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Nma Agada: Redefining Who You See in the Mirror



dreamstime_l_28835478“My body hurts from all the points where my waist trainer has tried to strangle me to death. My thighs ache from all the squatting with dumbbells the size of Texas. I don’t even want to talk about the burn I got from the last butt enlargement cream I got last week.”

“My boyfriend has never seen me without makeup and it’s gonna be that way if I wanna keep him. My nose looks horrible without highlights and contours. My lips are too full not to be lined always…and no, there’s no way in hell I’m stepping out without my fake lashes on”

“I just had a baby and I hate myself already. I mean, my tummy is back to normal but I hate the stretch marks so much that my skin is red and raw from me trying to brush them away. And of course, I’ll have to bottle-feed my baby; there’s no way I’m losing my bouncy boobs for a baby who’ll dump the boobs in a few months anyway”
“I’ve always had narrow hips and a flat chest and every day I suffer when I see people who flaunt what I’ll never have. Silly people tell me I should ditch all my lightening creams and potions but what do they know about being flat chested and jet black with all the men flocking around them?”

We’ve all known these things; in many ways, we are these women and no, I sincerely do not believe that when we are alone. We do not bare our souls to ourselves, silently confessing our desires to be different in little ways that perhaps, we alone notice.

There’s no way to define beauty in a way that all heads will nod in agreement. I’ve learnt that if you suffer to look in a certain way, (to please certain people or notions beyond your personal, honest desire to accept yourself and feel gorgeous, no matter what your default “look” looks like) then it is not sustainable beauty.

I’m trying not to sound too serious. Here’s the deal, beauty is not complete without “SELF CONFIDENCE”. Note that I’m not referring to the “diva façade” many people put on, as though we cannot smell the uneasiness you bear beneath the weight of all that “over-do”. I think that if a person can’t take in the image of themselves as beautiful, worth preserving and a deposit of malleable awesomeness, they’ll never find true beauty. The picture they are trying to become is another’s true self and will always sit awkwardly in their body.

Firstly, I think that we should recognize ourselves and glory in the beauty of your God-given gifts. Let the whole world see it just the way you see it, until they can barely notice that flaw. Wear that afro like a crown and let the splendor of it radiate until they wonder whether it’s you or just the hair. If you’ve got hips, forget about your acne for a minute and strut like you mean it. You’ll figure that you were the only one seeing the acne all along. If you’ve got great ebony skin, wear it like diamonds and just glow. When you concentrate on your “A’ points, you radiate the grandeur and people can pick up on it.

Secondly, get comfortable in your skin. It’s easier to do this if you have defined the things that are beautiful about yourself in such a way that you feel more wholesome. I used to feel really insecure about a lot of things until I redefined what beauty meant with respect to me. I am now the petite girl with bold eyes, full lips and a fro that you must say hello to. All of a sudden, I started hearing comments on how small was sexy and full lips kissable and blabla. These things became extras that I barely care about now because I did not let them be the standard in the first place. Haven’t you seen fat girls who make you feel like their body is a must-have…or skinny girls who’d make having nothing but great skin and long legs seem like “jackpot”? It’s all in how you wear it.

Thirdly, work to enhance what you’ve got. If you need to lose some pounds to rock your amazing body in whatever size suits you, or get rid of the acne so that we can see how great your skin can be without them, or need to do your eyebrows right so that your amazing eyes can pop…then by all means do so. But let all these be a journey to freeing a better and more beautiful version of yourself. Let this be because you are strong enough to get rid of whatever is in the way of you being more alluring and an inspired piece of God’s creation. Let this not be a medium to suffer yourself because you want to be what beauty is to the society or men or even women who you think are like you but know nothing about being you.

Fourthly, accept being beautiful as a process whose scope and methodology changes as you evolve but keep you feeling amazing at all the different points of your life. Enjoy being pregnant and nursing your body back to shape, being chubby and pretty, being black and freckled or short and shapely. Take it all in and wear yourself like a million dollar dress bejeweled with diamonds.

For the records, I love make up and I’m even squatting to see if my tomatoes can bloom just some more. But it’s not a do or die affair and having healthy goals and expectations have brought me into a place of happiness and perhaps, beauty. And whether or not you accept it, many people see that and agree with it, because that’s how it works.
Biko just for the records, self-confidence is different from self-deception, and this isn’t for women alone; we all need to understand these things.

Photo Credit: Dreamstime

Nma is a management consultant, life strategist and writer whose passion for the acceleration of African women, youth and startups constantly flows through her pen unto pages and hearts. While working in Risk Consulting, she currently runs a blog and is on the verge of launching The Negrifille Enterprise – a platform for providing innovative, immersive and mentor-based learning experiences for startups and African women & youth in business, career and the arts. Website - IG - @thenegrifilleenterprise / @nma_negrifille


  1. Simileoluwa

    March 8, 2016 at 10:07 pm

    Great article. Self confidence and self esteem is everything. Keep it up girl!!!!

