Do you have hair? I do. Lots of it, all over my body. I didn’t used to mind it, until I came here. Now I am so self-conscious, that every 3 days I shave; and I get waxed every other week. It’s quite expensive, but the looks of revulsion of strangers hurt more. It’s quite disheartening though. Everyone always says to love the skin you are in, accept the way you are, but their actions say differently. Everywhere I turn everyone is in support of dramatic changes if you are dissatisfied with yourself. I’m caught in between loving myself, and changing myself. Weird thing is, I never felt ambivalent about my body until I came here. My hair was something that was just there, you know? It grew; some days I felt like shaving; but I could go weeks without doing it, and I’d think nothing of it. My hygiene has always been impeccable.

Some days I tell myself to stop wasting so much time, get back to simpler times when I didn’t care. I can use the hurtful comments and stares of strangers as stepping-stones to self-confidence, but it’s easier said than done. Just when I think I’ve heard it all, a stare or a snigger wrenches me into the abyss of insecurity. There are days where I don’t eat because I feel so hurt.

I loathe feeling so vulnerable. The comments and stares and whispers of people control my confidence, I can’t stand it! I can barely look myself in the mirror without repulsion. My body is no longer my own. Often, I daydream of peeling off my skin, and sewing on better skin—hairless, scar-free, perfect. Everyone would love it and admire it, and be jealous of how I could be born with such a flawless coat. I wouldn’t gloat too much though, but at least the vitriol would be aimed at somebody else.

But I’ve been trying this thing I read about—where I have to say one nice thing about myself everyday, even if I don’t feel it. It’s ok if it’s a repeat word from the previous day. I say one word and I tell myself why I’m that word. For example: Yesterday’s word was radiant. I chose that word because I had finally cleansed my face the night before; steamed, cleansed, toned and moisturized before bed, and I looked so nice in the morning. I felt good about myself actually.

It’s challenging to be kind to myself when I am down, but I still do it. It has been helping a little bit. Truthfully, I don’t know if it really works, but I am trying to erase the voices of others and give priority to my own voice. I generally like myself….it’s just this stupid hair!

Today’s word is patience. I am patient with myself because when I feel like giving up, I remind myself that I am fearfully and wonderfully made, and that even though most people do not like I how I look, my being fearfully and wonderfully made does not require their approval. I am going to love myself fully and unapologetically one day. And to get there I have to remain patient.

I guess it’s ok. We are not all made the same. To be fearfully and wonderfully made means that I have a unique characteristic and the challenge is love those characteristics fiercely despite every thought that suggests that you are not enough or not quite right. I’ll get there I guess. I have to remain patient.

About the Author.

My name is Chenai Mbanga. I’m a 25 year old living in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. I have been writing since I was about 10 years old, and I’ve recently taken up my passion again. It has been an amazing form of therapy for me.

My blog is: My personal instagram is :@herexcellenc; and the writing one is : @scriptsandmuse

My twitter is @HerExcellenC