling Thunder’. No one is ever going to touch me again. No one is ever going to abuse me again. And absolutely no one is allowed to call me fat. I’m PHAT: Pretty, Hot and Tempting. With a black belt to boot. Oh, they’re about to be hit by a hurricane, Hurricane ME and I am loving it.
As a child, I used to be really skinny so you can imagine how it felt when I suddenly started blowing up. “Oh, it’s baby fat. It’s just for a while.” (Laughs) But the fat was like “I’m here to stay.” You can imagine my frustration when the baby fat didn’t go away. I had to go through secondary school with the baby fat and you know how cruel boys in secondary school can be with the name calling. I suffered a great deal of low self-esteem and inferiority complex. Till one day, while looking in the mirror, I began laughing at my ‘flaws’. I thought “my belly is low key cute” and “I’m actually really pretty”. After that day, I started loving my body for what it is irrespective of popular opinion. Why do I have to try so hard to conform to society’s standard of beautiful? I am my own beautiful, I love every inch of my perfection and yes, I am owning it.
Omogbeja Olubori Olaotan
Growing up, I was light skinned. And I’d constantly stay so long in the sun because I wanted to be dark skinned so bad. My dad was an albino so a lot of people would tease me about being an “albino escapee”. Few years down the line, adulthood hit me and it finally dawned on me that the only reason these talks got to me was because I actually did not love my skin. I realised self-love is the best thing that can happen to anyone. Now, I’m comfortable with whatever skin colour the weather brings me. I look at my white patches and I smile. When people call me ‘afin’, I take it as a compliment. If I don’t love myself, who will?