Accepting yourself the way you are and loving your body no matter the transformation or trauma it has been through is a daunting task but one that needs to be done in order for one to become whole.
Ayanda Candice Sibanda, a multi-award winning model and activist, narrates to The Weight She Carries how she has learned to embrace her imperfections despite what society had to say.
“I am someone who has gone through a lot of body transformations. Growing up l was very skinny and so during my puberty years l started growing breasts, hips and a bum. It was a nightmare for me since l had always wanted to venture into modelling and turn it into a career. Traditionally, models are known to be skinny and the ones that range from size 26-27 are the ones who get the jobs. I would always freak out not knowing how l was going to be able to control it, because whether l am in a good or bad space, l gain weight. My weight fluctuations became a stress point for me for a very long time which affected my self esteem.
When people pointed out my belly fat, stretch marks and the size of my bum and wondered how l was going to model with them, l developed body dysmorphia.
I just wanted to be someone else at that point. I yearned for the perfect bodies l saw on television runway shows.
It is only after watching Victoria’s Secret documentaries did l learn to embrace who l am. Although l am not fully there, l am at a better place than l was before. The models highlighted how much they hated their bodies that l thought were so perfect.
It has taught me that my body is perfect the way it is. l have grown to love each and every muscle, skin and mark on my body.
Being a person living with a condition called albinism, l suffered a lot of sunburn especially on my lips which left marks. I would wonder if there was any boy who would ever want to kiss them, and would wonder what people thought as they looked at me.
Smothering lipstick and lip gloss was a daily routine which only left them more chapped than before. Honestly, if it were the mask era l would have had better teenage years!
Considering what l have been through and still go through, l would say to someone out there to love your body the way it is. Take care of it. Workout and nourish it. Because l have come to terms with who l am, l am no longer affected by what they have to say because l love myself the way l am.”
Read Ayanda’s full story here: