Thursday, December 11, 2008

I used to love to hate my body

Growing up i was told that the way you look does not matter. I guess to prove that point, my dad thought it would be funny to make fun of us. He would make fun of our forehead, our weight… My dad used to say that when he looks at me he knows that beauty is not hereditary. Hahaha... So i grew up hiding my curves and focusing on my school. Yet, secretly I always admired women that were comfortable in their own skin. There is something so sexy about a woman accepting her body for what it is and playing up her assets. For a very long time, I walked around knowing that I was cute but wanting so much more. Here was my wish list:

1. Have a 6 pack stomach
2. Have smaller hips
3. Have bigger boobs
4. Have smaller feet (size 7 preferably)
5. Have long and curly hair
6. Have flawless skin
7. Be a size 6
The end product would have been a mixture of Beyonce and Halle Berry.

I would not say that i hated my body. I just disliked some parts of it; would have gladly traded it for another one. I would have even gotten a boob job if I was not worry about dying and money. So when i got pregnant and gained 40 pounds i knew then that i should have been happier with the way i looked. Isn't it funny how we don't know what we have until it is gone. I would look at my old pictures and i would get so so sad. I was sad because i had wasted all these years not appreciating the way i looked. Why is it that we act like being “pretty” is something we worked for. Like some babies in the stomach were working extra hard and came out looking prettier than others.

I have spent more time worrying about the way I look than how I can impact the world. I have spent so much time picking myself apart and fearing to be judged that I forgot to see the beauty in me. But that was the past and now i can finally say that i loooooooooooove my body just the way it is. I would not trade it with anyone. (Sorry Beyonce) . I love everything every part of my body. Not in a cocky way but in a loving way. My stretch marks tell a story. The ones on my lower back is the story of my trip to Ivory Coast. Gosh i ate so much on that trip. The one on my stomach are from carrying my 9 pound and 4 ounces baby boy. Don't blame him blame the Indian restaurant i was going to on a daily basis. I love my nappy hair (hope i can say nappy) and understand that no amount of perm or hair extension would make me look like i am mixed. I am not mixed my parents are both from Cameroon and there is not a trace of white in our heritage. So yeah my hair is short and nappy and i love it.

I really can relate to my dear Ophrah who is finally coming out and saying that she has put on some weight. We all knew that already but she feels like she has let the public down. But why should she feel that way! The woman is 50 years old and looking damn good. We do not owe any excuses, apologies to anyone for the way we look. This is ridiculous, if we spend as much time worrying about our internal beauty then the world would be a better place. Here is my understanding, if you are looking for external approval you will never be too thin enough, too light or dark enough, too anything enough simply because beauty is truly in the eye of the beholder. So since it is my body, I choose to be the only opinion that’s relevant. Of course I want my husband to find me attractive but nonetheless that can not and should not dictate the way I feel about me. At the end of the day there is something extremely sexy and attractive about a woman that loves who she is.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Practice what you preach

For so long i have been feeling like something is missing in my life. Almost like i was wasting the talents that God has given me. I have almost started so many businesses; however, they have never felt quite right. I have this thing of wanting to help the helpless; however, i always assumed that i needed to be "somebody" to be able to help. I thought that i needed to finish my master and have my life figured out first. After all, shouldn’t good charity start at home? Yet a part of me still knew I could do more. That God has sent me on earth for more; more than being a daughter, a wife, a student, a mother. I knew that I needed to do something to impact the world in a positive way. So many times we think that someone else, the ophrahs and bill gates of the world will do and should do something. But God has blessed me as much as he has blessed them. I might not be as financially rich as they are but i am also capable to give back. In that spirit I have created a foundation: “One Baby at the time".

Our goal is simple: “we cannot change the whole world but one baby at the time we can get closer to a better world.” The concept is straightforward. I would be collecting baby clothes from mothers that do not need them any longer and would be giving them to those that are in need. See babies grow out of clothes really fast. My son has some clothes that he has only worn once or twice. I am going to get the clothes and wash them, iron them and package them by sex and give them out to mommies in need.
The truth is that when i found out that we were expecting, i panicked. I did not feel we were ready financially, emotionally and all the ....lly you can think of. Still, the financially part was what kept me up at night. I truly did not think we will be OK. God knows i was wrong. So many came together and threw us the most amazing baby shower. We got more than we could ever imagine and for that i would be forever grateful.

I know they are mothers out there that are not as lucky as we were. They are still wondering what their babies are going to wear. Through" one baby at the time" we would be able to provide some relief to these moms. However, I cannot do this alone and I need your help. So here it is if you want to help. They are three easy ways:

1. You can donate baby's clothes or/and
2. You can pass the word around or/and
3. You can nominate someone you know that would be blessed by these clothes. (The identity of the person would remain confidential)

If you have any suggestions please feel free to comment.
If you want to nominate someone you know my personal e-mail address is