This post will be unusually different from my previous posts as I dive into something more personal on a social advocacy level. I have a keen eye and an interest with social issues, advocacy, societal expectations and relations. As I write this, I will let you in on the new journey that the brand will be taking.
It is only now that I have found this new joy of loving my body, not because someone told me too but because I finally opened my eyes and heart to the realisation that this is who I am. I have skinny legs and skinny arms, but in my African background I have always been seen as skinny (bones), like I did not exist. The world makes it seem like the ideal woman is tall, slender, svelte, beautiful, desirable and perfect. But in real essence if you take a closer look, it is how mainstream media portrays a defined international beauty standard, and the rest of the world is immediately accustomed to that with infomercials and campaigns on effective dieting and different methods of losing weight. That’s all fair and fine, but have people taken the time to decipher and actually take into consideration the reality of “skinny girl shaming”. In the past I have had people tell me “I am lucky that I am skinny”, “you are the perfect body” and “any man would want you”; but in essence I have been poked at for my bones and had one guy I dated bluntly tell me on a date you are soo skinny! That’s when you realise that sometimes it is not luck and that the actual African Beauty Standard (African beauty standard) is a thick, voluptuous woman that you can spot a mile away. As an African young woman my slender figure is not well received and I am sure other women can relate on how our weight is actually a topic of discussion when it comes to family gatherings, your dating life, work and social life. It is almost synonymous that it is in the picture and the topic will occasionally come up like it is a NORMAL thing to say or discuss. That’s how deeply rooted it is. I know it will take probably another 3 posts to talk about our bodies as women, how we are constantly under immense pressure and the constant spotlight to achieve perfection whilst we shame and deframe our bodies. But for today’s post, I shed light on my own personal experience as a skinny gorgeous girl, who in the past year and the New Year; has taken a vow to actually just LOVE ME and my whole being. To actually take on a natural and healthier approach to a good diet without forcing myself to eat fat or fast food because apparently these are foods that will make you gain weight faster.
My wish for the longest time was if someone told me at a young age I was beautiful just as skinny as I was and not have to waste 12 years of my life trying to change myself when in fact I was perfectly fine the whole time with my small curves and big heart. But along this journey of accepting my body, I have learnt that God brings certain people into your life to criticize you and ridicule you only to show you what you have and what you already own. Like I said it is a journey, because there are some posts and pictures in the past that I never posted because my arm looked a certain way or my leg looked funny in a certain shoe.
Skinny Girl Shaming is real; yes I understand the world focuses on Fat Girl Shaming but that doesn’t mean we don’t get called out or insulted for being skinny. I know there are women who struggle to lose weight, but have you taken a moment to think that I struggle to gain weight? Or that maybe I walk around with an ailment or disease or that sometimes I want to fill in that one pair of jeans with a lovely round bottom? Think about it before you skinny shame the next skinny girl you come across. I do not think it is fair that our immediate description is “bony”, “you need to add some meat to your bones” or that “real women have curves”. Does it make me lesser than a woman?
Today I launch The Tendai Kamusikiri Foundation for Iron Deficiency, Fitness, Health and Wellness. I want to talk about what it is here on the site, what causes it, what are the symptoms, what are the struggles and what a painful journey it can be. I want to share with you how I have found healthier alternatives through appropriate diet and exercise and taking a holistic approach. I don’t think it’s fair that a lot of women (both young and old) suffer alone because we have to live up to societal expectations. Furthermore I do not think it is fair that skinny girl shaming is shoved under the rug and labelled as if it is okay because you are lucky to be thin. The Foundation will be live here on the website, starting off with mainly articles, food reviews, how to’s, fitness and exercise. I will also share abit of motivational pieces to nourish the mind and the soul as well as combining with the body. I am hoping this Foundation will be a stepping stone to help women to better themselves, understand their bodies better and accept themselves for who they really are. I have also realised that as a young African Woman, there is or isn’t any information online pertaining to real social issues and societal expectation we face as African Women pertaining to our bodies and the actual self-betterment for OURSELVES and not for the next person. A lot of the times as young girls we are raised to satisfy the next person, when we don’t even know who we are as we are told what to be. (Some might mistake this for a feminist stance, but really this is the point where self-acceptance becomes a priority for yourself before anything else).
When I hosted the 2nd Signature Toscie Style Sessions on LOVE the SKIN you ARE IN! I wanted to talk about the beauty industry in Zimbabwe with make-up artistry and local products; I didn’t realise just how much I did not know about myself and who I truly was. My sincere hope is that this post and the new direction that Signature Toscie will take will fulfil, uplift and inspire you for 2017. #LoveTheSkinYouAreIn
Stay Gorgeous and Glamourous,
Dress worn as a Top – MRP
Midi Skirt – Vintage
Sling Back Courts – JET Zimbabwe
Boho Bag – Honey
Sunglasses – ZAFUL