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Letters to our Bodies ( Conversations with Lebo and Nsatu)

We get so caught up in our daily routines that we forget how important it is to appreciate our body. Given that we are only given one physical body, we owe it to ourselves to take adequate care of it.
Women, on the other hand, are regularly exposed to body shaming, either by males or by other women. Whether we’re thin, chubby, tall, or short, we’ve all been subjected to body shaming in some way or another at some point in our lives. We’d like to voice out against body shaming in honor of Women’s Month, which finishes today. It’s terrible to have to deal with body shaming, especially with the insecurities that we have as women.

In today’s post, we write a letter to share our experiences. From our series “Conversations with Nsatu and Lebo,” we would like to unpack our truest, sincerest, and deepest feelings towards our bodies. Like in our first series, we’ll be tackling issues from both sides of the coin on Un-employment-in-the-pandemic-with-miss Nsatu. I’ll start with a letter of apology. And my lovely Nsatu, on the other hand, would also write her experiences as we confront some of the pains we never dealt with growing up. Check out her amazing, colorful site, where she primarily posts lovely poems and many more here. We hope that these letters will serve as a constant reminder to respect and love our bodies as they are. This way, there will be no need to feel like we are body shamed.

Ladies and gentlemen, let’s get real!!


A letter of Apology to my body.

First and foremost, please accept my apologies for not loving you enough. I was a small child who was taught that my long, lanky legs were a problem. My peers would tease my legs when I was innocently playing on the streets.
I didn’t think you were lovely when I was a kid. I didn’t ‘dislike’ you, but I was content with the fact that I wasn’t the most attractive person in the room. Everyone looked up to my confidence as an A-student, but no one realized that I didn’t think you were beautiful. Internally, I mocked, teased, reprimanded, and poked fun at you. I was fighting an internal battle alone, and no one knew about it.

I apologize for the years when I had pimples on my face and could not look in the mirror.
My low self-esteem was reflected in the mirror. My large nose, lips, and lengthy neck bothered me. Do you recall in school when one of the boys in the class was mocked for his big nose?
And called him ‘Mr. Nose’?
I used to be afraid that they’d refer to me as ‘Miss Nose’ because of my big nose. I was only fortunate because I was bright in school and was well-liked by most people. Otherwise, I would have been a victim as well.

I did not feed you for days, not because I was on a spiritual quest or a fast, I only wanted you to get tinier than you were.
I saw beauty differently.
All in the name of pleasing others as you went through hell.

My unreasonable expectations overshadowed the compliments you received. I would stay home at times, refusing to engage or attend any events because I was tired of comparing you to others.

I have never been a fan of clothes that showed off the thighs or the tummy. *big sigh*, now that I think about it. Could it be that my self-esteem was so low that I could not even wear something too revealing? Was I so self-conscious that I buried my long cute legs behind long dresses?
Please accept my apologies if such was the case. I promise to do better from now on.

I would slice my finger while slicing vegetables for a salad, and would not go to the doctor because I knew you’d heal yourself.
You stayed up with me late at night studying and then accompanied me to the exam room, where you aided me without any problems till I finished. The migraines and anxiety endorphins I occasionally experienced served as a continual reminder of how much I took you for granted. People have had strokes and other bodily ailments that required them to be admitted to hospitals. I was lucky that you never let me down, yet I still overworked you.
Please accept my apologies, my beloved body. I am willing to do right by you.

I pledge to stare at you in the mirror every day from now on and tell you how lovely you are and how much I love you despite your shortcomings.
You are the most remarkable thing to ever happen to me. Please forgive me for not being a good steward.



A Thank You Letter to my body.

When Lebo and I brainstormed on writing a letter to my body- my immediate thought was to apologize to my body. I love to express myself through poetry, so it is in form of a poem. However, I just thought that I should add a word or two and paint a picture of my experience.

