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I became very uncomfortable with my body after my encounter with the senior girls in the hostel. I became awkward around my peers coupled with the fact that no one calls me by my name (Binta) everyone calls me ‘FATTY’. Even in the classroom, when the teacher needs me to take part in the lesson exercises, they allude to me as that fat girl. Someone said he despised fat young ladies because they are dirty. I felt I was not worthy to be among other young ladies, and they were significantly better than I am. They had pleasant bodies; they precisely looked their age, flat stomach. I got a lot of odd comments about me from my peers. It was a mixed school, so I found it exceptionally difficult to be myself in the middle of the opposite sex. Some say I look like an abnormal pregnant lady. Each time I gaze at the mirror, I abhor myself the more.

I looked for ways to get my stomach flat so I don’t look like a pregnant lady or abnormal pregnant lady as they called me. I took a lot of lime and because of this, I developed a stomach ulcer. Few times, when I find myself in the company of my peers, they get more attention from the opposite sex and all I get is snide comments.

Sometimes I return from the class, on my way to the girls hostel I get requests from the male students to call a particular female for them, but no one sends for me like they do to other girls. I resented them, and I felt bitter about myself. Twice a week, we do morning drills in the field, and my sports wear don’t fit in like other young ladies. My stomach always struck out and my clothes were tight such that they expose the lines that divide my stomach. I got more attention in the field, which made the situation unbearable. If other students were to jog or run twice, I will do the same five times since they tell me I’m fat and need to lose weight.

I preferred my company I became self isolated till I got to college. Though, I saw a few ladies who were overweight or big sized, but I felt they were better than I am. I have been body shamed, which makes me feel insecure about myself. I met Lola, a woman I frequently see in the library we see ourselves nearly every day, when we are at the library, but never got the chance to talk to each other. Reason could be that we were in different departments, and the need to start up a conversation was not so necessary. Our eyes sometimes met, while; we sat opposite each other and lift our heads from the book (s) before us. I was stepping out of the library when Lola strolled up to me and grinned. I flashed a watery grin back. Besides, we knew ourselves, but never talked to each other. She told me I was wonderful and perfect. She also said she felt good because she has finally spoken to me. As she kept talking, the grin on my face steadily blurred I felt she was lying to me, I felt she was being snide like my high school mates. She attempted reading my facial expression; I could see she was perplexed. (She just complimented me genuinely.) She finds it difficult to understand why I ceased grinning and displeased about her compliment. Well, the reason is that I have been so used to individuals talking negatively about me, such that I no longer believe it when individuals talk pleasantly about me. I was forlorn, I kept to myself, I was depressed.

At a point in my life, I met this mind blowing young man. At first, I did not care much because I questioned every positive word he said about me, I felt he said them because he does not want to hurt my feelings. Though, he wanted to be with me, and I felt I do not merit him. He left other beautiful, good looking, slim ladies to be with a ‘fatty’ like me. He was always there for me, but I never gave him the attention or open up to him. Because of this, he felt the love was sided and eventually went his way. I felt awful for loosing him and also faulted myself for not accepting his love for me. I always thought low of myself, and this affected not only my relationship with individuals but my love relationship.

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