Body beautiful: ”I got bullied out of self loathing” – Semira

Hi, my name is Semira and I love my body.

Cheesy I know, but that’s the first sentence that popped in my head when Toke asked me to write about getting over my body insecurities. I tell myself that line every morning, like I’m addressing a support group, and I can’t say it helps but it has become a force of habit. What (or who) helped me however, were my two best friends.


As far back as I can remember, I’ve been on the chubby side. Not the unhealthy kind, but my stomach has always had a little extra roll to it. I was never bothered by it even though I got some mild ribbing about it as a kid, I used to reply that my body was made for cuddling.

I got into my first serious relationship in my third year of university, I can’t claim to have been young and in love because I was not. But my boyfriend was good looking, the kind of good looking you took a second glance at, and I enjoyed the “how did she do it?” looks I got from other girls.

The verbal abuse started off slow, in fact I didn’t realize what it was until I got out of the relationship. I was used to being called names because of my size, but they were never mean spirited. Usually I would get called names like orobo or teddy bear, but my boyfriend would call me names like piggy or chunky with a snide look on his face. I complained but he would say they were just names and they meant nothing.

With time the abuse worsened. He began dictating what I could and could not wear, he would laugh and call me a greedy pig whenever he saw me eating anything at all. Soon anytime I looked in the mirror, I saw myself exactly how he wanted me to. I thought I was too fat, and my arms were too big and all the clothes I wore didn’t look good on me.

My best friends had no idea what was going on, they noticed I was buying clothes in a size or two larger than my usual and complained, but I always brushed them off. One day one of them happened to see a text come in from him, instructing me not to wear anything that would make me look like a “fat fuck” to a party we were supposed to attend later in the day.

My friend was livid, she called him immediately and called him names I don’t think I’m allowed to repeat on here. She called up my other friend and a mini intervention was organized, and through a lot of tears and even more alcohol, they made me tell them all I had been through.

My friends are practical, no nonsense people and instead of cuddling me out of the depression I had sunk into, they bullied me out of it. They didn’t give me time to wallow in self pity, they made me wear clothes I wouldn’t have even worn before my relationship and organized so many blind dates I lost count of how many people I had been out with by the end of the month.

It’s been years since this happened, and on some bad days when I look in the mirror I still see myself the way my ex would want me to. But I’ve come a long way and on most days all I see is a beautiful, strong Yoruba woman.

No Comments Yet

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

The online destination and fashion journal that goes beyond the surface and taps the pulse on all things FASHION. First out of Nigeria and increasingly across the continent, with wit, intelligence and humour.


TSS is an arm of the RED brand, which is the continent's largest omni-media group focused on Africa's youth.