  2. Bustee

    March 8, 2016 at 10:08 pm

    Lolllll, Iv always hated my big boobs, infact I wish I cld get a breast reduction. I’m a 34/36E, depending on how skinny or fat I am. Even while growing up I hated them bcos I cldnt wear certain things, smtimes I look too busty and I can see men’s eyes literally on my chest.
    Bra shopping……… Dats a challenge. I only wear M&S and I quite literally spend d whole day there. Trying on like 30 bras, which packs my boobs well, which looks matronly, which gives an awful shape. Bras for shirts, 1nces for tees. All sorts………..
    But then there are women almost dieing on d operating table, just to have this. They do look nice in dresses and low cut tops and my hubby definitely likes them.
    He’s like you can loose weight any where you want, but not on dos boobs.
    Soooo let me not complain too much and be thankful dat if not anything my kids will be well fed and off course my hubby. END OF
    But I need to loose like 10kg thou……..

    • Afua

      March 9, 2016 at 1:46 am

      Let me introduce you to your new bestie…Bravissimo. La Senza also has bras in that size.

  3. Lola aderoju

    March 8, 2016 at 10:32 pm

    Yass, she did it. Proud of you hunnie.

  4. nnamdi ofor

    March 8, 2016 at 10:52 pm

    This is awesome Nma. More grease to your elbow. Never knew you could write this good. Proud of you hun.. I jjust hope the beautiful women in our genration self and flee from being fake

  5. damola adewole

    March 8, 2016 at 11:00 pm

    Beauty is not complete without self confidence!!! Thank you for teaching us how to appreciate ourselves

  6. marlvina

    March 9, 2016 at 12:09 am

    There is a bum bum enlargement cream???? Wonders shall never cease.

  7. Casper

    March 9, 2016 at 6:45 am

    Such a beautiful read. Applaudise!!!!!………. Just so they know, the girl on the inside is way more important.

  8. Asat Sanchez

    March 9, 2016 at 6:51 am

    Nma has taken this whole writing thing to another level. I’ll think the next step should be you been paid to write.

    Go Girl!!!

  9. Debby

    March 9, 2016 at 6:51 am

    That’s my sister !!! Came to famz ????

  10. og edos

    March 9, 2016 at 7:18 am

    Awesome!! Alot of women are going through series of operations just to have what the world perceive as perfect body and some don’t come out well.”regrets at the end of the day”. They need to understand that’s not what matters. “Self confidence” and being around people who will motivate you to be a better you. If he needs you in his life, he has to love the whole package… Thanks Nazzy for the inspiration..

  11. Moy

    March 9, 2016 at 9:08 am

    Preach it sister!

  12. korede

    March 9, 2016 at 9:30 am

    #Word!!! Very Inspiring Nazzy, Good job

  13. oge

    March 9, 2016 at 11:27 am

    Proud of you girl this is inspiring

    • Nma Nazzy

      March 13, 2016 at 11:18 am

      Thank you Oge

  14. teezy

    March 9, 2016 at 11:55 am

    I used to feel this way before, was worse cause i started having pimples/acne since when i was 10. i was asking God why did he have to make my face so horrible with different sizes of pimples popping up on my face. The most annoying time was when am on my period…Gosh! you would see fresh red ones popping out. i got to university and tried using make up to close it up. Everyone knew me as the pimples girl. lol
    it made me loose my self confidence and worth. not like i wasnt toasted oh, i was but sometimes i imagine if these guys then dont see the acne on my face. Even my bf back then really appreciated me no matter what.
    Years passed by and i had to gradually accept that it cant go immediately and so was trying ways to reduce it at times…then Good make up brands started popping up and i had to adjust.
    i can comfortably say that i gained my self confidence back…even though its not a 100 percent yet but am getting there.
    No matter what has happened to you, just remember that you are beautiful and also created in God’s image. Learn to accept your imperfections and try to build up that self worth. cause you knw where the shoe hurts. Find a solution

  15. Mr Zone

    March 9, 2016 at 10:12 pm

    My baby keep it up.. This is Where You’ll make your greens from. Daddy loves you

    • Nma Nazzy

      March 13, 2016 at 11:15 am

      Zone thank you… Mummy loves son too. 🙂

  16. NazzyKnowsWhoThisIs

    March 12, 2016 at 7:37 pm

    Nazzy babbyyy! I’m proud of you hun! You have a beautiful mind…Keep soaring

    • Nma Nazzy

      March 13, 2016 at 11:14 am

      Is this my new bride? Thanks hun. :*

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