“Anyone fatter than me is too fat, anyone taller than me is too tall, anyone shorter than me is too short, anyone slimmer than I am is too slim” those were the words of Eben a well-known Nigerian gospel minister in a concert where he said that if you do not have God, whatever is said to you has the ability to affect you the rest of your life (paraphrased). Humorously, he said anyone blacker than you is too black. When you are told you are ugly, you will live to keep feeling ugly and that can actually affect one mentally leading to low self-esteem, can cause depression in some and in some cases might even lead to suicide. His words were few but so strong and true as it got me thinking and birth this very article.

I remember growing up as a child, one faithful day while school was on holiday, as usual I was back home in my parents’ house, a neighbour of ours who came visiting my mum stopped and watched me after I greeted her. She said “where are you growing to?” will never forget the look on her face. She said I was growing too tall and faster than I should… how tall do you want to be? Those words kept ringing in my head which made me feel I was too tall and I lost confidence in myself, when with my peer group, will be feeling I am too tall, words will be ringing in my head, Vee, you are too tall (whenever I am in the midst of people shorter than I am) and that affected my walking steps, it stole my confidence. Even when I got back to school, I hated getting up to walk out of the class when everyone is seated because of those little but weighty words that I allowed to demean me. The innocent but funny part of the story is that I began praying to God to make me not grow taller than that for that period and even if I should, it should be a little addition, I was even using some spinsters or married women as reference points by saying “Lord, by this or that age, I want to be like this or that woman”. Sounds funny right? That was how serious those words said in just less than two minutes had a great effect on me for years but thank God that I have broken-free from that. Guess what, now my family members and few friends are the ones saying I should grow tall, that even my younger ones are taller than I am, don’t I know height is good? Lol, truth is I have learnt how to not look down on myself especially when it comes to body looks as I have learnt to love myself just the way I am. I tell people I have the perfect height, not tall, not short, just average.

I love my looks, love my height, love the fact that I am slim not fat, love my complexion, not fair, not dark, just in-between and I want you to do same because we were fearfully and wonderfully made. Let no man here on earth steal your joy, let no man give you a wrong definition of how you look. You simply can’t please everyone on your body structure. Don’t you know that the same Mr. Bernard that is teased of being too slim, if he works on getting himself fatter than that for the purpose of pleasing people and it yields result, others can still complain he is getting fat and he is better looking as he was slimmer than now. Truth is that people will always give their opinion on what they feel right or better and these opinions most times vary, so it’s left for you to learn to feel good about your look especially if it’s a feature you can’t change like height. Don’t let demeaning words get into your head so you don’t live feeling ugly or ill. I might not know you but one thing I know about you is that YOU ARE UNIQUE. Don’t expect people loving you when you don’t love who you are. To gain other’s love, it begins from loving your uniqueness. I repeat, YOU ARE UNIQUE, love yourself first.   

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