BODY SHAMINGShould we forget about those who go about body shaming others? Should we pretend as if we never get mean criticism from our friends, family and even strangers? Well, we can’t help but accept the fact that people make mean remarks about our looks daily. They talk about how big our stomach is, how big our lips are, how big our nose is, how fat our legs are and many other negative remarks.

They laugh at you for being an albino or for being black as coal. It’s no longer news that people make unsolicited suggestions on how we could have looked better. Some would say: “you would have been more finer if you were tall”. Some may say: “If your stomach wasn’t so big, you would have looked more pretty and sexy”.

Who Are You?

Well, let’s forget about body shaming and let’s face the big question –“WHO ARE YOU?” Do you know who you are? Do you have confidence in yourself? I mean do you hold yourself in high esteem? Do you feel inferior in the sight of others especially those that look better than you?

Truth be told, it saddens me when I see people locking themselves up in a room crying because of their looks. They cry because mere mortals who claim to be perfect condemn their appearance. Isn’t that foolishness? Have you ever thought of people who wished they had a face even if it was filled with pimples? Do you know there are some people who wish to have legs even if they were fat and K-shaped? Some wouldn’t mind being short as long as they could breathe. Some would prefer being an albino as long as they are healthy. So why complain? Why murmur? Why succumb to body shaming?

Dear ladies, have you ever thought of the amount of time you spend masking layers of foundation just to hide your pimples? What about the minutes you spend trying to package your stomach to look flat? Like, do you even imagine how useful those times will be if you had spent it on productive things? Yes, they call you devil because you are short. They call you a dwarf because you are short and in your presence, they call someone else an Iroko tree because he his tall, so why do you have to worry? That’s who they are and as long as we are in this life we will always have people like that wherever we find ourselves.

Isn’t Physical Appearance Overhyped?

Take for instance, the Vice President of Nigeria, Yemi Osinbajo. He isn’t so tall as compared to other leaders but does that change anything? Of course not! Your physical appearance does not take you higher or lower in life. It doesn’t change a thing. However, it might be a criterion for some jobs like modelling but not all jobs. Besides, it’s not a do or die affair. There are other jobs you could do irrespective of your physical appearance.

Listen to me carefully and attentively. If you continue to change who you are for people, they would keep complaining until you are finally ruined. For example, there was this day I was going to see my best friend and I met an old friend on the way. I expected her to hug me and ask me how I was faring but she didn’t. All she noticed was my physical appearance and she said: “Why do you look like this? Look at you!!! Your face doesn’t look good at all”

After condemning my face, she recommended a cream for me to buy even though she wasn’t a medical practitioner and I bought the cream. So, I started using the cream and after a week, I noticed my face wasn’t getting better. It got worse. Someone else suggested I use another cream for my face but I didn’t listen to the person because of my initial experience. If I had listened to all their recommendations, my skin would have probably turned so bad and I would be the subject of discussion in the mouth of gossipers.

Now Listen Carefully

No matter how good you look, someone must surely have something negative to say about you. You can’t change the fact neither can I. Don’t you know that those things you try to change about you makes you who you are? Why stress yourself undergoing series of surgeries and hours making up whereas you could use those periods to improve yourself?

The truth is that people will never be contented with who you are until they ruin you completely. And do you know the problem? You are actually the problem. Listen!! The world we live in now is not in need of your physical appearance but in need of people who got something up there. The world needs brainiacs and geniuses. What makes you isn’t just your physical appearance. It goes beyond that. What makes me, Halimat, is different from what makes you Rodiha. We are all beautiful and unique in our differences.

Don’t waste your time trying to change who you are. Don’t waste your time crying in your room about your looks, succumbing to body shaming. Those things do not worth your tears, let alone your life. It gets me upset when I see people committing suicide just because of their looks. Yes, some go to the extent of committing suicide. If there is any need to change yourself, change yourself because you see it to improve yourself and become a better person.


