Body Shaming of Women; My Unsolicited Perspective

This is an unusual subject for me. But whenever inspiration comes running, I embrace it like an average man would want to hug a 34D-endowed woman.

But then, that is exactly the issue. We segment and discriminate against the female folks based on their bodily features. We do not hesitate to taunt them for what, at times, they may have little or no power over.

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I don’t like your name“. A girl I had never seen and will never see said this to me. I was in SS3 in a boys’ only school. Our self esteem was largely dependent on how much attention we got from girls. But here I was, in Abuja, far away from home, representing my school and State in a national conference, and a girl just crushed the last piece of coldstone-esteem I took pride in.

I have tried to understand the concept of body shaming of women from my perspective. Anytime I don a cloth that is not as smart on me as I want, or I am not comfortable in it, my confidence level wanes by some inches. For the rest of that day, I will be too self conscious to the extent that I can keep looking into the mirror to give myself some assurance: “it’s not that bad“. A five-minute intermittent confidence-boosting assurance. Yet, unlike yeast, the confidence hardly rises. It’s worse when I have to speak to an attractive woman.

However, the advantage I have is that after looking into the mirror first time, I can switch clothes. Or if I change my mind after leaving my house, I can return and wear another one. Or in some instances, if it’s a work shirt, I can easily put on a jacket and not remove it till the end of the day.

But really, what is the fate of a beautiful but insecure plump lady whose confidence has been bashed multiple times by people who believe and do not refrain from offering unsolicited advice that a beautiful woman must have an hour glass shape, flat tummy, tiny waist, shapely derriere and round breast?

How does such a woman suck the fat from her Cup-DD boobs in months, or weeks or a day like I would change my cloth before leaving my house? Or how would a petite lady whose boobs do not even need a bra for support embiggen same after being taunted for having breast as small as a mustard seed?

When the girl told me she didn’t like my name, it was with the hotel phone. My room and school mate who made some random calls had called her room. In the course of their conversation, he told her my name is Sunday. The girl did not hesitate to offer her unsought opinion. I never saw her. Never will I see her. But she made me become conscious of telling people my first name thenceforth.

In dealing with the confidence-bashing seed the lady unknowingly sowed, rather than tell people my name is Oluwaseun or Ola or the others, I had to deliberately tell new people I meet that my name is Sunday without giving it a second thought. It was easy dealing with since then.

I have nomenclature options. Does a woman on the fat side have same? I can easily change my cloth. Can a woman switch her tummy?

Source: pinterest.com

Definitely, you are not compelled to like everybody. But you are also not compelled to offer your debasing opinion. If you do not like some features in a woman, except she asks for it or you are closely knitted, keep your words to yourself.

Do not be the reason a woman will embark on a neck-breaking voyage of conformity. No one defines the ideal. In fact, the ideal is subject to subjectivity.

#inspiredsunfad

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LIFE AS A HUSTLE; HUSTLE AS A LIFE

We are all hustlers. From the street hawkers, to the ones who don the archaic wig and gown even in hot weather, to the woman who displays her wares by the roadside and dozes off (this is always profound for me when I see them). Sadly, our realities are different. But we are all hustlers.
Source: Tonero Photos Agency
But, are we meant to hustle every day of our lives? Are we meant to lead a life of work and then slip into eternal exit? What kind of life is that? I know people who literally bury themselves in work and hardly have a life outside it. But I know there’s a greater essence to life than this.
Both my deliberate and casual readings about work-life balance have greatly shaped my outlook to life and living to the extent that I feel I may be lazy at times. But the truth is, life is meaningless if its trajectory is to be born, go to school, get a job and then work one’s asses out till death.
In the relentless pursuit of security, we most times end up neglecting the most important things that give meaning to life and essence to existence.
We sacrifice family. We sabotage relationships. We neglect our health. We underrate the efficacy of taking a break.
Source: dreamstime.com
When the energy is gone, when strength gives way, when the reality comes to the fore, no one remembers the deadline missed or met; no one remembers the overtime worked. Only the priceless moments spent, the ineffable memories had and the beautiful people met remain imprinted on the hearts of men.
Admittedly, these things may be hard to observe in the early years of an individual’s voyage in the ‘hustle class’ or for one who has never moved to the next class after enrolment. However, with deliberate attempts to not lose ourselves in the quest to make a living, we can develop habits and attitudes necessary for this daunting journey of life.
However, for those whose life’s meaning is tied to their work, it’s a different ball game. For them, the priceless moments spent, ineffable memories had and beautiful people met may be in the course of their work. For these, work is not making a living stricto sensu, but the fulfilment of an inexplicable yearning and hunger.
But no matter the case, I do not believe because life is a hustle, hustle must be life!