I have always been a chubby kid and now a plus-size woman. At first, I did not struggle with any insecurity as I was just a kid, living life as it came.
But my God, society and the people it comes with, lol. I had strangers, loved ones, and the most random people always commenting on my weight (Most still do, but I am stronger now and more confident about my beauty to not let it affect me as much), Before long, I was always trying out the next diet or exercise to just shed off as much as I could.

I did not realize then how much of my mental well-being was being affected, and how my confidence would be rocked because of the various comments. I mean, I was just a young girl! Weight should be the last thing anyone should bring to my innocent mind – but the world is not that kind.

I distinctively remember this one time, while taking a break from my boarding school, I was just from writing my9th-grade examination.
An older woman from my church walked up to me after service, exclaimed at how much I had gained weight (she skipped asking me how I was or how school or life or anything was going but decided the weight was the topic she would bring out in such a negative way to a young teenager).
She went to pass comments about how she wondered if I had aced my exams or I had spent the time there just eating and sleeping. As fate may have it, I did exceptionally well in my exams, and years later, she asked me to mentor her daughter.

She probably does not remember that incident, but I do. Years later. So please, be kind to people, especially children. Many insecurities are birthed and are hard to deal with when the body is constantly criticized-even as a joke.
If you do not know how to tread the lines here is one simple rule you can go about: DO NOT TALK ABOUT PEOPLE’S WEIGHT to them brothers’ just do not do it.
And now, this poem is dedicated to everyone who who is like me, has had their body go through so much with little recognition and appreciation. Show your body some love. It does a lot for you.

The carrier of my beating heart
The facilitator of my existence
Giving me the beat of life
You are… melodious

Through arms and legs
You facilitate my movements
Making my environment accessible
You are… helpful

The placement of my mouth
The channel through which I am fed, the platform through which I speak
Giving me the strength I need to exist and words I need to manifest
You are… divine

Your beauty and splendor fill me with joy
How imperfectly perfect you are
The tenacity of your being – the capacity to hold me together
You are… important.

Forgive me
For the times I try to change and manipulate who you are
For the times I look in the mirror and feel you’re not good enough
For the times I clothe you with adornments and seek external beautifications
For the times I suggest that your beauty requires enhancement
For the many dietary pl, and I put you through

Remind me
That you are beautiful, ALWAYS BEAUTIFUL, just the way you are.

With love,

Let me express my gratitude to Miss Nsatu for always telling the truth. Her candor, vulnerability, and wisdom are all admirable qualities.

Miss Nsatu

In the comments section, express an apology and words of gratitude to your body in a few lines. Have you appreciated your body enough? What are you apologizing for?

You can write a complete post if you can, An Apology and a Thank-you letter to your body. Please ping us with your letters so that we can see them. We’d love to read, share, and comment on your articles.

From our hearts to yours!!!!

This Post Has 21 Comments

  1. Happy Panda

    Ladies, I SO relate with both your struggles. Infact its taken me REALLY long to just look at the mirror and not hate myself. I hate how much people put an emphasis on how you look outside.

    I hate it more that these days trolls on the internet pretend to be well meaning when they comment rude things on bigger bodied people like ‘you’ll die of a heart attack if you don’t lose weight’. I literally read this comment on a YouTubers video and wanted to just transport my self to where this troll was and beat him/her up!

    We are ALL beautiful the way we were. We haven’t been given this life to spend every day feeling bad that we aren’t perfect.

    To my body, I want to say – thank you for keeping me alive through a pandemic, thank you for healing yourself, thank you for all that you do for me. I am sorry that I didn’t love you before but I do now and I promise to take care of you till we part this earth. <3

    1. Lebogang Shazzygal Malatji

      Ah thank you sis for your honest comment. I think it has taken a lot of us to finally look in. the mirror and fully loved ourselves.

      The troll on the social on body shaming is really sickening. I sometimes wonder where the hate comes from. I also think haters are people who are not confident in themselves hence they hate on others. It’s a shame

      Ohhh I think women of all body types are indeed beautiful. Imagine the world if we all looked the same way, had the same skin type, shaped the same way…. It will be boring. The variety of our body types indicates how unique and special we are.

