Temi A: Long Time No See! You’re Now Fat O…

Dear Aunt/ Uncle that I have not seen in a while, it is such a pleasure to see you again after approximately three years. Yes, we thank God Uncle Jide is finally retiring the Agbada from his Yoruba demonry activity and has decided to settle down and throw this lavish wedding. We are also thankful that he is not stingy with funds either as rice, stew, and small chops very plenty.

Oh, what did you say just now? I have grown? I am now a mature lady and I have gotten fat. Well, thank you, thank you for the err compliments? True I have grown; it has been two – three years after all, but fatter? I beg to differ; I beg your everlasting pardon. I count calories like a miser counting gold and this fitfam business. I insist upon inflicting on my body is helping me maintain my shape, thank you very much. Yes, the frame is different than it was three years ago but that is life and change happens- n’est pas?

Now you, dear Aunt/Uncle don’t you look absolutely delightful in your too tight dress, multicoloured, multi layer eye shadow and your buba top suffocating your pot belly? I cannot say that to either of you, of course; my mother taught me better. For this reason, I have to smile or laugh at the “compliment” you have paid me and then respond to your very insensitive compliment by telling you “you look well”. Instead of pointing out your flaws, I point out the bits about you that I do like, and if there is nothing, I say “you look well” and this is after you have done me the favour of calling me fat. Do you see how my good home training averted a crisis and prevented blood on the dance floor?

Ah Aunty, even if age has come calling, I don’t believe you have rescinded your card to the league of womanhood. A league I am a junior member of, yes; but we all know and live by the creed “never call a woman fat”. I could be fat for various reasons you know nothing of. Health issues both physical and mental, I could have problems with being called fat, I could be confident about my body until you opened your mouth and called my attention to something that I did not think was an issue. Oh, you say being called fat is a compliment? A sign of good living? #whyyoualwayslying? If you are below the age of 50 (an arbitrary age I have plucked out of the air), you know that being called fat is not a compliment. Uncle, I will forgive you this one time only. Your sex is not known for being sensitive about certain matters and you do not understand this issue. So for you, I will leave it at this; just hug me and comment on how well I have grown and turned into a young lady. Leave the dissection of my weight for Matthias and do not make this mistake again.

To cut the long story short, if you are an aunt or uncle, be more sensitive. It is no good to look at a family member whom you have not seen in a while and comment on whatever flaws you perceive they have. They will not look the same as the last time you saw them,  so kindly refrain from this inane observation. Being older means you have the liberty to discuss whatever topic you chose, but respect the fact that they are human beings too no matter how young they are, and whatever age or sex they are- they are grappling with their bodies in its various stages of growth and insensitive comments from family members do not help. This can extend to other situations beyond  being called fat, but this is my personal issue so I wrote from that perspective. It could be as simple as asking your niece why she has so much pimples and what she is doing about it (see jamb question). A little sensitivity goes a long way in relating to family members younger than you. If not for anything else, but for the fact that in a not so far future you will get old and they might have to care for you. Sowing a seed of niceness now could mean the difference between a room in a nursing home and the family home.

Photo Credit: Foto.com.ng | Nsoedo Frank

52 Comments on Temi A: Long Time No See! You’re Now Fat O…
  • naya March 24, 2016 at 5:01 pm

    Lool, soo true. Prob is dat some of them just say it without really meaning anything, it is left for the person not to take it too personal, truth is they are actually happy u av added a little bit.
    one thing av learnt in this life, especially in Nigeria, Dont take everything to personal, if not u will just be miserable and die early, learn to ignore things especially something like this. Aunties will always be aunties, its something we all will say too, no big deal

    • Tobi March 24, 2016 at 5:25 pm

      Umm we don’t judge accept culture because it’s how things are, culture is dynamic ie things change. Weight shaming IS weights shaming and it’s annoying, rude, unnecessary and it hurts. Would the 50 year old aunt see an older Patience Jonathan and say “ahh you’re fat o.” It’s especially worse when you study abroad, that’s the first derisive thing they can think of when they see you. Don’t be telling people to “endure” something that shouldn’t be happening in the first place

      • Tosin March 24, 2016 at 7:48 pm

        We have entered.

      • Jasmine March 24, 2016 at 10:30 pm

        At Tobi, its really not that serious. There’s an attack in Brussels. Global warming, Terrorism, Hunger, Poverty, AIDS, Sudden Infant Death and so many more serious issues to get worked up about!