Life’s Tough Choices; A ‘Call for Rage’

Whether friends, family, acquaintances or strangers, one of the things I enjoy the most is listening to the deepest things that hurt these people, and together, help chart a course out of the hurt.

In this process, with practical steps, one of the things I have had to talk about the most is the power and potency of courage; taking the jump even when the ground is out of sight; diving from comfort zones to uncertainties with forward-looking potentials; trusting your instincts and knowing when to quit but not give up.

I cherish this process, whether in talking about relationships, academics, career, abuse in whatever form or life in general. Courage is the common denominator to the way out of most life’s issues and challenges.

However, I have found myself in some very challenging situations and I cringed at the first thought of what to do.

As an aside, this is the reason I fancy pragmatism, personal experience and execution than motivational speaking. The feel-good effect of motivational speaking flies out of the window in the face of daunting challenges.

Now, I cringed not because of the overwhelming nature of the situations but at the thought of the courageous but seemingly stupid options I had to take. By taking these options; for instance, quitting a job or leaving a good woman, would I fall into regret? Would I slip into personal oblivion and endless frustration? Would I be plunged into an irredeemable abyss? That was why I cringed.

But I only cringed. I did not crumble. We can fall; staying down is the downside. We can fail; conceding to failure is the fatality.
What I do to prevent crumbling in such situations is to:

• be dispassionate and less emotional about it

• accept the reality of the difficult choices I’m faced with.

Then in a state of biting and acute self awareness, I know I am not dreaming; I have to make a decision. I speak to both my conscious and subconscious. I have just this life. When my back becomes bent, I never want to look back at my younger self and regret the tough choices I chickened out from making; I never want to look back and realize I was a coward.

We chart the course of our lives with each decision we make and more often than not, there is no opportunity to undo the things we’ve done. Life is not a rehearsal. Each performance is the real thing and you are the director of your own script. That is why courage is needed to make the tough choices and stick by them, succeed or fail. We can always try again. The truth is, it may be hard to pick yourself up after giving so much and failing. But we will rather try again with a better orientation than walk away defeated in life and for life.

Gary Vee

We have just this one life. No substitute. No half time. No second half. Life calls for some rage in making tough choices. It is courage. We are going all out for it. No more! No less!

Prospect of Stardom; Promise of Failure

Have you ever wondered why some celebrities get rocked with scandals they never recover from? Or why some just simply take a long walk to obscurity after huge expectations? Or why do some promising young football stars never live up to the promise?

Apart from the fact that some are more hyped than talented, life is a chronology. Skipping one stage has a huge impact on the performance in the next. He who skips the rehearsal will miss a step before the audience.

He who skips the rehearsal will miss a step before the audience.

One common denominator for humans is the hunger for success, in whatever form. Be it CEO of a Fortune 500 company, graduating from University, having millions in savings, being able to afford the next meal, becoming a landlord, getting paid every month, being your own boss… We all define success with divergent metrics.

When I read the Paddy Adenuga’s article of how he, at 29, almost acquired Chevron Netherlands, all I saw, which was one of the things that inspired this article, was a young man who had used the opportunities he had early in life as learning platforms; a young man who leveraged his vantage to acquire the requisite skills, knowledge and experience while handling the businesses entrusted to him. His business acumen and shrewdness in the uncommon privilege he had early in life prepared him for such a lofty goal as acquiring Chevron Netherlands at 29, to the extent that even though he lost, it has been counted unto him as a win.

When David faced Goliath, he was not a novice. His CV was not blank. In his experience column, he had:

” In my day to day employment at Jesse & Sons’ Farms, while keeping my employer’s sheep, whenever a lion or bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. If it ever turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it.”

No employer was going to see that and ignore, not even King Saul.

That was enough for his confidence and enough to impress Saul, who gave David his own royal tunic after conducting a hurried job interview for him.

Unfortunately today, we have people who desire stardom but wish to get there at the speed of light. Being in the jet and information age will not jet a man to success without learning the ropes.

There is a need for patience in the process of desiring and working toward stardom. Take your time in learning and development. You need to acquire the requisite tenacity and experience for some levels in life.

Build the capacity for your desired place. If you skip the learning stage, you will end up as a disaster in a place that may be rightfully yours.

When you dream, be patient enough to develop the capacity and capability to handle the dream when it comes to fruition.

Not all who desire stardom can handle it. There are platforms a 25-year old will step onto and handle with poise, grace and confidence. If a 35-year old gets to the same platform, he or she will cringe and crumble. It is not a function of age but the capability to function at such a level.

Like the celebrity whose undoing is the fame he never prepared for; like the football star who could not shine beyond a night, one thing is instructive: you cannot give what you do not have. But you can have what is yours if you give yourself to patience, purpose and practice.

The prospect of stardom without the requisite capability is a promise of failure.

