This letter is long overdue but for good reason. I was hesitant because I am a culprit of this content too. Most times we try to justify how wrong something is till it gets out of hands and someone gets hurt.
Growing a thick skin has been my go to solution for a while not because I don’t care but because it’s the only way I feel less of myself. I often live as a hermit crab to ward of impending ‘predators’; such ones do harm you mentally but in the guise of jokes and opinions.
Growing up, I was teased about certain parts of my body, especially my head. My brother’s friends would call me ‘raid ti k3se3’ (an insecticide spray called Raid which came out with a product called the aforementioned) which literally translates ‘raid big head’. They said I had a big and long head.
I was pained each time they called me that, that I retaliated with insults and total disrespect. That was my mechanism given that they were older and stronger than I was. It saved them because I would have wrestled them with all I’d got. But, but my friend, that would have gone on and on and I would have been the eventual loser.
And there was the flat ass joke. I have an average caucasian’s body type even though I’m black. You’d expect buttocks like Peace Hyde’s or breasts like Peace Hyde’s but sorry, sorry I look nothing like her. You wouldn’t guess how many times I was told I needed to eat more protein and workout to have the desired bod.
That got to me, I cried, I tried. Now tell me, aren’t they good enough reasons to grow a thick skin? Who wants to hear that about themselves? Not me, not you, not anybody!
I have had my fair share and so have others. I have said hurtful things to people in the name of jokes for which I am sorry.
Not being bothered doesn’t solve it, voicing it out, telling them about it does. I am happy with who I am, loving and fabulously happy.