I listened to this song ‘Beneath your beautiful’ several times and eventually gave up on it. I thought Labrinth made some sort of a mistake when he said, “Would you let me see beneath your beautiful?”

I mean, what more can you see beneath my beautiful? Do I even have any more layers under there?

The answer is a complicated yes. So as I was getting ready in the morning, I looked at myself in the mirror. I saw a heavy soul with a face decorated with pimples and dark spots. That was my first layer beneath the beautiful. The layer before my make-up. Another layer was the one normally hidden by the outfits I wear daily.

I always look good and jokingly say to my friends: “You’ve got to look good for the Lord, and anyway you never know who might be taking pictures.” But the most important layer is the layer beneath everything. My soul, where my insecurities, flaws and deepest secrets and fears are hidden.

That’s where the most beautiful part of an individual dwells, in the centre of the being: the soul. But I was and still am scared of allowing someone to touch my soul with dirty hands. As more and more people get into different forms of relations, the lines become blurred. Who deserves to see beneath my beautiful? Who deserves to touch my soul with their dirty hands? Does a person even deserve to touch my soul with dirty hands?

For the longest of times, I’ve lived with my insecurities and my anxieties. We’ve had somewhat of a good relationship, I mean I did everything to feed them. Some things even at the expense of my sanity and happiness. But as this new character emerged, the relationship between me and my insecurities was disturbed. To top it all up, I got into somewhat of a relationship, rather we say I was in a ‘situationship’.

Love did exist for some time until we decided to be intimate. I have a lot of insecurities about my body. I am underweight and quite skinny, so that should at least give you a picture of how I felt every time I had to undress for intimacy. When the whole situationship collapsed I thought it was my fault. Blamed myself for a very long time for being “too ugly for love”, “too skinny”, “not ready to explore” and all the lame excuses I came up with.

As a result of weeks of blaming myself for what could have been, my insecurities came knocking on my door. Like an old friend, it welcomed itself back into my life and took its old seat where it hurts the most: beneath my beautiful, in my soul.

It really took time for me to get through that stage. After months of self-hate as a result of the breakup and insecurities. I decided to rebrand myself. That was the birth of the first layer, the clothing that used to hide and continue to hide my skinny body and make up for the acne-prone skin. Believe me, that was the most interesting time in my life. Everything was flowing. I was starting to feel better.

But my insecurities came crashing in after numerous comments from bystanders about my outfits. I adore African prints and beadwork. I’ve faced numerous attacks from people and that include friends and family members. “That’s for women,” some would say. That corroded my newly bought coat of confidence. The attacks reminded me that it was my fault that my situtationship had collapsed and now it was my fault I was enduring these present attacks on this feminine body of mine.

The real transformation came with time. The transformation wrapped with healing. What I picked up on that journey of rebranding and subsequent healing was that healing is as bitter as a breakup. It is even worse than insecurities because you don’t know what to expect with it. But it will happen as time goes on.

Today, I come as one, but I stand as ten thousand. This includes the fragmented pieces of me that have come under attack, that were destroyed by my insecurities. And now it makes sense why Labrinth wanted to see beneath my beautiful. And no one deserves to touch my soul with dirty hands. Not even myself. This should be everyone’s reality. Healing and self-appreciation is a process, it’s not an overnight evolutionary process.


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