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!

​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.

Do you have content or you are contented with no content?

Young, vigorous, creative and bold men and women are on the rise. They are taking the world by storm and turning traditions on their heads. Traditional thinking has for too long held our nation in the shackles of motion without progress, restricting the spate of invention and innovation.

A few weeks ago, I was at the 11th Annual Conference of the Nigerian Bar Association-Section on Business Law, there were various sessions handled by many speakers both from within and outside the legal profession. The speakers had a very great impression on the audience. Many of us wished the Conference would not end soon. In actual fact, the ones who made the greatest impression were the young lawyers who are just about 2-4 years at the bar. These young lawyers, standing on the elevated platform to speak to some juniors, few mates and countless seniors at the other divide, held the audience spellbound, spewing wisdom, truth and drawing more attention to the disruptive and/or enabling work they do.

In my usual reflective state, I pondered on what earned these young and vibrant men and women the enviable stage they were sharing with men and women of the highest pedigree in the profession. They were not stuttering. They were not intimidated. They were assured. They had content! 

Yes! That’s it! They had content. They had one of the primary requirements for relevance in the present-day society: the depth of content.
I’ve seen many young people direly crave prominence and relevance but are not ready to build the requisite content for such a level.

viajesmundus.com

In whatever field or career, content is a crown. Musicians with no depth of content fade away like puff of smoke. We know them already. They are the ones who take a walk into obscurity after one hit single. At other times, they share similarities with ‘abiku‘. A doctor with no content is called a quack. Lawyers with no content, empty barrels look up to them.

So, there is a need for each person to tarry in the place of learning and building. There is a need for filling and refilling till your cups are full enough to share quality quantity with others. How so?

1
. Learn the ropes of your craft: Be diligent. Learn the workings of your chosen field. Be competent. Competence makes people look like superhumans.

2
. Exposure: Be curious. Explore. Broaden your horizon. Go out of your normal and daily habitat. Mix with people of opposing views and divergent professions.

3
. Association: Associate yourself with the right people. Be challenged. Be pushed out of your comfort zone. If you isolate yourself when you ought to associate yourself, you would limit yourself.

4
. Personal and professional development: Daily, strive to be better. Go to conferences. Take courses that make you better. Be forward looking at all times. There’s no ceiling on the sky.

5
. Your mind food: Feed your mind properly. Read great books. Watch great videos. Listen to relevant audio clips necessary for your growth. What you feed your mind with is important.

Do you have content or you are contented with no content? Remember, content is a crown. Those who have it are Kings! Well, everybody cannot be a King. Some are meant to be towncriers.

OF LINES AND RHYMES

For brothers in muse…

When I started writing poems some years back, I was literarily drunk in rhymes. For each line, words must entwine like the stems of a vine.

However, along the line, my interest in rhymes faded and I discovered that I could even write better and finer without rhymes. Lending credence to this, I have seen great poets and poems focusing less on rhymes and the results are masterpieces.


Unfortunately, I have seen and read many budding poets and poems chasing rhymes to a fault. Many lose their message in the needless pursuits of rhymes; forced rhymes at that. These days, unconsciously, I only skim through rhythmic poems trying to discover the patterns rather than uncover the message.
So, this is my one cent to upcoming poets, ditch the rhymes, if they are not flowing. Allow your mind and muse the latitude to wander and discover the beauty of words weaved together like braids on an African woman’s head. 

Festive euphoria; how plans fade with it!

Over the years, I have discovered that I have become more reserved in celebration, most especially in festive periods as this. Rather than jump up and down, I, with a straight face but deeply engaged mind, ponder on the mistakes and breakthroughs of the past, the challenges and prospects of the unfolding days, and of course, with a heart of gratitude.

It’s a season of euphoria that brings with it plethora of ‘news’ – “new me“, “new life“, and the common “new year resolutions” – many of which turn out to be fickle. As the euphoria dwindles, the fickleness becomes conspicuous.

However, in my reserved state, I’ve come to the realization that in making giant strides in a new year, it’s beyond some deceptive spur-of-the-moment decisions that will simmer down with the euphoria. You have to be intentional. You know when someone tells you that “you did it intentionally“, it means there’s a sense of deliberateness.

So, you have to be deliberate about every one of your plans. Every one! Be daring and raring to go at each one, not because the atmosphere is electrifying but because you’re charged from within to become a better person; not because it’s a new year but because the breaking of each day demands a better you.

BE DELIBERATE. Write down your ideas as they come. Write them! Ponder on them before you launch. Consult extensively. Strategize. Re-strategize. Execute.

 It’s not going to be easy. That’s why you also should not find it easy to fade with the festive euphoria.

Happy new year!
Fadipe S.O.J.

If Arsenal Were A Woman…

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For more times than I can remember, I’ve wondered, albeit silently, how I became an Arsenal fan. The recurrent heartbreaks; the usual weekend headaches; the dashed hopes; the too many promising footballing seasons that ended up in our customary league position ( you all know it).

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The Invincibles

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Captain Vieira lifting the EPL Trophy won in 2003/2004 season

However, things have not always been like this. This club was once the toast of English football; this club at one point in time went a whole season without losing to any team. Yes! The team lost no match during a whole season and racked up 49 games unbeaten. A feat even the arguably greatest team to have ever played the game, Barcelona, have not been able to achieve. This club is the record holder of the English FA Cup, though this was recently achieved.

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Several other feats have accrued to the badge of this club. But unfortunately, they all seem to be overwhelmed by the failure of the team in the past few years. As many predicted, this season is on the verge of going down the same lane. One of the most, if not the most promising seasons for the club in recent times is already faltering, failing and falling like a pack of dominoes. The team is about to break our hearts in a grand style again and this is the inspiration behind the title of this piece, “if Arsenal were a woman…”

Relationship experts have held that the cliché, “opposites attract” do not really apply to relationships. So sincerely, if Arsenal were to be a woman, with her flashy colours and adornments, I wouldn’t have been moved and attracted. I have a reservation for flashy women. I prefer the conservative third colour of the blue side of London. But we may be friends, just friends. Definitely not more than friends. No intimacy.

If Arsenal were a woman, with her conspicuous attitude of being too demanding; overly demanding more than every other woman in the neighborhood, trust me, we would not even be friends. No one likes a woman who knows no boundary in making demands, especially pecuniary. No one does. No one. (Arsenal match tickets are the costliest in England)

However, if despite her gaudy and needy nature, the untamed man in me still went ahead to win her heart,
she would have long returned to her father’s house, maybe with bruises and swollen face, for no heart deserves to be broken incessantly like Arsenal does ours.

If Arsenal were a woman, breaking hearts as if they are plastic, no man, not even the most patient and callous of men, would hear of her professionalism in heartbreaking and still be interested.

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Listless performances when a win matters the most; the too many outings that suggest lack of belief from the team; the many humiliating results in the hands of both big and small teams. The list is endless. The heartbreak seems ceaseless.

But, like a woman enduring an abusive relationship without an explanation, we are here to stay. This love is unshakeable. We’ve been battered and bruised but we remain allegiant. It might be inconceivable to others why we are so obstinate, but WE ARE THE ARSENAL and this is our team!

However, my only prayer is that I may find a woman to love like Arsenal. That despite her too many shortcomings and inconsistencies,  I’d remain faithful and loyal to her till my last breath.

So, if Arsenal were a woman, with this kind of love oozing in my heart for her, her mistakes are forgiven, even before they are made, and my loyalty to her will be unflinching.

May I find her, like I found Arsenal!