Body Confidence: “Am I Too… Skinny?”

I really detest the word skinny. It doesn’t even sound nice when it falls out of my mouth. In reality, it’s just another word but unfortunately I attach the word skinny to unpleasant memories sometimes. 

I didn’t think I was too skinny until I was forced to believe it. As a young child I never understood what people really wanted from me. What was I supposed to look like? Kids, although inexperienced and innocent, can be so ruthless… especially towards eachother. Playground-talk really hurts. I remember back in primary school the “fat” kids would be mercilessly teased for being overweight and yet I’d be just as relentlessly teased for… not weighing enough! People would purposely push past me and pretend like I was invisible, like I was withering away or something. As I’m typing this, it’s occurring to me that I was probably a textbook-case bullying victim. Wow. I’ve never really stopped to accept that as a fact, but here we are.

Evidently, I’ve always been camera ready!

Fat-shaming is a major thing of course, I’m sure we can all accept that it exists and is so prevalent in today’s superficial society. But what about the shaming of men and women that look like me? I suppose we could get into the semantics of the differences between teasing, name-calling and bullying but honestly, to me it’s all birds of the same feather. The point is, growing up I was made to feel like an alien because of a thing that I felt like I had little to no control over – the genetics of my body.

In terms of public perception, things didn’t really get any better as I progressed through my awkward early teenage years. I made so many attempts to try and put on weight but still, all I would get is Wunmi, don’t you eat? or How are you sooo skinny? or my personal “favourite”

Men love curves, not skin and bones! 

(As if my sole purpose in this life is to attract the attention of said curve-loving-men?? Lol. But that’s an infuriating discussion for another day). So as you can imagine, I became very self-conscious about my looks. Particularly about my legs which were nicknamed “twigs”.


Eventually, I would use these twig legs of mine to join an athletics club when I was 15. I thank God for my friend Ire – she took me to my first training session. I was a sprinter of course, and I absolutely loved it. Sprinting gave me a whole new sense of purpose and it was a great distraction from my body confidence issue. I didn’t really mind being skinny during my Athletics Days funnily enough. I almost saw it as an advantage – I was quick, fit and flighty. Sprinting made me feel like I could fly. And since I was even going to the gym weekly as part of my training, my “skinny” body was finally taking shape. I had a bum! I was growing into myself and that was exciting.

 

Athletics helped me to see my body in a positive light finally. I’m grateful I had that experience even if it was short-lived (sadly I quit sprinting to focus on school and never fully returned ~ I’d like to think I could have been the next Flo Jo! 😂). Yes, I could compete in athletics competitions in front of hundreds of people in my tight kit, showing off my legs with “confidence”… but I still hadn’t fixed the core issue. The issue was my heart – my perception of myself. I still didn’t truly love my body. It might come as a shock to some of you, but that issue took a while to address!


Slowly I accepted that I couldn’t hide behind anything anymore. Or let the words of others skew my own opinion of myself and therefore my confidence. I had to confront myself!


So I admitted whilst staring at my naked 17-year-old self in the mirror:

Yes, perhaps by society’s standards I am too skinny. But guess what? GOD made me this way and my beauty is not confined to what a scale says anyway. I am so much more. I am able, I have life and I have love. Skinny or not. 

Once I accepted myself for how I am, imperfections and all, I began to carry myself differently. I’ll admit, being “too skinny” had never stopped me from wearing dresses, skirts or other things that could draw attention to my petite-ness in the past. But now I felt happy wearing what I wanted to and I stopped taking all of the weight comments to heart. There are some people that would love to have my body. I’m beautiful, my body is beautiful and now more than ever I try to use my body to honour and glorify God (more to come on that topic later!).


So God created mankind in his own image,
    in the image of God he created them;
    male and female he created them. – Genesis 1:27

Of course, for health and personal reasons I would still like to work on my body so that I can be in better shape and the best version of myself that I can possibly be. Those are my overarching goals and it’s perfectly okay to set body goals, because ultimately neglecting your body is a sin:

19 Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own;20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies. – 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

Going through body confidence issues has made me much more careful about the things I say to people about their appearance. You never know how long your thoughtless words can linger, or what long-term damage you’re causing. Be kind! Nobody resembles perfection.


So that’s my story. What about you? Today’s message is: be confident in yourself as God’s precious creation. He doesn’t make mistakes – you are intentional. We come in all different shapes and sizes, and we are all beautiful. At the same time, we must not neglect our bodies. We must be honest and disciplined if we need to make improvements. Before you can spark change, you have to accept yourself – love your body. I’m going to take my own advice.


God bless you!

Wunms. 

