Fashion is like the seasons, different trends come and go. One minute being a size zero is in. Young girls become anorexic and bulimic by starving themselves. Others force vomit their food, both with the aim of looking like supermodels who in some cases are unhealthily thin. Ironically, the fashion and beauty agenda has shifted from being skinny to being curvy.  Girls are literally killing themselves to have the ultimate butt and curvaceous body like Niki Minaj or Kim K, by getting butt implants, liposuction, and Botox injections. Some are reshaping their hips and waists… Others are dying from botched injections or shady doctors preying on vulnerable, insecure women who want to be noticed and admired This is the world we live in, where we are made to feel that we have to hide our flaws and imperfections so others can love our fake perfections.

Little do most of these women chasing this fake beauty know, is that this is merely a façade – a false persona, an alter ego if you like, of who you really are. The ultimate deception is to continue to live a lie about yourself. Many people will say, who cares what people say about what you look like? But people forget, that some are more sensitive than others. We need to take this into consideration before condemning a person for what they look like. Not every person can be like you and not everyone wants to be like you. It’s not easy growing up in a world where beauty has been misconstrued over the years.  In some cultures, talking about how you feel about yourself is like saying you’re condemning God for making you like that. No. That is not what it means. It means that this person has had a  hard time accepting and loving themselves because of people’s incessant behaviour, and ignorance, which can be hurtful at times. You may say you don’t want to hear it, but guess what? Most of these individuals are kids, teenagers and young adults, and some are committing suicide at alarming rates because of their insecurities and the negativity they receive for it.  They have nobody to turn to,  the world shuts them out and leaves them in the dark, forcing them to gravitate to more negative and sinister thoughts.

How can we fix this? Well, we need to be more receptive and understanding. Lend an ear or a voice to encourage one another. These are simple but powerful actions. Remember that old saying – ‘Sticks and stones may break my bones…’ – this isn’t true. Words are powerful. Words hurt more and do more harm than good. Think before you speak and listen to each other.

Positive thinking is key. Thinking positive thoughts will give you positive vibes only. You’ll  feel much better about yourself. Yes, It’s hard when you’re faced with criticisms for who you are and how you look, but you must learn to challenge it.

You can’t please everyone. No matter how hard you try, there will always be someone who will say something negative about you, like how black women who don’t have big bums, breasts and hips are said to be black women who don’t fit the ‘norm’ of the black female body type. Newsflash. Not every black woman has a big bum, big breasts and big hips, the same way not every black woman is tall or short, muscular or curvy. Black women come in all different shapes, sizes and shades. Remember that. And remember,  you weren’t put on this planet to satisfy everyone. The only person you should be pleasing is yourself, because you matter. Nobody else will live your life apart from you.

Change your mind-set because the mind is the most powerful thing. It’s just too easy for your feelings to fluctuate between positive and negative. The mind is so powerful, you can end up convincing yourself that you’re sick. Your body would then begin to shut down and you will actually become unwell. This is why it’s so important you know and embrace who you are. Take care of your mind, body and soul. Love thyself.

I hope this message will touch someone today. Experience life in a different light. Life is too short. Be happy. Be you.

Ogechi ©