​IDENTITY CRISIS: KNOWING THE REAL YOU!


We all want to have successful careers, goals, objectives or pursuits that wake us up every morning with an acute sense of purpose. It is even keener these days, realising the world has been connected easily with breakthroughs in technology and social media. You can seamlessly connect with many successful people at the other end of the earth. You can drool over their pictures, articles and videos where they look like the perfect examples of success. Yet it seems you just cannot get your acts together.
Craving it is one thing. Knowing how to go about it is another. And this craving, most times, whether exposed to social media or not, kicks in at a tender age. Success is a natural tendency for humans.

 Unfortunately, lack of clarity as to the path to follow to actualize the craving creates a bigger problem that a young boy or girl, if not careful, can grapple with for years or for life. This lack of clarity can be summed up as “identity crisis”.

Found through Google image search

We all want to have a sense of direction; we all crave to be the go-to guy for some things; we all desire to be relevant. In short, we all want a unique identity. 
A sense of identity gives one’s life a meaningful meaning. But with chaotic upbringing, directionless early relationships (not necessarily romantic), lack of exposure to life defining experiences, identity crisis can spring up; with an unresolved identity crisis, mid life crisis can occur; with mid life crisis unabated, an individual can become a permanent example of what not to be in and how not to live life. Try get an opportunity to speak with some (not all) criminals in correctional facilities.

Having what psychologists refer to as ‘identity achievement’ – coming to a substantial resolution as to the path to embark on in adulthood – is very vital to leading a happy and fulfilling life.

According to the findings in psychology, there are about four identity statuses which explain the state of an individual’s identity:

Identity foreclosure: as the name implies, the identity of such a person with this is foreclosed. He or she has had an identity handed down to him or her by parents or others who had an overwhelming influence on the individual at the defining period of his or her life. Such an individual did not have a period where he or she had to choose between alternatives, where he or she had to make a conscious effort in defining or charting the course of his or her life personally. 
Unfortunately, the foreclosure can snowball into a crisis when the ‘security blanket’ of their assumed identity is removed; for instance if the parents die or whatever thing that ties them to the assumed identity is no longer available.

Identity diffusion: for this status, an individual neither has a defined identity nor is he searching for one. The identity remains unresolved and there is also no crisis. For instance, asking a teenager what he wants to do in life and he replies, “I don’t know. I’ve not really thought about it”.

Identity Moratorium: a status where an individual is in a frantic search of his or her identity. Such an individual is open minded and willing to commit to so many things but still in a crisis as to which particular path to follow to realise his passion and purpose.

Identity Achievement: This is when a person has resolved the crisis and has come to the realisation of the path he or she wants to follow in life. This path may not be the most popular path but the individual is courageous and convinced that that’s the way he should go.
Getting to identity achievement is knowing ‘you’ and defining your role in life and it may spare you a lifetime of directionlessness. 

Let’s have a few metrics for preventing or dealing with identity crisis.

1. Guide but allow: this is basically for parents. Guide your children in their formative years but allow them to choose the paths they want to follow. Encourage them to explore and be supportive when they fail. They will discover their unique identities in the process. Parents are not to reproduce themselves in their children. They have lives of their own.

2. Volunteer: volunteering for different organizations and projects has a potent way of making you discover what you want to do with your life along the line. You can form your identity from interacting and socializing with other volunteers and in engaging in selfless causes.

3. Take responsibility: one of the surest ways of slipping into an identity crisis is by dodging responsibilities anywhere and everywhere. Take responsibilities, take initiatives. They will define your life’s journey somewhere along the line. One of the things that helped me in my identity formation stage was because I took responsibilities a lot and I discovered what I wanted to do in the process.

4. Explore: while growing up, dabble into many things and explore several options if you are yet to get to identity achievement. This is mostly important for teenagers who still have age on their side. Never hold back. And then…

5. Be courageous: in the process of exploring several options, have the courage to take the ‘jump’. Be courageous enough to go all out for one thing at every point in time. It is okay to fail in the process. Your courage to keep trying even after failing will pay off eventually, both in getting to identity achievement and in personality building.

Identity crisis, surprisingly, is not limited to teenagers. It can be found in adulthood also and in any stage of an individual’s life.

Getting to identity achievement can make your life a whole lot better. And the truth is, nobody is going to do that for you. It is your duty. It is your life.

Sunfad

​TO THYSELF BE TRUE!

After I woke up from sleep following the crossover service, one catchphrase that kept disturbing my thought process was this:

To thyself be true.”

I’ve not heard it in recent times and neither have I seen it. So, I knew straight away that this is my guiding principle for the year.  

It was a line in Act I Scene III of Shakespeare’s Hamlet rendered by Polonius fully as follows:

This above all: to thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man”.



