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Lerato Scribess Sibanda

Lerato Scribess Sibanda - Power.Passion. Purpose - I am a writer, academic and spoken word artist -- http://beautybeginswithbe.blogspot.com/

Keeping Up with the Curvaceousness

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MY CURVES are playing hide and seek beneath this dress, reaching outwards like arms akimbo…my not-so-dirty secret.

My curves are thick, juicy and tender as a pot roast on Easter Sunday. Like succulent flesh curtained in yarn.

I’m in love with my “wiggle wiggle”.

But, it definitely took an epiphany to embrace these appendages. It took pain.

And it took me telling myself in a teary internal tête-à-tête saying, “Your mother is not slim, your grandmother is not trim. You come from a lineage of robust women far from feline figures so deal with it.”

But first things first, I would really need to confront the root of my embittered self-shaming.

Photographer: Armand Goutondji

Photographer: Armand Goutondji

I knew somehow that my seething pain was due to some experience stowed- away in my consciousness and I was set on uncovering the dreaded monster that had become my friend.

That meant writing down this note over a period of two to three months, initially not in a quest to have it published. Rather, I wanted the lines of my diary to reveal to me the root cause of my body insecurities.

I remembered that as a child my only anatomical challenge had been that I stuck out my belly.

At the instruction of my ballet teacher however, mama bought me a girdle and made me wear it to bed, for two years straight.

So I developed a cinched waist. And, with it a minuscule self-esteem.

When I reached puberty I struggled to fit into funky clothes for girls my age, due to my burgeoning hips.

It didn’t help either that boys, and men old enough to be my uncles, would peruse me with gormandising stares as if I was a prized possession. A price bull.

Walking to the spaza would feel like I was parading for a pack of hungry wolves ready to pounce on prey.

Then at family gatherings, my overbearing aunts and grannies would bemoan the size of my behind, insisting that I need to go on diet.

So really by the time I had the epiphany I had wasted a great deal of my youth resenting my shape.

But, I have finally accepted them.

Photographer: Armand Goutondji

Photographer: Armand Goutondji

I cannot dare imagine walking through life without these soulful hips.
Of course there is always a silent struggle within me. A struggle of expectation.

I will probably always be that girl curbing her curves with lunges before the week-end comes where I have to attend a party or wedding.

I will most probably be that girl who fends off groping men who are on a booty-hunt till I perhaps reach my golden years.

But in all I will choose (in spite of the hurdles) to see the beauty that God has bequeathed me with as opposed to how far I fall short of the cover girl on Vogue.

Today. Right now. I choose to embrace my shape because I was custom-made that way.

Every single inch of me is imperfectly perfect.

Photographer: Matthew Hirsch

Photographer: Matthew Hirsch

Photographer: Matthew Hirsch

Photographer: Matthew Hirsch


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