Angela Mutie went from being a domestic violence victim to Mrs Universe Kenya 2018 for Machakos County. She first opened up to The Weight She Carries about surviving an abusive marriage back in 2019.
Today she lives a vibrant life filled with renewed hope and purpose. I had the privilege of meeting Angela in June 2019 during the Shero Runway Empowerment Conference in Nairobi. She has such a positive spirit and I love how her faith is an integral part of who she is.
I reached out to Angela to ask her to participate in this month’s theme – “Re-loving my Body After…” and she graciously agreed.
1. As someone who lived through domestic abuse, what kind of relationship did you develop with your body at the time?
He made me believe I wasn’t beautiful. I am melanated and he took advantage of this to demean me and [convince] me that I am not beautiful. The abuse had messed my self-esteem big time. I saw nothing in me that could say I was beautiful. No matter what I put on, I felt not beautiful.
2. What lies did you believe about yourself and your body?
- That being ‘melanated’ meant that I ain’t beautiful; only light skinned ladies are beautiful.
- That I will never find love.
3. How do you view your body now and what brought about the change?
I view my body as a temple of God. 1 Cor 6:19-20:
“Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.”
A temple doesn’t need to be abused. I view myself as a beautiful melanated woman. I dress up and tell myself that I am beautiful. I don’t need anyone’s approval of the word beautiful.
The change was brought about by:
- Finding my identity in Christ. John 1:12: “Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.”
- I enrolled for a ‘reparenting journey’ program that makes one erase the old files (which to me include the abuse I went through) and replace them with good thoughts and plans.
- Getting to understand how to maintain healthy boundaries and what to react [to] and how.
- I occasionally treat myself to facials, pedicures and manicures.
- I found passion in travelling.
- I take myself out once in a while.
4. What advice do you have for a woman who is struggling to appreciate and love her body after abuse?
- Don’t let anyone define your beauty. The Bible says: “I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made ; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well.” – Psalm 139:14.
- Happiness is an inside job. Don’t expect someone to make you happy find ways to make yourself happy.
- Have healthy boundaries. Get to understand how far is too far, what to react on, how to react and why.
- Love yourself, pamper yourself before anyone does.
- Be the authentically you. Never do things to please others.
- Your abuser had issues with themselves, you weren’t the problem.
Read Angela’s full story below:
Vimbai E. is a writer, journalist, ghostwriter and the founder of The Weight She Carries. With hundreds of articles publishing online, in print and for broadcast, her love of language and storytelling shines through every piece of writing that bears her name.