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1 Year After: Relaunching the #iambeautiful Campaign, Our Self-Esteem Stories & Photos!

Last year, we launched a campaign where a couple of girls (including myself) came out to share stories of the kinds of experiences we get daily based on how we look. We shared how these experiences made us insecure and how we were eventually able to overcome them. We called this campaign #iambeautiful.

If you’ve been following my blog for a long time, then you would remember this campaign. The aim was to help others girls, through our stories, love and accept themselves the way they are. Y’all know the pressure to look and even act a certain way is reaallll and if you do not meet these standards, then you are not beautiful.

I was telling a friend yesterday how in the past, Africans were usually regarded as the curvy ones. Most black women naturally had the boobs and the butt. It was kind of our identity and it wasn’t so much of a big deal, until now. Suddenly, everyone wants to have big boobs, wide hips, big butts and a tiny waist. It doesn’t stop there. There is also the full lips, flawless skin, long hair, perfect teeth, slim figure, pointed nose and fair skin chase that we would do anything to have. Like anything. I don’t even want to go into the things I watch on Botched or is it Dr 90210 {not sure if this show still airs on E!}?

Anyway, we launched the campaign because we had come to realize that we may never, ever meet up with the world’s definition of beauty; that these definition changes with time and that whether or not the world does not see us as beautiful, what really mattered was how we see ourselves.

Guess what? the campaign’s turn out was so unexpected. After we launched it on our social media platforms, a lot of people – male and female, could relate with these experiences and they started sharing their stories too. One person even told me to make those stories into a book!

It’s funny looking back and realizing that a whole year has passed since that campaign. Like a whole year! Time flies, guys. Whatever you have to do, please do. Stop procrastinating.

Anyway, that’s not the point.

Today, I’m going to be sharing the links to those stories with you. So, if you are here, new to my blog and sometimes feel insecure about your looks, then you should read these:

”I’m a skinny lady. I can’t deny that fact but it used to make me insecure and doubt how beautiful people say that I am. Personally, I am okay with my stature, but I always thought it would be nicer if I had curves. This is the only part I have had to wish to be like somebody else. I thought my friends who were as thin as I am were more beautiful because they had curves that I didn’t have. It always seemed their clothes had a better fit. The absence of these curves earned me such nicknames as ‘figure one’, etc.

At first, it wasn’t so intimidating, until I got to my third year in the university and my roommates started calling me ‘Pankere wo gown’. That is a very derogatory statement that if averagely translated would mean ‘a piece of cane in a gown‘. I knew I was being compared to a cane not just because I was slim, but also because I was straight. They also compared me to the Mercy character in Jenifa’s Diary, who we all knew was nobody’s favorite, largely because of her role in the movie. All the same, I found them really derogatory and I felt intimidated . . .” continue reading.

I am an albino and for a large part of my existence so far, I have felt insecure. I had a strong feeling of being less in comparison with others. To me, my hair was not beautiful. I wanted it black or at least, brown.

I am also short sighted. As a result, some people would make faces at me and would ask with laughter stained with sarcasm and slight mockery “Can you see me?” Some would make signs at me and ask if I could see what they were doing. They treated me as though I was blind. A guy even said outrightly to me once that he is allergic to albinos standing at his front . . .” continue reading.

“Growing up, I was very insecure about my complexion. It started in my house. Being the darkest of three girls, my sisters had weird nicknames for me like ‘blackie dudu’. We also had a neighbour who called me ‘aja dudu’. In English, that would mean ‘black dog’. When they called me such names, everyone would laugh, including me, but deep down, I was very sad.

Whenever I did something excessively or bad at home, it was usually attached to my being black. For instance, if I ate too much noodles, my mum could say, “Keep eating it. That’s why you are black”, or if I rubbed my skin with too much Vaseline, to the discomfort of my sisters, they could say “The vaseline you are using is too much. That’s why you are black.” Every reason attached to why I was black was bad. Nobody referred my being black to something good . . .” continue reading.

“My complexion has been one of the few things I wish I could change about myself. I am dark skinned coupled with the fact I’m slim and one can literally draw a bucket of water from the wells of my clavicles. It’s not as if I am as dark as charcoal or the underneath of a pot o but still, I used to feel insecure about myself. It used to hurt that I don’t get to wear clothes with the kind of  colours I like.

At first, I was not so conscious of my skin colour until I gained admission and I started making friends that are light skinned, chocolate, a few dark skinned and whatever other skin colour that one can think of. I didn’t really like taking pictures with my friends in the dark because they felt I might spoil their pictures, so sometimes I’d just simply say “You guys should go ahead and snap the picture, I won’t show.” Other times, when I did muster courage to snap with my friends, I got comments like”Lara I can’t see your face, I can only see your teeth . . .” continue reading.

I had always thought that girls who had bigger boobs were more sexually appealing, so growing up with small boobs made me really insecure.

I remember one time in class, while sitting with two of my guy friends. One of them – the one closest to me and with whom I had been talking, leaned over to the other to say how beautiful I was. It was a whisper but I could hear the compliment almost as loud as I heard the harsh reply that came after. The other guy had replied his compliment with a ‘yeah, she is but she has small boobs’. There was another time back in secondary school when a guy had also made a similar statement. In fact, he pointed out that he would have dated me if not for that my boobs were too small . . .” continue reading.

_______________________

He-he. Anyone of these experiences sound familiar to you? That’s just life.

Truth is, you may never really get to change the way people will see you or treat you, based on how you look. You may never get the whole world to agree that you are beautiful. But you can change how you think about yourself. Once you come to genuinely love yourself, this confidence is what the whole world will see when they look at you.

I may never really get to change how people see me, but I can change what I think of myself.… Click To Tweet

Now, to those campaign photos, enjoy!

Seun Olagunju | I am beautiiful campaign photo

Seun Olagunju | I am beautiiful campaign photo

There!

Since we are relaunching the campaign soon, feel free to be a part of it. If you have a story to share with us, kindly comment ‘I have a story’ and drop your email address. I’ll reach you.

Till later guys, 🙂

With love and plenty kisses.,

Tirzah.

Author:

Just a simple 21 year old all out to making an impact.

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