Insecure, No Issa ...
Firstly, if you've never watched Insecure you NEEEED to. It's hilarious but it's also so real, especially the last series where they explored mental health and postpartum depression - a must watch. But this isn't a blog post about a review. This is a piece about my insecurities, discomfort and all.
On the weekend my mum (being my mum) bumped into 2 strangers and started talking to them. She phoned me and my sister and said she wanted to introduce them to us. Because my mum is a people person, this wasn't surprising to me. My mum came to us and the most beautiful young girl and her mother were beaming from ear to ear. I asked her how she was and she said she was 14. 14 you know. My mum had spotted her and complimented her and her mother and the 3 had bonded over the fact that they were all Ghanaian. The young girl wanted to work in the industry my sister is doing very well in and that's why my mum insisted we all met.
"See there are girls like you, tall thick girls are nice too!" her mum said to her shortly after meeting us. I could see the discomfort on her face as she smiled awkwardly. She was so pretty. I could tell that her height was a sensitive subject for her which I completely understood. Ghanaian girls are typically short, cute and have a banging figure - I am none of those things and so I know what it is like to feel alien. She beamed as she spoke to us and it was evident she felt so comfortable, like she'd found her people. I wanted to embrace and protect her all in the space of 5 minutes. I got it.
My height is something I've always been quite insecure about. In school people would call me (with the best intentions) the BFG (Big Friendly Giant - BADMAN BOOK by the greatest, Roald Dahl btw) and whilst I liked the friendly part the rest didn't feel as good as it sounded. I always felt different and not cute and feminine like I "should be". As I got older and grew more curves there is a chance I overcompensated with my body to hide the fact that my height made me feel like I was a lower-rate woman. Who wants to be with a tall woman anyway? It's crazy because male attention didn't stop me feeling that way. Evidence in broad daylight still wasn't enough to convince me it was okay to be me.
I envied girls who hated their noses or their lips, because hello just go get that done and Bob's your uncle - spice up your life, literally. But me now? What was I gonna do? I heard that there is a surgery where they can cut down the bones in your legs but it seems just a little bit extreme, just a little bit.
I think insecurities are things we have to constantly work on. Since becoming a mum I have found new things to feel insecure about (yay! lol) but I am trying my best to manage them. I wish I could walk around in sexy heels and feel comfortable but I know that's not me. I do. I'm 5'11 and hanging on to the 5s for dear life. It's funny because I see other tall girls and they look so beautiful to me. It's a complex I think I need to unlearn. Even writing this is somewhat freeing and embarrassing all in one go. My friends tell me I'm not even that tall, all 5'5 and cute. Sis, you know your neck hurts, please.
But just as I wanted to reassure the young girl of her beauty, I am coming to a place where I want to be assured of my own too. Before I was 20, I didn't really like my face either. I'm sure on this blog journey I'll find space to talk about my teen years; painful but they shaped me into who I am today. I remember on my 20th birthday being on my way to see my boyfriend at the time and saying that I wasn't going to go into another decade feeling down about myself. I do now embrace who I am much more but my height is still a work in progress.
So this post is for anyone, man, woman, other that is still coming to terms with an insecurity. It is a journey, I'm still on mine. Whilst I don't think I'll ever get to be a insta baddie in banging YSL heels and look like money, I love trainers and I can be cute that way. Alternatives until the work is done is just as helpful.
And plus, you have no idea how beautiful you look to a stranger. To the little girl in the photograph, I'm learning to love you unapologetically, I really am.