#Article (Archive)

Celebrating the difference

Mar 4, 2011, 12:09 PM

Quite recently, I took up a relatively new hobby. It is nothing terribly exciting I can promise you, but quite refreshing actually, walking. Yes, WALKING! ON AVERAGE, Half an hour of just me and the distance. Occasionally, I dare a stretch up to the beach and watch the sunset. What a beautiful sight really. Quite awesome!          

Now this is not a normal feat for an average young African woman such as myself, or so everyone keeps telling me. Quite 'touristy', I’ve been told. But I keep doing it anyway. Why did I, really? Simply, because it's what I want and it makes me feel quite good. It gives me the added bust of energy, not to mention all the good it does my body. It is proven research that exercise releases endorphins which makes an individual feel good. What could possible be wrong about that? Feeling good about ones self is quite crucial for self esteem.         

Lack of self-esteem is something an amazingly large number of people suffer from. Some mask it well under the façade of poise whilst others don’t do so well, either drowning in mediocrity of getting perverted satisfaction from other individual’s discomfiture. One particular area of self that this is most apparent is with regards to physical appearances. How we look and how other individuals perceive our visual presentation and its effect emotionally or psychologically) on us. At any one point in time, we have all gone through this trying phase. It could be either from childhood or belatedly in adolescence or adulthood.          

The human body comes in different shapes and varied sizes and shades. It is important to realize that a person’s body size and type is uniquely theirs. No two can possibly be the same, with the exception of identical siblings, and even then, there are differences even if not blatantly obvious to the common human eye. Your body should not define your character.
With the majority of the specie, the body can have any of the following: the hourglass shape, larger upper body as opposed to the lover body and vice versa, or the body that is relatively curve less. None of the above categories is necessarily better than the other. No they are just different and so is everyone. It is for us to work with what we’ve been gifted. Wear the clothes that make you comfortable and confident. Listen to your body; it will never lie to you. The most important thing is to celebrate our DIFFERENCES.
Often times, we let the media’s image of the perfect man or woman be our no-fault guide to looking 'right'. Runway models and tinsel town celebrities are deemed 'perfect'. They certainly look it often, right. What a lot of people don’t realize is that those very same runway models are ideally underweight with they themselves the primary sufferers of lack of self-esteem and famously know for suffering from anorexia and bulimic, both eating disorders and body image confidence deficiency disorders. And celebrities spend their lives working at looking 'amazing'. Their job and fame status depends on it. They hire stylists, publicists, clothing consultants and make-up artists to cover the blemishes and make them look 'flawless'. So, is it logical for us to idolize people whom themselves feel insecure about their appearance.

It is more prudent to engage in things that increase the level of self-confidence and inner-beauty, things that define your character and personality. Indulge in the difference that defines you. A challenging feat I know, but not an unachievable one, surely. Is it your sense of humour or your infectious laugh? Then tell more jokes and laugh with others. If one thing is not working, don’t hesitate to take that first step towards change. Wisdom lies in the ability to source an alternative. It is key to know one's self. What is it about you that makes you special? Different?
The most beautiful individual is the one who invests their Capital in Confidence and wears self-esteem like a body armour, not to be impaled by anything or anyone. So there must be something right in being different. I always say, why would I want to fit in when I was born to stand-out, why aim for being ordinary when I was destined to be extra-ordinary. Now, after all this, how different will you dare to be today?