Size 16- How I Turned My Insecurities To Confidence — Lovers Desk

             LOVERS DESK
Lovers Desk is a weekly series that explores the relationship struggles and exploits of young Africans. It showcases the hidden love and hurt stories that are rarely shared or discussed, helping you see through their lens and draw lessons for your own love life.
My Story

My name is Grace and this is my story of living in Nigeria as a plus size female.

From a really young age, I remember becoming aware of my weight and body size. I was the biggest girl in my class at just 9 years old and my class mates would always make fun of me. They would tease me and use me as the center of their jokes. I would smile and pretend it did not hurt me deep,but in reality there was a silent scream in my head.

I once had a guy come up to me in JSS 3 to tell me he liked me it would never pursue me openly because I was way bigger than him and he would not be able to life me up.

I grew up feeling extremely self conscious of my body and super aware of it.

Living in Nigeria, did not make it any easier. I would get catcalled in the market and have men say the most demeaning things to me because of my bigger size. These were obscenities they would never hurl at a smaller sized person. Naturally, my self esteem took a rapid decline. By the time I was 20 and in the university I had lost all of my self confidence, because, I was a size 16 and overweight by society’s standards.

I did not have guys approach me with the intention to date me, the few ones that did only wanted one thing; to get in bed with me. Each time i was with my friends and a guy or would approach us I would zone myself out because I knew that he would never be interested in me.

I did not know what it meant for a guy to be interested in me fully until I met Peter.

I remember the first time I had caught him staring at me from across the room during our university’s cultural day. I was certain i had a badly angled body part sticking out because in my mind there was absolutely no way he was interested in me.

I was wrong!

He walked up to me later that evening and asked for my number and I gave it to him. The first time we met up, surprisingly it wasn’t at his place or mine either. He took me on a proper date to a public restaurant.

I was shocked!

That had never happened before. Guys never wanted to take me out to public places, I was only ever invited to their rooms and usually at night to leave early the next morning.

But Peter was different.

He held my hand as we walked out of the restaurant and as we spoke I got even more confused.

Was he trying to bait me?

Did he think he needed to do all that to get me to sleep with him?

I found myself blurting out to him

“If you want to sleep with me, all you have do is ask. All of these isn’t really necessary”

I was embarrassed to see his shocked expression.

He told me he genuinely wanted to get to know me on a deeper lever devoid of physical intimacies and if at any point I feel comfortable to want to become physical then we can.

I had never had anyone who genuinely wanted to know me on a lever that was deep or emotion based. At first I was reluctant to open up myself to him, but, he made it so easy and soon seconds ran into minutes and minutes ran into hours as we held hands while we walked and talked.

We spoke about everything and anything. He told me bits of his personal life and I told him so many thing I had never been able to tell others.

We went out on a second date, and it was during the second date that he asked me to be his girlfriend.

We dated for 3 years before we broke up in March of 2022. It was the most wholesome and beautiful real that I have ever been in.

Even though we broke up, he thought me a lot about self confidence and self love. Peter taught me the importance of loving yourself fiercely regardless of the society.

You see, how you treat yourself is naturally how others will treat you.

The guys that I had previously gotten entangled with treated me with no respect and low affection because my self esteem was low and I had no respect for myself.

I did not stand up to them neither did I learn to say No so they took advantage of my lack of confidence in myself.

I’ve been single for some months now and I’ve never been happier and more confident in myself and my body.

I have grown and have learned to fiercely love myself in a society that tells you otherwise.

Now, I know what I deserve.

I deserve the love and the respect that I am learning to give to myself regardless of my size.

I don’t deserve anything less.

I am bold. I am beautiful. And I am Confident.

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