For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come. – 1 Timothy 4:8

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A 22-years-young Christian, Law graduate, trying to navigate life through Christ. This blog is partly a self-development project, but also I just want to inspire us all to do what we're supposed to be doing. I pray that you are blessed by this space! - Wunms.

26 thoughts on “Body Confidence: “Am I Too… Skinny?”

    1. No problem Tristan – thank you for reading and for sharing your story with me too. It’s interesting to see that this feeling/phase is more common than I initially thought!

      I agree with you, we’re all so diverse and that should be celebrated definitely 😊🎉

      Like

    1. I agree, I’ve tried to highlight in this post that it really does impact people detrimentally. And if you go through the comments on this post there are so many people that can relate, so clearly it exists!

      Thanks for reading 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  1. What stands out to me is that so many women have body image issues. Some, because they feel fat. Other, because they feel skinny. I’ve spent years of my life hating the way my body looks, and I’m so tired of it. What does it take for us to feel comfortable in our skin? Congrats on accepting yourself!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Indeed – it doesn’t matter where you are on the size spectrum, you may still have insecurities sadly.
      And to answer your question, for me, it took/takes understanding and acceptance that God made me this way, and He still loves me, for me to feel comfortable in my skin.

      “You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.”
      ‭‭Psalms‬ ‭139:13-14‬ ‭NLT‬‬
      http://bible.com/116/psa.139.13-14.nlt

      Thanks 🙂 x

      Like

  2. This is a great post. I am constantly trying to empower women and show them how beautiful their body is- skinny or curvy. Women are all different and it is a shame that the media puts so much pressure on women to look a certain way. There is no such thing as a ‘perfect bikini body’. A bikini body to me is being able to feel confident in your own skin &to go out in the world and own it. You look great by the way!

    http://www.pushupsinparadise.com

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Melanie – I couldn’t agree more. That’s a great message 🙂

      It is a real shame that the media can be so influential with its views about perfection, but we just have to look past it and not get suckered in! Although that’s sometimes easier said than done.

      & Aww I appreciate that, thanks a lot ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I had troubles posting earlier. After typing my long epistle, I just realised that it didn’t post.

    Anyway, great post! I loved it and can totally relate. In my case, I was called “Yokozuna” (the famous fat wrestler) when I was a kid, then “Okporoko” (bony stock fish) in my teens. I was also called “fat lips” or “kpomo lips” in secondary school, and believe me when I say that it totally damaged my sense of self. I felt I wasn’t beautiful enough or good enough.

    Thank God for his mercies and grace. 30 year old me is beautiful, happy and has a lovely man who adores her. Wouldn’t want to change anything about myself.

    So, we have to know better and teach our kids to be better than us. In their “innocence”, they say a lot of hurtful things to their peers.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Onyinyechi, thanks so much for sharing your story with me. I appreciate the honesty!

      It’s really important for people to see what you’ve gone through because you’re so right – we need to teach our children to do better. Words can be extremely harmful to one’s sense of self and confidence.

      Also, I’m very happy to read how you’ve grown. Thank God indeed and God bless you 🙂

      Like

  4. Really enjoyed this post! I can relate because my body seemed to change overnight as a teen and I struggled to feel comfortable in my skin. I’ve reached a point now where I may not necessarily love it everyday but I definitely accept it.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi Wunmi, I found this blog touching in its honesty. I’m glad you have now found such confidence. I know from childhood it usually takes time to find what you are good at and when you do your confidence soars. My escape was athletics so I can relate to that. I loved sprinting and found my niche was 400m. This blog made me reflect on my behaviour in the past. My one question is why can’t you be the next Flo Jo?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Gavin! That’s interesting. I didn’t have the kind of speed endurance for 400m. I tended to do 60m indoors and 100m (occasionally 200m) outdoors.

      I could be, I suppose it is possible with the necessary training. I just have other, more pressing goals now lol

      Like

      1. I wish you all the best in achieving your goals this year Wunmi. I was given some good advice about setting goals when I was struggling to fit everything in at school. I am sure that in the future there will be opportunities to pass on your wisdom to the next generation and I’m sure that competitive edge is just waiting to emerge again

        Liked by 1 person

  6. I can totally relate to you on this topic! I’ve also been teased for being “too skinny” when I was younger and even till this day it still happens. I loved reading your story and finding out about how you got your confidence though sports and how happy you are with your body now! I’m proud of you for that, it’s not easy!
    Kinga x
    http://rockthisrunway.com/

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Beautifully tender and honest post. I enjoy your writing. I’m so glad you’ve come to a place of not just acceptance but confidence – Godfidence, even – in your image. The point on it being ok to have body goals is so interesting in light of the biblical angle on homouring God’s temple, thanks for sharing! You’ve given me something filling to chew on.

    – Esmé Xo

    Liked by 1 person

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