Love Yourself. It’s Important.

Self-love, Project Loving You, The Girl Journey- Love YourselfWhat were you like at 15?

Being a teenager was really hard for me. I was a nerd. Socially awkward. A wallflower.

I hated how my face looked with the mandatory short hair cut (like I had 1 centimetre of hair). I hated my “negro nose” and wished it was less wide and more straight like my mom’s. I thought my lips were too big. I felt my ears were too big. Let’s not talk about how FAT I felt. I could not deal with all the changes in my body, I truly saw myself as a whale.

You can say that my body has been this way more or less since I was 14. My mates look pretty much the same as me now (or bigger), but back then, most of them were still pretty tiny. I remember when someone said my hips were wide like I was someone’s mother. I remember how she said it, where she said it, because it really stung.

Your hips look like a mother’s.

Today I’m 23 and I still do not know where all those deep feelings of inadequacy came from back then. I was loved at home, I had my priorities in order and was focused on my books. I was watching cartoons, mostly so it wasn’t even about the media. Boys? I really wasn’t checking for them, and I’ve always known that their opinions about me, are not valid.

When MeeMee and I were 15, we were in SS3 (that is, our senior year of high school). That was the year my body image issues were at their peak.

On the day we had to take our yearbook photos, everyone was buzzed! So excited. But I? I couldn’t do it. I really could not bring myself to have this ugliness documented. I could not. I tried, but I couldn’t do it. I left the library, where the photos were happening, and went to my empty class and cried my eyes out. MeeMee to the rescue. She could not make me go get my photo taken, but at least I stopped crying and made it through the rest of the day. (Best friend of life!)

Our Principal decided that the photos did not look prim and proper enough, so that shoot was trashed, and another one was set up for later. By this time, my head was in a better space and I was able to smile for the camera. I wish I could find that photo today.

I know how it feels to not love yourself, to not like the way you look.

It sucks.

I see people dismissing body image issues- and telling young girls things like it’s your brains that matter! It’s your personality that matters! True. These things matter, but it is unhealthy to think you’re living your best life without LOVING all the parts of you. It is not shallow that you want to love the face you see in the mirror.

It is not shallow to (want to) love the face, the body you see in the mirror. Click To Tweet

Today, my face, my body has not changed. It’s not perfect, it’s not for everybody, but I have changed, I’m different now. I’m not perfect, though, I still have my moments but I love what I see, and I think this is so important. I want YOU to love what you see too.

This Saturday I’ll be at ‘Project Loving You’, and I want you to come.

Come with your friend, come with your younger cousin. Come let’s have these important conversations, us women- from 13 and up.

Attendance is free, but seats are limited, so you’d have to register in advance.

‘Project Loving You’ is an initiative of The Girl Journey, a charity dedicated to setting a new standard of beauty in a world that has its own pre-formed ideas of what beauty should look and feel like. The Girl Journey is helping girls transform self-doubt into self-love by providing a safe space to connect and have honest conversations about topics that matter including but not limited to education, sex, beauty and empowerment. The Girl Journey works to help the girl child love who she is, to see all the positives in herself, how to harness these positives, shape her immediate environment and to empower her to inspire the same in others.

We’ll be talking about self worth and beauty, about feeling unpretty and Loving You, about turning self doubt to self love. We’ll have spoken word poetry, live music and games.

There’s also going to be an au naturel photoshoot at the event, as in, natural hair and no makeup. And not unsurprisingly, I’m breaking out A LOT this week. Welp. The photos may not be the best thing to ever happen to me but you know what? I’ll live!

See you on Saturday, and please share this with someone! 🙂

Project Loving You

Saturday, April 23, 2016.

Terrakulture, Tiamiyu Savage Street, off Ahmadu Bello Way, Victoria Island, Lagos.

contact.thegirljourney@gmail.com

08079742236, 08163268879

Before you go, could you say 3 positive things about yourself in the comments?  🙂

You is kind, you is smart, you is important. Click To Tweet

Love,

AB,

xx

11 thoughts on “Love Yourself. It’s Important.

  1. Word !!!
    I am beautiful with flaws , a masterpiece in the curator’s hands..
    Just seeing this post, so sad i could not register on time. Please take a lot of pictures and do share the event with a post.. Enjoy

  2. I really hated my self when I was 15, I was not confident, no friends too. But I know now I am not perfect but I am beautiful, I am strong, I am black and that’s not a problem It’ is a blessing. Thank you for this post <3

  3. This hit so close to home. There’s something about being a teenager for most people, even for those with the celebrated kind of look, I noticed.
    I felt small, hairy and mousy a lot of the time.
    I’ve grown to see myself in a totally different way. I’m intelligent, I’m attractive, I’m aware.
    See you on Saturday.

  4. This hit so close to home. There’s something about being a teenager for most people, even for those with the celebrated kind of look.
    I felt small, hairy and mousy a lot of the time.
    I’ve grown to see myself in a totally different way. I’m intelligent, I’m attractive, I’m aware.

  5. Very nice. I can relate to having body image issues. Infact till today I look upon my secondary school experience with not so much love as a result. And the effect trailed me for years. I’m however learning that the only validation you need in life is yours and your most beautiful accessory is confidence. It is an important conversation to have and I wish you all the best.

  6. Ooh. Great one! First of all, I didn’t know you’re the same age as me: that’s amazing. You just inspired me a great deal. Right from when I started following you on instagram, I ‘ve thought you’re beautiful and you have an admirable self-love. The girl- Journey is an epic innovation, i’m inspired.
    I’m beautiful, creative-minded and Child-like.
    Yay!

  7. Reading this, I flashed back to 15 and I remember a tall, black, gangly, rabbit toothed girl with esteem issues. I was super shy and very self conscious. It is so important for girls to know that they matter and that it’s okay to feel awkward but it’s equally important that they grow easily out of that stage. I wish I had such an initiative to attend when I was younger. I am better now. I love my height, and my color now. And shy? Not anymore! I am black, bold and beautiful!

  8. A heart warming read, thank you for sharing.

    Self-validation opens the door to self-acceptance and self-love.

    I am thoughtful, I am intelligent and I am mindful. 🙂

  9. Wow. I love this so much because I can more than totally relate. I hated myself back then in Louisville… Nerdy, breakouts, super shy, don’t even begin to describe how I felt. I used to look at myself and wonder why I couldn’t just be someone else. Like literally.

    I always thought you were gorgeous, Ekene. With your glasses and your super calm vibe. You still are.

    It’s been a journey since then, but I know I’ve come a veeeery long way. I love myself. And everything God created me with and to be.
    I’m beautiful, I’m smart, I’m growing.

  10. I’m not perfect but God loves me unconditionally. I am what God says I am. He says I am fearfully and wonderfully made. And so therefore, I am!
    Some days I don’t like that my legs are fat or that my boobs are non-existent but hey, I’m wonderfully made so who cares? I love myself faults, flaws and all.
    Self love is something a lot of young girls and women battle with so it’s really wonderful that you’re doing this. Well done! ❤

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