Him: How is your baby?
Me: What baby?
Him: You look quite pregnant (with a look of disgust)
This was the beginning of a conversation with someone who wanted to talk. The 'talk' continued with little threats of suing for defamation and flashes of gas-lighting. Unfortunately, I stood my ground and recalled what and who this person was because I recognised the patterns—a little liar.
Today, someone I used to be in a marriage with tried to body-shame me. It was a failed trick that used to work when I felt I needed anybody's validation or love. I am grateful for age-induced clarity. My body has been through phases, literally through thin and thick with me. Why should I be sad to look like a pregnant woman? I have been through that phase, and it is magical!
I am a buxom-thick-hipped person. My hips have a presence of their own, My boobs speak, and my butt will balance a cup with an entire life of its own. Ezigbo custom-made engine eji akwọ ndụ. What is there not to be grateful for?
I am very visible. My presence fills a place. Afụ dimkpa, afụ ogologo imi ya. You will feel me and see me. It's difficult not to see me or even hear me. I have a voice that carries an echo. I am a teacher. I have a classroom voice that is commanding and yet not menacing. Microphones come to my hand to die. You will hear me.
I have hair that calls to your attention. I whip it back and forth. Women pass by me and turn to comment on my hair. I have what social media lingo calls main character behaviour.
I have comfort in less. You will find me in a pair of Crocs or simple bathroom slippers. I'm great with high-end as well as low-end thrifts. I am the typical 'and so what?'
Meet my brain. I hold distinctions. I'm an Ivy League player when it comes to knowledge. Ifuro kam si kwado?! I'm at home with multiple projects and in academic circles.
Nothing about me speaks less than. While I understand the poor need to make people like me feel bad when you think your life feels sad, perhaps consider doing something positive that gives you genuine joy.