To me, it has always been about being recognised as the ‘Top Achiever’, the girl who gets to be on the spot… But the hate I felt for myself wouldn’t allow me to be that.
I know I didn’t stand at the front of the queue and ask for this body. But, trust me, it has affected me in a way that I ended up wishing to stay behind closed doors so that I wouldn’t get to be seen or get to see the looks that people give me.
Back at home, where I was supposed to get support, I was always reminded of how ugly and disgusting I was. That made it worse. I mean, if your mother can tell you that, then who can make you feel pretty?!
So, like every girl out there I started dating. Instead of loving myself, I hated myself some more. I was so afraid that this guy would walk away as soon as he saw me the way I saw myself – disgusting and unlovable, because of the way I looked.
Surprisingly, he wasn’t like that at all. At least, not at first. Then things went out of control when I saw that he stared at me the way that I did. I couldn’t stand being stared at like that. It made me hate myself more. I became single. So, I guess it made me feel better – as now there was no one that I would have to dress up for.
There was a time when I’d tell myself that – you know what – this is who you are, how you are and that isn’t going change by you hating yourself. But then again the minute I stepped out of the door and saw someone staring at me, ivele bengathi bandijongele lenzondo ndinayo kum.
Self love is something that I never had. I’d dress up in my sisters’ clothes and take pictures and edit them… And then I’d post them… I was so happy for the way the likes and compliments made me feel… I wasn’t even noticing that I was attracting people. Guys would approach me and make me feel so pretty. I was so afraid of what would happen as soon as they really saw me – they would see the opposite of what my pictures showed…
You know the worst part of it was? I had friends who were so attractive and beautiful, they had everything I wished I had. What was painful was walking with them and having people stare at us, and then hear the laughter afterwards. That killed me day by day. I knew exactly why the laughter came… It came as a result of something people said about how I looked. I became distant. I couldn’t be attracting another reason for hating myself.
So I decided to let my capabilities give me the spotlight. I worked very hard in Grade 12 and became the ‘Top Achiever’. It was the only way of becoming proud of myself and loving myself a bit.
I’d introduce myself by what I could do, so that people wouldn’t look at me the way I looked at myself. It worked. And, it still does.
My message to you is this: It doesn’t matter what someone else sees in you. If we were all beautiful and had sexy bodies, life wouldn’t be that amazing. We wouldn’t have so much motivation around us. So, don’t let how you look bring you down. Let your capabilities bring you the attention you deserve.
Have you ever had similar experiences like the author? Tell us how you dealt with those issues?