The journey to self love is not a defined one. In a world where beauty standards vary from time to time, it is hard to keep up. As a young Nigerian girl, you’re brought up to be a daughter, sister or wife, there’s little direction towards self discovery, you have to make do with what you get.
What you get may be comparisons with sisters or friends. It may be a traumatic puberty at variance with that of your mates; your features may develop a bit slower or even faster, some may seem not to as a result of genes. It may also be reliance on magazines which depict, more often than not unrealistic standards, reliance on TV shows starring individuals barely your age as young adults, and up to the minute; reliance on social media embodied with pictures and videos of aesthetically pleasing girls that may look nothing like you.
Moreover, if you bloomed in a boarding house, what you may have gotten were brusque or even kind remarks about your looks. This one tends to stick the longest because it comes from girls and boys your age, some directly or impliedly. You get cramped in the confines of these individuals, their thinking, outlook and manners. It plays a huge part in shaping your mind towards your personality but that is not who you are. Despite the possibility that you may have been on the positive reception, that is still not who you are.
The world has termed our unique looks as flaws, deviating from the etymology of the term. Young girl, your acne, weight, flat chest or cheeks, saggy breasts, dips and rolls, facial features, big calf or feet, and even hirsutism is not a flaw. You can work on them if you want to but ensure you’re comfortable in your own skin. No one knows you like you so don’t let anyone tell you who you are or how you should look. Love yourself.
You can’t love yourself if you don’t know her. You are the little voice in your head so feed her love and kindness. You are what you think when you wake or retire to bed so think good and lovely things. You are what you eat so eat healthy. You are who you share your body and soul with so ensure it feels right. You are the place you live so ensure its clean and aromatic. You are the relationships you keep so keep them healthy. You are your talents, dreams and aspirations so embrace and work towards them. You are how you treat people, a weakness in character was the original sense of coining the word ‘flaw’, so work on it.
Most importantly, you are beautiful and you are loved.