Pretty dress? Check. Professional makeup? Check. Phones fully charged, slippers to change into at the appropriate hour, access cards to gain entry and business cards to grow my brand? Check, check, check! So why did I feel like I was missing something extremely vital to the success of this outing? Then it hit me. I wasn’t wearing shapewear, a waist trainer, body Shrinker nothing!
Let me back up a bit to how I got here… I’d been away for about ten days with very little sleep or nourishment in all that time. You see we hit the ground running with a packed itinerary in the city of NewYork that never rests and with the dollar at an all-time high it was imperative to me that we made the absolute most of this trip. I was scheduled to leave NY on Wednesday, in order to back with at least 24 hours before my brother’s wedding but of course it did not go as planned. I was delayed another day before flying to Paris and making the connecting flight to Lagos. Soon as I got in I called Makioba, CD of Couture by Makioba, who was making my dress for the wedding. It was ready and I needed to do a fitting so straight from the airport I went directly to her studio. The dress was gorgeous but still needed a couple of nips and tucks here and there. With a few hours to the ceremony I decided to head home and start my makeup with Chichi of Porzellan Beauty. At this point, I was mad from sleep deprivation, tired from flying and strangely wired from the time difference. I needed a nap and that was all there was to it. Anne, my assistant was immediately placed on phone duty to Makioba every half hour. The response was the same. “The dress will be with you by 2pm”. It was now clear to me that I wasn’t going to make the church service and with the reception venue 2 streets away from my apartment, I was fairly confident I could steal a two-hour nap after makeup was done. Chichi outdid herself and transformed my face as only she can. I was over the moon and also ready to lie down, flat on my back, face up and rigid. Pro makeup services cost money, I wasn’t going to toss or turn carelessly and lose 3k in eyebrows.
I was awakened upon the arrival of the dress and quickly slipped into it, marveling at the embellishment on the fabric and how simple but sophisticated I looked. I loved it! My Uber had arrived as I was still too exhausted to drive and I was taking the honorary pictures for the ‘gram at the front door when my non-shape wear epiphany hit me. I ran back inside and made a bee-line for my bedroom but not before I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror in the hallway and I stopped dead in my tracks. I looked good! Could my waist be snatched several more inches? Possibly – but for crying out loud I did not have the energy for all that. I really didn’t and surely no-one could blame me. Besides the day was not about me and at what cost to self was I going to move around like the Tin man without a heart from the Wizard of Oz? Like if I wasn’t “snatched to the gods” would I die? More importantly, was an exaggerated silhouette worth dying over? Here I was, recently returned from this fabulous trip, touting the gospel of self-love and acceptance of one’s self and at the risk of collapse or coma I was attempting to practically choke the air out of my battered body.
Now please don’t get me wrong…not all shape wear will knock the wind out of you and some of them are designed to firm up the derrière to avoid that extra jiggle or cover up bits that would otherwise be exposed in a transparent garment. Even the desire to achieve an hourglass figure is completely allowed but surely I cannot be the only woman in the world who just wants to let it all hang out and not have to worry that I’d committed a cardinal sin according to the gospel of Cosmopolitan and the Internet trolls. It’s not like I was looking unsightly and a hot mess… And if I was worried about the opposite sex well I doubt any guy ever said to another guy “that chick is hot but I can’t talk to her or ask her out because she forgot her to put on her body magic”! Well maybe some douchebag somewhere has but I wasn’t interested in that kind of guy and in fairness he probably wasn’t interested in me so why worry?
A girlfriend shared with me on how she had gone on a recent date and in readiness of said evening debated within herself to near madness on what to wear in order to avoid wearing Spanx. Her theory was she simply couldn’t deal with the pressure of trying to be funny and light and eat like a normal human being while keeping her gut sucked in for at least two hours. Her words were “Latasha, I had the best night because I was so at ease, he didn’t notice and even if he did I don’t think he cared because guess what? Most of the time this stuff is in our heads”. Before J.L.A.O. (The Justice League against Obesity) strike me dead, let me add that my friend is a solid size 12 with mental problems of a size 32. She will NEVER wear a crop top, hates sleeveless clothes and claims halter necks make her feel like a blackboard.
Please don’t ask me why or how but just understand that across the board, across the sizes, across the ocean, creed and race, most women are generally self-conscious and insecure about their bodies. So I gently remind myself that #Aboutthatcurvylife is more than a hashtag or a website. It’s a declaration to be kind to myself and love my body and sometimes that means cutting calories and sweating it out at the gym, sometimes it means speaking to it with love because it’s only one we get and other times, for me, it’s just exhaling in peace without restrictions.
So off I went to celebrate my brother, Arthur, expanding our clan of Ngwubes, feeling like a million bucks with a jiggle in my step.
Makeup By: Porzellan Beauty
Dress By: Makioba
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