Another day, another time when I question the humanness of human beings. So I was on Instagram checking on my peeps when I came across this gorgeous picture of Toke Makinwa. I proceeded to like it, then scrolled down to see what people were saying. And every single one of the 100+ comments had to do with her weight. I read comments like “She looks sick”, ” Don’t loose anymore weight abeg you don’t look well”, “She’s too skinny now”, ” This is how anorexia starts!”.
I sat there thinking, people actually have the time and energy to comment demeaning stuff on another’s Instagram, meanwhile they themselves probably have more issues in life. I would say in my eyes, it was rather the cut and fit of the dress, not her body that’s causing all the stir.
Toke Makinwa is a successful author of the book titled “On Becoming” and a multi-media personality. My first encounter with her was on Ebony Live TV on the hit lifestyle show “Moments“, previously “Moments with Mo“.
But let me get to my inspiration for this post – The rise of cyber bullying, body shaming and Africans’ perceptions of the healthy weight. We live in an age where cyber bullying is over and beyond to the point that it’s now just normal. And I guess because she’s a celebrity, she’s an easy target for empty brains with quick fingers to type. The second issue here is many African’s perception of a healthy look. Once you’re “too skinny” you’re just labelled as unattractive or unwell. You might think “Do people still have that backward mentality?”. I’ve been skinny all my life, so trust me, they do! [ Quick Shoutout] Please watch ” Skinny Girl In Transit” if you have not already! I watched the series via YouTube. I highly recommend it. It’s hilarious!
I am very confident in my own skin, so I don’t have much care for what others may think if me. Thankfully many mellinials think ” model” when they see me. But then there are the aunties and uncles who are convinced that I do not eat and really need to add on some skin because I look too thin and weak. There are many skinny girls who really do feel if they don’t gain some weight and look more curvy, no guy will look their way. And they lose self confidence. But basic biology taught me that we all have different metabolic rates. Some people convert what they eat into energy faster that others.
Take me for example, I eat more than both my sisters and my parents but I do not put on weight [ Disclaimer: Not in anyway bragging, just trying to explain a concept ]. This is because of a fast metabolism. So with that understanding, I know that my body shape has got nothing to do with my doing, but everything to do with basic biology. Which is why people gain weight or lose weight faster than others while doing the same exercises or eating the same things. Every one has thier perceptions and that’s okay. So long as it’s not imposed on another. But then again, people don’t have filters these days.
But back to Toke, she was not touched at all by all the shaming comments and proceeded to confirm this with super model, @realtarmar
Have you ever been body shamed or know of someone who has? What did you/they do? These issues are sadly realities in our society today, while the African perception of a healthy weight is been around much much longer.
Let’s talk 💬