Pendo, in her third year studying Child psychology, really does not have any hobbies, but she does like being around people and just having a great time with them.She is proud to be Zambian and Tanzanian 🇿🇲🇹🇿 (yesss representing both countries haha).
Her flaw is her body image. Growing up, she always hanged out with her little brothers and most of her friends were boys too therefore body image wasn’t a topic that they talked about or discussed at all. So when her body began to develop, she wasn’t comfortable enough to accept the changes because she didn’t have enough confidence to talk about what was happening and ask questions about it.
She would wear large clothing to hide her body or wear hoodies all the time to make sure nobody notices the changes. She would look in the mirror and check herself out whenever she tried on new clothes like a nice fitted dress and think “wow my hips look too fat! I can’t wear that!”. She would always look at skinny friends in school and wish she had such a body, so she could wear shorts or fitted clothes and look pretty.
‘Pretty’ in Pendo’s eyes was skinny, she wasn’t skinny so she wasnt ‘pretty’ in her own eyes. She remembers her mom bought her a skirt that was knee length and she told Pendo she couldn’t wear it because Pendo had such ugly legs. Penod’s legs were too fat.Of course her mom said to her the same thing any mom would say to they own child “you are so beautiful just the way you are and God doesn’t make ugly, wear that skirt tomorrow to church! *kisses her teeth and walks away*….” Now as a young teenager nothing that anybody could have said to her would change her opinion of her own body image not even HER own mom, “well maybe if a boy i liked said it lol maybe then i would have seen it differently but other than that, nothing changed”.
It wasn’t until i got into youth church and my youth leaders started talking about God’s love for us and how he created us in his image therefore we are all beautiful in his eyes. At that point i started to accept the ‘new’ me, maybe i wasn’t that ugly after all, maybe i should start dressing up and trying different types of clothes to see what works on me.
Even though Pendo’s mindset was starting to change and she started accepting her body, however her heart wasn’t fully in love with HERself. So whenever someone at school made a comment about any of her body parts for example they used to always make jokes about her lips being too big “burger lips”. Pendo would laugh with them but on her own she would start to see her lips as too big and something that needed changing. Pendo was accepting herself but she was not loving herself, therefore she left herself open for other people to control her emotions and feelings towards herself. Believing everything they said could be true which then broke her again.
Pendo wont lie, she stills look at herself even now and pick out parts of her that she wishes she could change. She wished she had a smaller butt, a bigger chest, less meat on my legs, maybe her hips could be a bit smaller,or maybe if she didn’t have a mark on her face, maybe that or this could change a little. “No no no, all these things i used to and sometimes still do worry About make me Pendo. I have learnt to love my body but also try to keep myself healthy at the same time for my wellbeing without being negative”.
You see, many people don’t reaslie how difficult body acceptance is to different people. Just because you tell someone that SHE is beautiful like that doesn’t mean she will fully believe you or you’re words, Pendo likes what people are saying and she will agree for a minute until someone says something negative or she sees someone else with a better body shape compared to hers.
Pendo has not accepted her flaw, rather she has taken the label off and allowed herself to see her body as HER. By Pendo not labeling it as a flaw, she starts to accept and slowly work on loving the idea of her body being a part of HER.
Advice from Pendo, “Advice that i would give to other young women of colour and just young women in general would have to be, love and believe in the person that you are inside because the most important parts of you are you’re heart and mind. If you can learn how to protect your heart from negative feelings or negative spirits then you’re heart would be strong enough to love you through anything and everything you go through. If you can train your mind to stay focused on the right goals that youve set for yourself and get educated to your fullest potential then nothing can limit/bring you down. Another advice that i would give young women is that through God, nothing is impossible. God is love, so if you believe that God is love then hatred, confusion, trust issues etc can not be your potion. Love yourself as God loves you! You are beautifully and wonderfully made in God’s image. 💗”
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