    • whocares March 24, 2016 at 5:59 pm

      @naya- i dont know, some aunty’s have problems. I have a youngish aunt who saw me the other day and commented that i was getting bigger. This lady looked at me and said that. After I complimented her dress. The dress gan sef I did not like it (what is a grown up doing wear a ball dress that has a bow in it and is now pink? Is she auditioning to be the fecking tooth fairy?) But, as an omoluabi, I ignored what she said although she hurt me (channelling falz here. lol) Now I have been boxing more than normal, so my muskles (lol) are getting toned, definition etc. I am not fat, not by any means, but I am not dainty either. But for this aunt who is in her 30s to now look at me and call me fat? I felt that was just vicious.. Like ahan aunty, is it not this same country me and you are in, trolling the same single market to find jobs and boo? why try to pour sand in garri that I am just managing when I am not even looking at your side? Some older aunts and uncle lack manners I tell you and it is even more than the occasional complimentary insults they throw your way. How about the ones that will want to eat and will now say you should bring water to wash their hands, but no, you cannot drop the water on the table, you have to hold the bowl for them to wash their hands and afterwards had them the towel (*sigh fecking sigh* -I am digressing from the topic yes but the damn has already opened so i might as well continue)- Uncle is your back broken that you cannot perform the simple task of washing your hands if i place the bowl on the table for you? How about I help you pick your teeth after you have eaten the ten pieces of meat too or better yet just feed you? Later they will say they are getting fat, as if they suddenly develop amnesia and forget all these nonsense they do. calm down whocares, calm down. lool.

      • whocares March 24, 2016 at 6:02 pm

        *aunties* gods see my life.

      • Teju TJ March 24, 2016 at 6:24 pm

        Lmao.

      • Mee March 24, 2016 at 9:43 pm

        Lollllll@ the description of her dress. I’m dying of laughter here:)

      • MC March 25, 2016 at 1:03 am

        Waittttttt there!….what did you say!? Carry the bowl whilst they are washing their hands!???

        I would love to hear the reasoning behind this.
        What do these aunties and uncles say to warrant getting such a treatment?
        How lazy must one be, you want to eat but you can’t get up to wash your own hands. Hold on!…is the bowl thingy before or after they eat?

  • ladyb March 24, 2016 at 5:23 pm

    ha! i was a victim and oh she said it loudly to myself and my mum stating that i looked like i swallowed an elephant wondering what i ate or if i was pregnant. my mum just laughed it off in my mind i was like FUCK YOU AUNTY lol i just turned to her and said we’se ma (thank you ).

    mind you i had not seen her for over 18yrs so am guessing i was supposed to remain the same kmt.i was putting on so much weight for no reason and i wasn’t even eating much until i checked and found out i had PCOS but they are so quick to call you fat without thinking of the effects it will have or knowing what caused your sudden weight gain they just jump into conclusion. Anyway do not let any of these ignorant compliments get to you BE YOU BE FABULOUS AND BE HAPPYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY

  • Tobi March 24, 2016 at 5:26 pm

    we don’t *just*

  • Manny March 24, 2016 at 5:26 pm

    Aunt: You’re now fat oh
    Me: Yes ma, you too. It fits you ma (smiling)

    • whocares March 24, 2016 at 6:00 pm

      @Manny- I just love you. daz all. lmaoooooooooooooooooooo

      • Keeky March 25, 2016 at 11:52 am

        I’m crying here???.

    • omaliicha March 25, 2016 at 9:35 am

      yep that’s me ( hehe ) let all be one big fat happy family.

  • Naomi March 24, 2016 at 5:45 pm

    Reply them that ‘make i dey thin’??

  • kaybee March 24, 2016 at 6:03 pm

    I used to fight this battle whenever I was in Nigeria or whenever a Nigerian Auntie was visiting. “Hian, Kaybee…you have added o!” At my brother’s wedding, the mom of a dear friend who hadn’t seen me in over 10 yrs was like; “You’ve let yourself go”. I sucker punched her in my mind but decided that my friendship with her daughter was worth keeping so I laughed it off and let it go. Fast forward a few years, I lost all the weight. At first my mom’s younger sister was like ” Hmm..Kaybee…you know you will gain all that weight back”. In my mind I replied “Just like you did??” , but I smiled. Every time I visit Naija, I get called Lepa Shandy, Agbani or told to put on some weight since apparently men don’t like skinny chics. You can’t win. It’s as though none of my accomplishments count. All that matters being a woman is my appearance and marital status.

  • Madam Yewie March 24, 2016 at 6:31 pm

    I love my mother. She gets offended on my behalf when people make such comments and always tells them that they shouldn’t make reference to my size what so ever. And then squeezes in some shade.

