Beautified #1: . . . But I am Skinny – (Toluwa’s Story)

Hi guys,

This is the first of the Beautified series and I am going to start with the story of a lady that is extremely dear to me. Her name is Toluwa, a 300 level student of Hospitality and Tourism at the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta. She is someone I admire greatly. I think she embodies wisdom, strength and a great smile. Despite all of her enviable characteristics though, today, Toluwa shares with us some of her almost ‘day-to-day’ experiences for being skinny.

Here it is:

“First, I can’t deny the fact that I am really skinny 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.

TOLUWA 2Recently, I volunteered for a photoshoot to help out with the #IAmBeautiful Campaign and while we were at it, a friend told me that the campaign I actually should be volunteering for is the HIV campaign. She said it so loud, everyone laughed. I felt really bad. Although my friend apologized to me later and she said she had only meant to compliment how good I was doing the photoshoot, with no reference to my stature, we both knew it registered differently in the minds of everybody else present there. I couldn’t stop thinking, ‘why HIV?’

I admit that sometimes, people’s comments still get to me but overall, I’m not really moved by the stature. When I look at my mum and how she used to look, I’m hopeful that I would one day pick up weight, but for now, I’m refusing to subject myself to any form of pressure.

Besides, I do receive admiration and compliments too which makes me see that there is always more than one way to look and if we could just look the other way – away from the insulting jokes and harsh comments – you’d be surprised to see that there are actually people who wish to be like you and admire you.

I’m a lot confident now and I have learnt to appreciate what I have. For instance, when my friends complain about how thin my waist is, I make a joke out of it, asking if they knew how much Nikki Minaj must have spent to get her waist that thin. That naturally shuts people up. If there is one thing that stays with me, it is the fact that I am made in God’s image and everyday, I am convinced that I don’t want to stray away from that image by making myself into something else. This applies to you too.

The next time you feel intimidated, look into the mirror and tell yourself admirably how beautiful you are. Don’t wait for someone to tell you that you are. It goes beyond the compliments we receive, you know? It actually starts from us believing it ourselves. Can we do that? Okay? Okay.”




Hey guys, there we have it. First I must say a big thank you to Toluwa for sharing this. Truth is, she is really just one of many other girls who daily undermine their beauty because they are slim. Back then, when people tell me I’m thin, I would oppose and say such things like “No, I’m not thin, I’m slim”. LOL, like there is a difference anyway. Personally, I hated the pity – Times when I would want to lift something and someone would say “Don’t carry it. You’ll break.” or I’m walking and somebody says “you look like the wind is going to carry you away any minute.”

It’s fine. Some people are just concerned that you may not be eating healthy and if that is it, please start eating and try to get a lot of rest – mental and physical. There are some others, however, who just want to taunt you or make themselves feel better. If that’s the case, don’t subject yourself to that kind of pressure. Like Toluwa said, look in the mirror and call yourself beautiful. Smile at you, kiss you, if you have to – anything just so Love begins to radiate from your heart towards yourself and that’s all there is to being confident. 

Can you relate with Toluwa’s story? Tell us in the comment box below. Let’s hear some of your experiences too. Sometimes, saying it out loud is a good way to start. 🙂

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Author: seun olagunju

Just a simple 22 year old all out to making an impact.

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  • I believe you are one in a million Toluwa. I think one of the most amazing things anyone can do is to focus more on their strengths and the beauty & colour it brings to our world and capitalize on it . That is where the beauty lies.

  • They say beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, but if you can’t behold it, nobody else would. Be proud of the Masterpiece of God’s perfect creature which you are and don’t let anyone tell you anything less. You’re beautiful.

  • Toluwa, I must admit u re courageous and sorry u had to go through those nasty experiences, personally I used to be. Subject of inferiority complex also mostly because of my looks, I mean I find it hard to believe anyone who told me I was looking gud….. I would refuse to go out on picnics and fun filled experience with my friend because I felt they were more beautiful, that pple will rapport wif them more than they would me, I mean it wasn’t all about Wat they said, it was me…. It used to be about Wat I thought of my self, wat I felt pple would say , this useless experience made me always sit in the back seat in class….. It would make me feel like a guy/guys/ pple in general were laughing @me when ever I walked passed them.
    Buh thank God for God, I found confidence again in my self , my looks and shape.

  • I have a similar issue and I’m glad you shared your experiences. Mine was a lot more worse cos I’m tall or long, like my friends put it. I was always scared of taking pictures with my friends so I wouldn’t end up being cropped out for not being beautiful. But then I realized something, that for each “curve” you don’t have, you have something else; it may be perfect dentition like I do, or a very beautiful smile like Toluwa’s…. Anything at all. So just find that one thing that makes you stand out and focus on it. Ignore the ones you don’t have and you’ll begin to love yourself .
    By the way Toluwa you’d perfectly suffice for a model .

  • wow Toluwa!! Thank you for sharing this. I’m also passing through the same thing. There ar times when I would a dress and my friends would make comment like”wow dis dress is nice but it would have looked more beautiful on you if you’ve got curves”. sometimes I get depressed when I hear these things and I would even question God. God is really helping me now. He has given me reasons to appreciate who I am

    • Hey Christy, I am so glad you are seeing reasons to appreciate yourself now. Please let these reasons always abide with you. Don’t let them out of your mind. You are not the first one to question God, you know? When i share my story, you will see that I did too. There is so much more to you than those curves. I know. I’ve seen them. You are beautiful, Christy. *Raising Glass* Here is to your confidence.

  • Tnx 4sharing Tolu….
    My own feelings of inferior stature started jst a year after my secondary school when my boyfriend then said “hey Peace,seems u’re taller than I do” I can’t say if it was a compliment or smt else bt all I know is I began disliking d fact dt am tall n since then I cannot jst feel satisfied wt my height bcs I bliv girls shd be short so dt dey can look fit beside guys or husbands until recently dt I come to notice dt there are taller girls than I do n besides I’ve come to learn dt ur feelings of being beautiful shd come frm within to d outside n wt dt,no matter wat d compliments may be,be sure of d compliments u’re giving urself….

    • Whoa. This is an interesting one. I never thought …wow. It’s a good thing you shared. We’d soon be talking about how the opposite sex might have contributed to those insecurities. Till then, I pray your confidence is rooted in the revelation of how beautiful God has made you.

  • Wow! sincerely this is it. one of the best you can do for yourself Tioluwalope, I belive you because I know.
    The writer; this is not just, wonderful but great don’t stop this.

  • Thanks for your story Toluwa. It’s amazing. There are many girls out there like you and because of how the world is today many are contemplating plastic surgery to get ‘curves’. I used to be like that. I’m not even really slim but I used to feel like I was flat and physically unattractive. It was hard sometimes because many of my friends were guys and they would walk up to me and ask me about another girl who they thought was attractive because of her curves. It was padded bras all the way. I even used to joke that I would do plastic surgery in future. But that has changed. I couldn’t care less anymore and I know I’m beautiful the way I am. The other day I went out and a guy whispered to my friend that I had nice legs. I kept looking at my legs for the rest of the day lol. Every one is uniquely made and beautiful in their own way. People will always control us, especially women, until we decide to take the reigns and realize that we are beautiful inside and out. #IamBeautified