Writer: Yusuf Halimat Olamide
University of Abuja, FCT, Nigeria

This Post Has 10 Comments

  1. Kameel HABEEB

    I’m feeling guilty of this particular topics.
    There’s this scar on my NECK which happens to be like a burn that’s now kind large thou not too big.
    I don’t like it so I do make sure I cover it daily.
    In the sense that I don’t wear any clothes without a collar despite the fact that I have alot of good non collar shirts.
    It has really been affecting me and I don’t know what to do .
    I’m just always ashamed of it.
    I really do feel bad about this.
    I’m always center of attraction for children if they manage to see the little scar on which I hate and do feel bad seeing kinds looking at me anyhow.
    This made me have the impression that my mates expecially girls can’t like me and it has really been making me feel inferior depite being a very HANDSOME YOUNG GUY(not trying to be rhetoric here)

    Maybe because it’s disgusting😭💔

    I think the name of the little abnormal growth is VERRUCOUS EPIDERMAL NEAVUS

  2. Oyemhe

    Funny how life is……some people are happy seeing others at their worst. “If you don’t have the courage to like yourself with whatever u have who will admire u”…..Be confident of yourself and stand up to any bad talk about your physical appearance.
    A lot of people need to see this writeup cus it will go a long way helping them.
    I was once fat before attaining teen and looked way bigger than my mates,it wasn’t a fun time being around them cus of my physical look. But,during my secondary school days and approaching adulthood I lost weight and this attracted a lot of comments like; wow u look great!
    Love your body!
    And the rest of them without these people knowing it is just normal in some people… hurt when I was fat but I got used to it and shun the same people who criticized my shape then now that I have reduced.
    Embrace yourself
    This is where #selflove comes into light!

  3. halima

    Kudos to the writer, tbh,alot of people have been subjected to different emotional tortures bcoz of this issue,like,why do we have to accept other people’s opinions of us,who are they to dictate how and what we should look like?why should we accept their own definition of beautiful?to everyone out there, you’re beautifully and wonderfully made… not let anyone tell you otherwise,not even yourself and don’t blame yourself for things you can’t change,love yourself and accept yourself for who you are,self love is the best form of love, you are you and no one can be like youuuu…..🙂

  4. SignificantK

    I have tried to look away but here I am typing.
    I’ve been told ‘you are not tall, but long ‘ even thin. tbh it doesn’t get to me like shaming I think they admire my height. My room mates are way shorter and we often joke about them not being able to pick things from above. I fix the bulb, change the curtains courtesy my height. It’s beautiful now.
    The problem is more from within, nobody makes you sad without your permission. I remember Miguel’s book: 4 agreements. One of them is NEVER TAKE ANYTHING PERSONALLY. It’s not always about you!

  5. Mutiat Sarumi

    Alhamdulillah for this article and its writer, self love is actually very important although there are some situations that can’t be avoided, I’m also a victim of this, it wasn’t and isn’t easy trying to live with a scar you always wish wasn’t there but with determination and self love, all will be well.

  6. Stellamaris

    Nice write up
    Body shaming has become a normal thing in our society
    I was always disturbed by what people say
    “You go fat oo,fat de your body
    See your fat legs and hands
    Your cheeks are too fat, even the moles on My face I got after chicken pox, people talk about it
    You have groundnut on your face 🤦, truth is people will always talk,I don’t just let it get to me and I don’t think anyone should as well.

  7. Senami

    Body shaming , that isn’t new to me , why?
    Because it is now a norm , since I was young now,(because I am still young), parents do it to their children, people do it to each other some says that is a joke but you shouldn’t joke with something like that, do you know the intensity of your words on someone else. ?

  8. natha

    I can relate to this topic. I’m not as thin as my environment will want, I have flesh but not so fat. The judgements people give everyday to me has so gotten to me.

    I usually wish I could change myself, Body Shaming leaves a deep cut which I doubt could be healed

  9. Deolabliss

    I faced this from family and does alike for years because I was bony (not just skinny) and had unbelievable dry skin tht broke. I almost relapsed into depression and had become violent. Then I changed school and my physics teacher took it upon him to build back my self esteem, he became my mini therapist in the hostel; it was tough but it worked. I payed a lot of attention to y skin, buying all products and eating well and it worked. I’m currently a size 14 but that didn’t stop the insults but I’m immune to it now. I never insult anyone for their size cos i know what I faced with body shaming.

  10. Deolabliss

    I also learnt from therapy that people make fun of others to make themselves feel good. I know it’s absurd but learning to give such insolent people a right answer is the key to breaking free from them. Like an instance;
    Me: I’m fat
    Him: you’d be pretty soon
    Me:. I said I was FAT not UGLY
    You just have to learn to make them feel like fools at their own joke

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