    (And no I’m not huge! Just very curvy)

  • Loooool March 24, 2016 at 6:41 pm

    The last three lines got me. Tbh i think uncles and aunties most esp are very rude when it comes to this. One time an aunt said ooo hi you have added weight oooo after about 4yrs i replied and said ooo aunty im very fine o thanks for asking with a straight face and sarcasm. She reported me to my mum hahahahahaa

  • bumble bee March 24, 2016 at 6:51 pm

    What I would do to hear those words… “you have added weight” cos all I hear is wow you have not changed a bit.. I’m like really? Well for one.. i’m taller, I have boobs and a moderate ass even if my body has refused to gain a pound but cmon I have changed a little. No matter what I eat, how I eat it, when I eat.. I never seem to gain more that 2pounds, the most being 3, and once I am going through a challenge?!! That’s it!! The way the Lil pound I manage to add disappears you would wonder if it was pre planned.. so aunty please I would love to hear for once you say “you’ve added weight”

    • Tosin March 24, 2016 at 7:45 pm

      I know right, I saw a kid in my neighbourhood today, maybe haven’t seen him in a year. He doesn’t seem to have grown. I thought about it…worried for a minute… in the end I guess he’s ok.
      Step out of “the 1%” in Naija and people are more at risk for stunted growth and underweight than overweight and fatty-wahala. Fat is in such settings a blessing, a compliment.

    • Lovely March 24, 2016 at 8:13 pm

      Such is life, different strokes for different folks. You have added e-weight bumble bee.

    • Tosin March 25, 2016 at 5:54 am

      not just that young kid ma sef, just occured to me there are more. This kid that looks maybe 8 years old I recently learned is thirteenish-fourteenish and struggling with primary two.
      and I was buying food and the young man, a teenager, selling it looked different (compared to a couple of weeks before) lost weight looked bad, so of course o, are you ok, what’s wrong, what why you lean…he explained that it’s just stress. He lives in Badagry, he has to go to school then commute to his food job. Can’t he get a job or can’t they sell fried chicken in Badagry? Oh, nobody buys such, no market for y’know overpriced fried chicken, he has to commute for now. Oh, I know you’re a smart young man, please think of a new way, that commute is too hard on you etc etc. He THANKS ME for caring, says he’ll try etc.
      Just saying. Food insecurity is not so long ago or so far away from your current reality. Don’t be too hard on your aunt or on yourself.

      That said, yes, the struggle of these people is not the same as your struggle. Your own struggle is to be slim for health and/or attractiveness reasons. And your aunt may or may not be aware of your struggle.

      • Tosin March 25, 2016 at 8:30 pm

        ps the foodseller is a different teenager, older than 14, the way i wrote it wasn’t clear. he’s not the same as the one that is 14 and looks 8.

  • “changing moniker “ March 24, 2016 at 6:58 pm

    Some of them mean well though…
    For instance, an “aunty “in church once came to me after the service and said…” Ah, my dear you’ve added weight o… I’m just telling you so you can start watching it ”
    I didn’t take offence cos I knew she was right and I had been thinking of how to shed some of the weight after the Msc. year…. So Yh, some of them do mean well
    Ps: this aunty was bigger than me and I felt she didn’t want me to get to her size seeing as I was slim just a year before..

    • MC March 25, 2016 at 1:10 am

      Fine you wasn’t offended, but why did said aunty think that you wasn’t aware of your own weight gain?
      If she can see it, surely you can also see it…and feel it….and notice how your clothes now fit.

  • Spunky March 24, 2016 at 7:03 pm

    Try add weight na!! See as u thin?! Na man you be Ooo…*sigh* bros wetin my frame get to do with my masculinity kwanu? How about you lose that double chin and work on your fat a**?

  • Engoz March 24, 2016 at 7:06 pm

    Lol, you are now fat o! The title made me laugh. Mine is the reverse-‘Why are you still thin? You’re sure you’re eating?’

  • Naomi March 24, 2016 at 7:25 pm

    I have a little cousin- about 12yrs old- who gave the perfect reply.
    She has been chubby from birth and both parents are not slim either, so this aunty comes to greet them during their annual visit to naija. The mother’s relative comes in and sees the jand gal.
    She starts-‘J you are so fat stop eating’ and the gal says, ‘Is it not you I resemble?’
    LOLOLOL we all stood shocked and silently happy that she wouldn’t tolerate bullying from anyone, not even an elderly aunty.
    The said aunty is a massive size 18-20 so aunty remove the log in ya eye…or in this case body!!!

  • Tosin March 24, 2016 at 7:37 pm

    You say your aunt should be more sensitive, you too understand your aunt. Instead of processing the comment as yourself, process it as your aunt. It’s an important skill to have.

    • Suri March 25, 2016 at 11:51 am

      Just start receiving sense please. Even the SDK and LIB commenters that people look down on, they don’t reply with such sully nonsense. I’m actually tired of you. So if I tell you that you’re obese, because I was born before you, you should process it as me? :/
      Huh ?

  • K mama March 24, 2016 at 7:37 pm

    @bumble bee your own is even good. For some of us here no matter how much we try that weight must add. The next thing you’ll see one aunty that looks like dumbo telling you that yobs put on weight. Like aunty can’t you see yourself. Sigh

  • K mama March 24, 2016 at 7:38 pm

    You’ve*

  • Valerie March 24, 2016 at 8:33 pm

    Me I have been the same size for about 10 years now! Not kidding! The clothes I had in 2005, I still wear them till now. Now to tell you I have suffered this “this girl watch it or you will dies early because of fat” would be an understatement. It has reduced now but to give you a perspective in 2005, I was 8/9 years old. Right now I’m a size 8. You can imagine a small girl like me almost wanting to hang herself because of fat shaming. Now now, those auties are begging their small children to eat and begging me to pray for their children so they can look like how I looked. Their kids are really skinny. I came to the conclusion that it was jealousy that was making them run their mouths like that. No matter what I do, I can only add or looses 5 pounds, nothing more. I really want to be a size 6 sha. This life, nobody ever wants what they have and nobody ever has what they want. Sigh. However healthy diet and routine exercises is good for an enjoyable life. Some people would never be skinny and some would always be, same with fat. Just be healthy!

  • Bey March 24, 2016 at 8:41 pm

    My best reply to one Aunty is. “Aunty yes I’m fat o, but I’m still finer than you” then I chuckled after. So it wld also seem like a joke. She was first surprised then laughed also. Subtle shade.

  • Krasavitsa March 24, 2016 at 9:02 pm

    It’s really annoying when people call me fat. I’m 5ft10″ and used to weigh 53kg, now I weigh 68 (ok 70kg, depending on the scale) and everyone that knew me as an uber skinny girl calls me fat! It’s so annoying! Even my mum said I should lose weight. Mscheww I don’t think I’m fat – just a bit fleshy. When I was skinny I was called “fry-pan butt”, “slippers”,etc. Now some people pull my cheeks (that aren’t chubby) and call me orobo! Mschewwwww! Oh well, I’m on a diet now…….

  • Blessed March 24, 2016 at 9:18 pm

    That is how one of my aunties that sees me like every two weeks will say hian! You are putting on so much weight o or she will say why are u looking so ugly, even while I was pregnant with my third child, she kept on complaining, she never stops! I have learnt to ignore her

  • nunulicious March 25, 2016 at 12:52 am

    There were days when being fat/rotund/full/curvy meant you were a fertile woman and that you know how to do ‘that thing’.
    Now being called any or all of the above is being equated to body shaming.

    What is the ideal African woman stature sef? and I mean African not African-American. At what stage is a Benin girl considered fat? when is a Fulani girl considered fat? is it different from that of an Ivorian? a South African? an Ethopian?

    Accept yourself as you are now even during the journey to get to where you want. and when that ‘you’re getting fat’ comment gets you all worked up, tell them as @manny does: ‘so are you but it fits you aunty’ (with an angelic smile of course)

    • Besos March 25, 2016 at 11:32 am

      @nunulicious, it definitely does differ… volumptuousness does differ from country to country… for example, lot of Nigerians give tools a lot of slack for her weight.. but these same Nigerians will praise the south African girls who look the same way… a lot of Nigerian men will comment on a Nigerian girls size but will turn around and marry the fattest south african or european or even american, that i have seen.. i have seen this waay too often.. thats how a lot of foreigners believe that nigerian men love FAT women. and by fat i am refering to a size 18 or so.. i know a lot of really big ladies who trully believe that they will get a nigerian man purely because of their size… but its not AS frequent to see a nigerian man marry a nigerian woman who is that large… although there is nothing wrong with it.. but thats my observation

    • Suri March 25, 2016 at 11:49 am

      First of all, no one has the right to comment on your body. At most let it be a CLOSE member of your nuclear family, or close friend… Who can tell you nicely and in private.

  • Justmy2cents March 25, 2016 at 12:56 am

    Geez when will we learn to speak up to these aunties and uncles ‘we’ respecters of ‘African culture’? If you are of the ‘respectful’ breed who would rather let someone drag ur self-esteem in the mud all in the name of seniority, then you really need to grow some balls (excuse my French). If they won’t grow then learn to make a ‘shade’ sandwich i.e complement-sarcasm/diss- compliment. Better still, simply tell them politely ‘I really appreciate your concern but I am content with the way my body looks’. It’s one thing I love about my Igbo friends. They ain’t got time for all this fake eye-service nonesense and give it back as is needed. A lot of Nigerians lack emotional intelligence and if this generation doesn’t learn to speak up, we’d still be having this convo in 2060.

  • Tonye cocodia March 25, 2016 at 5:32 am

    i don’t understand people like that… pure jealousy.. I am a serious member of fit fam.. my abs are rock hard and I prepare for bikini season like nobody’s business.. not because I am so model thin.. but I am a size 10 UK.. but I can rock a bikini with all confidence because we’ll my stomach is flat, my thighs are firm.. and I don’t really have ceculite( because of constant workout)

    people see me in the gym change room and ask what’s my secret.. asin everyone is intrigued.. Now imagine my disgust when I come to naija and one mumu friend who saw me last 6 years ago says “ahh orobo”.. his friend who had gained soo muh weight over the last 2 years that I literally got the shock of my life… when I saw her.. I quickly had to fix my face just so I dn’t hurt her.. This girl was double my size… my sis and I went for a jog and when she saw her she nearly tripped over her own foot.. All this from a person who wanted to make herself feel better my trying to ridicule me.. lol…. SHIOR

    • Tosin March 25, 2016 at 6:00 am

      I understand you 🙂
      micro-Cultural differences in what makes a man/woman hot. Can be amusing/annoying 🙂 Often annoying, especially when it’s new. Funny thing is one, two years later, the same people would have changed, they’d now be preaching back to you what they were making fun of before 🙂 Hope that made sense.

      • Tonye cocodia March 25, 2016 at 8:27 am

        ofcourse @tosin… but most times our people tend to do it Knowing fully well its offensive… because the average nigerian woman does not like being called fat . but they enjoy doing it to others.. sha.. they can continue with their pettiness.. because I may have gained some weight since they saw me( when I was 15 btw).. and nw I’m in my twenties.. but in no way am I fat.. calling me fat is like calling Serena Williams fat.. knowing full well that woman is as fit as they come( not saying my body is anywhere near as fabulous has serena’s) hehe

      • Suri March 25, 2016 at 11:47 am

        Why are you ALWAYS defending rubbish customs? ALWAYS. From rape to gender inequality to oppressive adults. You know something being culture doesn’t = something being the right thing…. Right? Please do away with this mentality

  • Theotherlady March 25, 2016 at 5:56 am

    Come you send this article to all my aunts and uncles especially the ones in Nigeria? Thank you!

  • Gorgeous March 25, 2016 at 6:24 am

    Lol, I am very good at giving the blank stare when someone says something stupid. It makes for that awkward moment when the tatafo feels so stupid and doesn’t get a reaction from me.lol. As in I blank stare them to the point they start scratching themselves and run away. One strange expressionless stare with no comment.

  • Munachi March 25, 2016 at 11:33 am

    Times are changing though, back in the day being skinny wasn’t cool, I attended a unity college so being skinny was a birthright unless you were among the 5%that were fat, during holidays my mom always complain about how slim I was, in fact she complained until after my Uni and I always wanted to gain a little weight. ..fast forward to few years ago I realised everyone wanted to be slim even those with fat genes (if there is anything like that) or those that had every member of their family fat.
    We all can’t be slim or a size zero biko, but since being called fat irritates people these days maybe you are looking healthy is a better compliment. Off record……. in my village if you dnt add weight after marriage then your husband is not trying

  • ohohohoh March 25, 2016 at 11:46 am

    Or the uni colleagues who tells you yoiur fat after not seeing you for a few months. Coming from a girl who is not exactly an oil painting herself. In hindsight I should have retorted “oh at least I can loose some weight but can YOU LOSE the UGLY?!”

  • Fade To Black March 25, 2016 at 1:13 pm

    When you are skinny you get “Stop losing weight! People are saying you have The disease!”
    When you put on weight, the orobo kilo jokes dont stop. You cant win for losing!

  • Elle March 28, 2016 at 3:22 pm

    I can so relate, it happens all the time the last time being 2 days ago. Im very aware that I’ve gotten fat. I guess I can make us all uncomfortable by telling the truth and saying that I’ve actually put on a this weight because I’ve dealt with eating disorders for the past 7 years and I actually attend weekly counselling. But as I’ve gotten older I’ve just learned not to take it personal. Nigerians lack tact. Simples.

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