Really, as humans and as we undertake the journey of a new year, we need to learn to be true to ourselves in all ways, at all times. Being true to yourself will make you expend less energy on things not beneficial for your growth and advancement.

• No matter your level of expertise in your chosen field or career path, there’s always one person better than you. You can genuinely aspire to be better than such a person. You can put in all the hard work for your own personal and professional development. But to thyself be true, envying and hating on such a person won’t bring him down and put you up.

• At this present stage of your life, look deep within you. You know what to do to move to the next stage of your life that you so much crave. To thyself be true; do it. Do it even with your fear of failure. It may not be easy. Actually, it won’t be. It will require consistency and patience. Beautiful things take time to build. 

To thyself be true; many people, due to their circumstances of birth or some other factors, will have better opportunities than you do. Rather than throw yourself a pity party, put in the required work and pray for grace. A pinch of grace can make an ordinary man look like a superman. 

• Give no room for negativity and do not hesitate to axe dead woods from your life. One attribute which doubles as both a strength and a weakness in my life is that I believe in people to a fault. I was denying the latter until about three friends pointed it out to me towards the end of 2017. 

I hardly cut people off from my life but I had to deliberately do it at the tail end of 2017 when it was clear that two friends were giving me some negative energy and needless drama. To thine own self be true; not everybody in your life is needed to make your life glow. Too many chefs will spoil a food. Too much make-up will make a woman look like Klitschko in the hands of Anthony Joshua.

To thine own self be true; there will be many women more beautiful than your wife. There will be many men richer than your husband. Contentment is all you need.

Finally, while being true to yourself, find some real people. Build your lives together. Be true to yourselves. Life is not fair. Life is filled with some bunch of bestial hypocrites. Social media is replete with incredible façade. 

But in the midst of it all, good people still exist. Find them. Don’t say “may we be one of them.” Be one of them.

One of the things I advocate for is quality relationships. Build true and enduring relationships. Lean on one another. Life is easier that way. As you are true to thine own self, be true to yourselves. 

As the world is wasting away in self deception and delusion, know ye that thou canst not be false to any man.

WHY YOUR NEW YEAR RESOLUTIONS END UP AS MERE RESOLUTIONS AND WHY SOME OF US DON’T HAVE THEM!

At this time of the year some years ago, some serious sobriety fell on me. I told my bosom friend that I was done. I was done with all our vulgar conversations and our relentless chasing of girls. The following year was going to be different. I had resolved in my mind. He was obviously displeased but there was nothing he could do. 

Then some days after, the firecrackers were ceasing. The euphoria of a new year was subsiding. Here I was with my friend, analysing the biggest ‘backsides‘ we saw in church on crossover night. My New Year resolution had gone with the euphoria like a puff of smoke with the wind. That was probably the last time I had a New Year resolution.

New Year resolutions are good. In fact, they energize your soul and mind. But they will only serve as avenues to warm your hearts for a short time if you let them remain as resolutions and not put them into proper shape for execution. Yet, many do not have or believe in New Year resolutions but they live a life doggedly committed to personal growth and development. Getting better as a person is therefore not dependent on the resolutions you put up every year or the numerical value.

Many people come up with resolutions at the end of every year because they are mostly moved by the things happening around them or by the seeming exploits being done by the people around them. Most of these resolutions lack personal convictions and genuineness. It is one of the reasons many end up with same resolutions yearly. Call it annual rituals. If you make another person’s reality your resolution, you won’t have the deep lying understanding to execute. Make resolutions based on genuine and pressing changes you desire in your life and develop a feasible execution plan.


However, many still follow this path and end up not achieving the desired results. Many resolutions are thought up amidst the fanfare and festivities that characterize the end of the year. They are developed in the heat of passion with so much emotional colouration and overtures. 

Emotions rob people of good judgment and the requisite tenacity for personal development. One day you are all pumped up and reeking of energy for the bumpy ride, the next you are like a punctured balloon hanging down the hand of a dejected lad on Christmas day.  I cannot forget the difference between how my sobriety made me feel and how I felt the day we turned backsides analysts.

Come to terms with your feelings. Don’t be fooled by the hyper moments where you feel like Dwayne Johnson. Set resolutions devoid of emotions. Develop piecemeal execution plans. Get yourself an accountability partner if you know you can be a Judas to your Jesus. Don’t be discouraged by the times you’ll fail. Keep being faithful to yourself. Stay true to the process.

The reason many of us don’t have New Year resolutions or believe in one is that we are committed to a lifetime work of becoming better persons on a daily basis. Whenever we fail, we get back up and have a go at it again the next day.

With deference to God for life and breath, the difference between a year and another year is just a second. 11:59pm – 2017; 12:00am – 2018. Why wait for the end of each year before deciding to take your personal growth seriously?
 
I wish you a great 2018.
Cheers!
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