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Body Shaming in Nigeria: Talking Confidence & Self Esteem | Akinola Bunmi

body shaming in nigeria

Fatphobia is everywhere in our society, but for me I have embraced my body the way it is.

Having huge curves or big rolls doesn’t mean you’re unhealthy and loving your body doesn’t mean you’re encouraging others to take up bad habits.

No matter what, confidence and self esteem for the plus size is important in dealing with body shaming in Nigeria

Someone asked me “How does a fat girl as you have so much confidence? Where do you get your great self esteem? ”

Why wouldn’t I be confident? I am a good person. Why is it so shocking to see a fat, confident person? I contribute to the greater good in my little way. I add value to the ecosystem with my existence.

I love my friends and family and they love me as well. I have a good heart, I am building a life for myself. I don’t pretend, I am beautiful, I am human. So what else does a fat person need to do to be celebrated.

We do get that “thin is beautiful “message crammed into our brains daily. But so is fat, old, young, athletic, fluffy, thick, tall and short! We’re all beautiful and we all deserve to feel beautiful.

So this does beg the question – Where did I get my self esteem in the middle of my body shaming experience?

I’ll first attribute my self esteem to my family, especially my mum and best cousin, they both taught me a lot about myself.

My cousin would say to me “Stop feeling inferior because of your size. Don’t give in to people that are not worth you because of your size, develop yourself, work on you” and a lot of other motivating outbursts that kept me going.

I’ve had a few random, far-removed family members say some mean things to me, when I was prepubescent that stuck with me but my immediate family always made me feel so smart, loved and beautiful. I once read an article about how women should find one thing about their body that they liked and focus on that.

That gave me the confidence to see more of myself as a beautiful and amazing woman. Who wouldn’t be, with a happy and supportive family?

I started to focus on things that I love about my body “My hips and butt, skin and eyes”.

Then, when my inner mean girl would occasionally rear her ugly head, I would remember these other things. I think I even made a list in my diary at some point. I focused on the positive, so I tuned out the magazine covers, the commercials on TV and the society at large that perpetuated the myth that we all have to be skinny or some sort of acceptable size.

Our bodies are small miracles and they are capable of so many amazing things. Everyone deserves to feel beautiful and to be able to value their own bodies whether they are a size 2 or size 32.

Knowing your value and your self worth does not need to correlate in any way with the number on the scale, as we all are worthy of love and most importantly, loving ourselves. I learned that confidence is contagious – when I do something I’m happy about in my life, I make a point to recognize it for myself and then share it.

Confidence is taking tiny steps in the direction of where you want to go, it builds and the little things I do get bigger, and more people feel my excitement and then find it easier to go for whatever they want.

If you’re struggling to find your own self-worth, be sure to surround yourself with positive people that lift you up.

Get rid of people who give rude comments or share their diet tips when you didn’t ask.

If you have toxic family members who say snarky things, it’s time to cut way back on the amount of time you spend time with them. And, one cool thing is that you can also remove any kind of negative crap from your life and follow positive people.

Do what makes you feel good with the people that makes you feel good you can be 100lbs or 500lbs and have confidence bubbling out of you. If you can just turn off that inner mean voice and tune out the shakers and haters.

Be healthy, live well, be confidence-filled, live happily and be successful.

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