      Thank you so much for the heartfelt words of appreciation to your body. You have done well so far and keep your head up. It’s a daily struggle but I know we have come too far to give uo in loving our own bodies.
      Love you so much ❤❤❤

  2. Evidence Mutumbu

    Wow when I got married I wasn’t well taught in this area .
    I learnt in a hard way.
    Commenting on the anatomy of a lady ,its sensetive area you might break her for a long time.

    1. Lebogang Shazzygal Malatji

      Im glad you got to be corrected mate. Its really sensitive especially if it comes from a spouse. I believe there’s a correct way to comment on a woman’s body such that it does not come across as demeaning or sensitive. I sometimes gets comments which are not as good but spoken in a manner that I understood what the person is coming from.

        1. Lebogang Shazzygal Malatji

          I certainly agree with you mate
          Thank you so much

  3. Evidence Mutumbu

    A woman can easily become less confident when naked before her husband because of reckless comments.

    1. Lebogang Shazzygal Malatji

      Absolutely true.
      I believe it’s part of humanity to learn and understand each other. Men should realize that women are vulnerable beings. We react to everything thrown to us and we fight daily to do away with bodily insecurities. Thank you mate

      1. Evidence Mutumbu

        Is it true that your life revolves around your clothes and body.
        Just asking heard it from someone🙈

        1. Lebogang Shazzygal Malatji

          Clothes and body??
          Not necessarily, we just love to look good and taking care of our bodies. That’s all…not to say that our lives revolves around clothes and body

          1. Evidence Mutumbu

            Hahahahah I didnt want to agree with that proposition

  4. Insider

    wow, that was a down to earth and very honest read, I thoroughly had myself relating to some or the other thing pointed out in this post, It was indeed one of the best collaborations I have read on wp.

    (PS: sorry I haven’t been able to keep up with your posts, School is eating my days alive, it was wonderful to read your work after so long)

    1. Lebogang Shazzygal Malatji

      Thank you so much for your comment
      Am so glad you could relate with some points on the post. I guess we will learn to appreciate our bodies even more and get to learn about each other

      I hope you are going well in your schoolwork. And thank you for having found time to read my latest post after so long. I love you still and may you be inspired as you continue with your studies. What course are you studying??

      1. Insider

        True, I sure do hope we learn to treat our bodies better.

        The pleasure was mine really, sorry I took so long to get back, Thank you so much for your best wishes. I am currently studying physics, chemistry and biology.

        Thank you once again❤️

        1. Lebogang Shazzygal Malatji

          Ohhhh that’s so beautiful
          Good luck on your studies

          1. Insider

            🙂 Thank you so much!!

  5. Janice Reid

    We should all learn to love our bodies, unfortunately we’re only human and having others pointing out negatives does not help. I do like the idea of affirming the positives of our bodies and thanks for sharing your experiences.

    1. Lebogang Shazzygal Malatji

      Thank you so much
      I think constant affirmations make the journey more bearable because people tend to amplify the negatives and they do crush our self-esteem. Every now and then we should remind ourselves how beautiful and unique we are even when no one does

  6. Pooja G

    I loved this post and I feel like a lot of people can really relate to both your struggles. I know I definitely can. I have seriously struggled with accepting my body in the past and loving my body as it is. To be completely honest there are still days when I hate how I look but as time goes by I’m becoming more confident and comfortable with how I look. Both of you are absolutely beautiful ❤️❤️

    1. Lebogang Shazzygal Malatji

      The struggle is real. We are going through the most as women and I believe it’s about time we embrace ourselves as we are and do away with the cautiousness of how we look. We have a lot to offer and how we look does not define who we are. We are beautiful, unique and wonderful soul beings. You, for one, are a beautiful being. Sooo serene and kind. Be comfortable with your own skin

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