Whilst filling my water bottle from our office’s water dispenser yesterday morning, Mary, a colleague of mine, slapped my butt and run off saying, “made at Obengfo”.
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I know you know by now who “Obengfo” is, don’t you? Well, in case you don’t know, that’s the name of the owner and doctor in charge of the Advanced Body Sculpt Centre in Accra. The pain that came with Mary’s whack didn’t hurt as much as her attribution of my naturally endowed backside to a fake one. Mine were never obtained through body sculpturing. Without hesitation, I went straight to her office to warn her not to ever make such an allegation when it comes to my body and its features.
Later in the evening, whilst relaxing at home, my encounter with Mary crossed my mind; a lot of thoughts began to race in my head. I began to soliloquise: “Why did I get angry at Mary? Since when did I spit out rage at anyone for thinking of my buttocks as fake? Was I not the same person who used to cry and blame God for making my pair of buttocks too big and somewhat “abnormal?” Why then was I angry? I felt so guilty at my reaction towards Mary because until I entered into a relationship with Obodai, I thought I looked a bit abnormal. Seriously, I used to have a strange disinclination about my body.
Obodai was the one who made me change my perception about me and instilled confidence in me. He made me understand that there was nothing wrong with a young woman being heavy at the back. He told me that that feature was what would help me support my back during pregnancy in future and that God knew it was good for me, that was why He made me the way I am. He used to tell me the benefits he stood to get from that possession of mine if he married me – and in deed, he is benefitting from my pair, big time.
At the appropriate time, I shall tell you all about that. He made me learn to love myself and to know that I was special. He made me feel proud of what I had been given naturally. The day Obodai told me about how some people actually had to pay to get what I was complaining and worrying the Lord for blessing me with, was when my mentality changed completely. Sometimes, it takes one person, just one person to say one word or phrase, to disabuse our minds of all negatives. Hmm.
My butt has always been big; thanks to my mother whose powerful genes I inherited. I used to be teased in school for having all that flesh on me. In primary school, I was nicknamed Vono. I don’t know if they’re still in business, but back in the day, Vono was a renowned international brand of mattress which used exclusive and technologically advanced Interlock Springing System for healthy and refreshing sleep.
That name used to make me sad each time my mates and in some cases, teachers mentioned it. I seemed to be a bit dissimilar from my mates who had slender backsides and it made me look down on myself. Whenever I passed by a group of people, I became very conscious of myself and very jittery too because I had this feeling they would talk or were talking about me.
In secondary school, the case got worse when in Form One I was nicknamed, Du Peeee (short form of Dunaa Poison). Dunaa Poison literally translates as poisonous buttocks. Students claimed mine were so large, weighty and expanded, they looked poisonous. I had to accept that name after I realised that no amount of pleading would let anyone stop referring to me by that. I used to tell some of my slender school mates how I wished I had sizes as trim as theirs. A few of them used to tell me how much they wished to have mine. It was a clear case of getty-getty no want; wanty-wanty no get. Hmm.
Sometimes, I wished I had at an early age accepted in gratitude how I was made. I know my Maker has forgiven me for being unappreciative in the past. In fact, sometimes we need to take the time to stop and appreciate who we are. Why is it so hard to appreciate what we have? Why is it so difficult to be sated with everything in our lives in the here and now?
Presently, I know that loving and accepting myself unconditionally is integral to my own personal happiness and spiritual growth. So why was I, for so many years of being conditioned by images of what I thought was to be, struggling to accept the appearance of my buttocks? I know that I'm not alone here. What in the world is wrong with us? Why is it so hard for us to love ourselves unconditionally? Those who are fat in some parts of their bodies are using all means possible (orthodox and unauthorised means) to look slimmer; the slim ones are using all sorts of procedures to fatten some parts of their bodies. Why?
This conversation isn’t a new one. We have the power to choose to love our bodies and cultivate happiness within us. We can opt out of the struggle, the stress and the constant worrying of, “do I measure up to society’s impossible standards of female beauty”? Because guess what? Nobody does! We are good enough just as we are. Let’s forget about what anyone says about our bodies and rather make healthy choices that nurture our peace of mind. And always remember, someone wishes they had what you have. Hmm!