Embrace body confidence: Shun body shaming

Every woman I know or have heard of has been body-shamed at one point in her life. That is why the majority of women suffer from a lack of body confidence.

From ordinary everyday persons like me to celebrities, superstars, career women, and billionaires across all races, somehow, women and body shaming has been normalized as some kind of ‘rite of passage’ in our societies.

I remember being ‘body shamed’ all through my childhood, teenage years into adulthood by both friends and family. There is always something to be used to ridicule me in every situation. I grew up with zero self-esteem and no confidence whatsoever because I have always been made to believe there is nothing good about my body. Brown skin. Fragile. Petite. Hairless.

 

So, I struggled with trying to find validation and self-confidence, and I remember reading about some Nigerian beauty queens being body-shamed including Agbani Darego’s, some Hollywood movie stars, and musicians including Mariah Carey.

It was not until early my 30s that I begin to understand that the world seems to have a problem with every woman’s body, no matter how beautiful she is or how ugly. That was when I found peace, in knowing that it is not my fault. None of all the things I have been made to feel worthless and ashamed of is my fault. Not the petite frame, the tiny boobs, the bald head nor the horse legs (the name given to my feet).

Realizing that I was not the only one, and more so that many women who have been adjudged and voted as beautiful by all standards of beauty have experienced it at some time in their lives gave me solace and a rude awakening.  That society has conditioned some people to never see anything good in a woman. Not her physical body, not her character, not her achievement whatever that is, and not her personality. Society has conditioned some people to believe a woman is never good enough for anything much less be beautiful.

But all this and more is what made me realized that a woman is ENOUGH in her own right as a woman and human. It has made me realize that all the body-shaming, the ill-treatment, the ill judgment, the condemnation, and the mental abuse women suffer is because of their natural light.

Which is unfortunate and a shame. Because this light, that the woman carries is not only for her own good but everyone else’s. A woman carries light and love that illuminates everything and everyone that is around her. So, if this light gets extinguished, everyone else will be in the dark.

Dear world, do not put out her light, because you will be in the dark too.  Every woman carries a light inside her that diminishes because of abuse and ill-treatment.  Do not condemn, body shame, abuse, and judge her. Let her shine, let her light, love, and positivity shine through so that it may light your way too.

Every woman is created PERFECT in her own unique way.

Every woman is ENOUGH.

Hawwah A Gambo is a Journalist and Social Enterprenuer

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