Cozy’s Blog: My body, my decision

We all know and love Gambia for many reasons, but most of all for the people. We love their friendliness and willingness to engage in conversation with anyone at any moment. Whilst this is wonderful, it can also be shocking and surprising to suddenly be confronted with bluntness about certain things... namely the issue of body size.

I am happy with my body; I describe myself as having a traditional figure… a description coined from the famous Alexander McCall’s Mma Precious Ramotswe of the No1 Ladies’ detective agency.

Having a traditional figure as you can imagine draws a lot of attention to one… primarily due to the size of one’s lopyjuice (the bum/thigh size). This can be a source of delight or for some an urgent need to ‘advise’ you about this.

In my years here I have been confronted with it all… Here are my top 5:

  1. Sister you need to start training, you are too fat.
  2. You have a beautiful face but you need to reduce your body.
  3. Sister you are too fat but I love it.
  4. You are too fat; can I be your husband?
  5. On seeing me walking around ‘it’s good you are walking, you are too fat’.

This one still makes me laugh out loud:

On going to have a look at the ‘ferry pirogues’… one man took one look at me and was moved to shouting at his highest volume ‘2-man job’ to the men who carry you on their shoulders.

Now my answer to these is always the same and it stops people in their tracks and gets a variety of entertaining responses:

I am fat because am rich. I work hard to make sure I have plenty of money to buy good food. It has taken me many years to get this body to this perfect shape. I know this makes many people jealous and this is why people feel the need to tell me I am fat, but I forgive them… jealousy is ugly but my body is beautiful.

This renders them speechless or my favourite response from my advisors ‘it’s true, you don’t want to waste your money by now training to get thin’.

I am sure many of you have been met with this. People offering unsolicited advice for you to either get thin or get fat. In most cases it is not meant in any malicious way, just a culture of saying whatever is on the brain thinking it is helpful or somehow you have to be told the ‘truth’.

Own your body, don’t take the unsolicited advice to heart, it’s not meant to destroy your self-esteem. On the contrary, people think they are helping. Smile, find your way of dealing with this, but most importantly shake that lopyjuice like a millionaires.


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