Several centuries ago, I bagged myself a nice Bukusu boyfriend. It was quite weird because growing up on the mountainside, we had always been told that Bukusus are man-eaters, and I was always hoping his cannibalistic traits don’t show up when I’m around. Well, I lived to tell the tale – and they are amazing people.
This Bukusu boyfriend once asked me what I was most insecure about myself. I thought for a nano-second and then answered, “My hairline.”
There was absolute truth in that answer, and he never made fun of it. I have had very thin hair, and it was thinned much more with the relaxers we grew thinking we have to kill ourselves with. The worst problem with my hair is that the hairline is not keen on staying on my head; it breaks as easily as a teenager’s heart. I was ashamed of my hairline and always had weaves on, which made my hair even worse.
A couple of weeks ago, I was busy not being busy, out and about shaking bushes, and then someone looked at my hair for a few seconds and asked me, “Is your hairline like that, or is your hair falling off?”
This was an excruciating question. One because several years ago, I embraced the natural hair cult, and I have been taking excellent care of my hair; my hairline has never been better. The last time I put a weave on my head is December 2013, but the front of my hair is shaped like a lagoon, thanks to my dad.
I was particularly hurt because I can’t force my hair to look like Trevor Noah’s even if I tried, and I have tried. I have amazing eyebrows; I mean, my eyebrows don’t need a razor, they are just well-shaped, but they are also not bushy. The person looked at my eyebrows and asked me, “What’s wrong with your eyebrows?
I was shook! This is the best part of my body, and that fact is like the laws of the Medes and Persians – it can’t be repealed. It’s scientifically proven that I have the best eyebrows in … ok, just believe me already, don’t make me lie. Apparently, they looked like they had been chopped off somewhere on the side. (Eye-rolling emoji)
I just replied, “Haven’t you found something nice today about my face?”
A few hours later, on the same day, a young man who had been making me a dress brought it home. He had missed a few inches and made the dress tighter than it should have been. A different friend who was sitting on my couch, after borrowing my pegs, watched me tell the tailor what to do, then remarked, “Hey, lose some weight, mama. Go to the gym!”
I’m only 69 KGs, people, and I run every day like a maniac for Kilometers.
However, the good Lord used all the leftover mud on my chest, so I carry around some incredible double-dees that would put Dolly Parton to shame. (According to my BMI, I’m on the overweight side because I’m short, but that’s beside the point.)
All that was happening on the same day, just a couple of hours apart. I’d like to tell you that I was ok and I walked around strutting what my momma gave me because I’m a confident superwoman, but the truth is, it affected me. I felt like a fish judge by its ability to climb a tree.
I have been reading the comments on Kanze Dena and slowly grinding my teeth. I mean, why are we so invested in how people look? I have had my fair share of body shaming, and nothing prepares you for the day someone shames you for something you can’t do anything about.
Someone even once told me how I’m not beautiful according to the world’s standards. I mean, the audacity! I may be no Naomi Campbell, but I’m beautifully and wonderfully made. I actually view myself as pretty and not that inner beauty nonsense that we use to tell people we’re low-key calling ugly.
Kanze has just come from maternity leave, she’s breastfeeding, and we all wanted her to come out looking like a stick cartoon? And even if she wasn’t, it’s her body; only she knows how she feels about it, only she knows what she’s doing about what she feels about it.
The only person whose beauty you’re allowed to think about is the one you will marry, and even then, you should make a silent decision on whether you want to live with THAT for the rest of your life or you hit the road. If they aren’t your type, please move on swiftly and find one who is. If you like light girls, don’t marry a dark girl and then shame her for holding on to melanin for the rest of her life. If you like the tall, dark and handsome, please, leave the light skinned men to those who love ripe tomatoes. The same goes for height, don’t marry a minion and then make them feel bad about not looking like Moana. Choose your struggle.
Let’s be kind, it costs nothing, but it yields much. I and my beautiful, crooked front tooth are now going to make Chapati.