I am Oyama Botha a Miss Curvy from South Africa, who is passionate about empowering women first and men to love themselves radically, whether big or small .Furthermore, advocating that societal opinions about yourself shouldn't hinder on your progress in life towards achieving the BEST YOU.
I am often known for breaking society's "rules" on what should be perceived as the normative yardstick of how a beautiful woman should be like.
#RadicalSelfLove is thee hash tag.
After countless "debates" about the act of "promoting plus size", I have been thinking a lot: for instance, how a lot of people become plus size later in life due to various reasons like having children or after a period of experiencing health difficulties .Furthermore, after receiving an inbox message from a lady who I think is against the general promotion of "self made plus size" as she puts it, with various reasoning. A lot of thoughts were evoked.
BUUUT REALLY...I cannot think of a distinct time in my life when I was not plus size, since birth really ( I am pretty sure Daddy God did not intend to create us the same way so, we can NOT all be born the size, right?). With this being said, I'd like to share a few life lessons that being plus size has taught me:
#1 I love myself, radically.
It is not an easy process as it really takes so much to be looking at yourself and saying, “I want to be better, but I’m okay with who I am.” Just because a larger woman has the confidence to show off her body (which is shunned when you are plus size) does not mean that she loves herself. Self-esteem indeed goes a long way deeper than flashing body parts. This implies: whether you're small, big or in-between, what you choose to show off and not to, on your body doesn't necessarily equate to loving yourself.
#2 People will judge you
Whether you're plus sized, average sized, thin, skinny,big, small.... whatever.
#3 I am always trying to change my eating habits.
I remember last year when I got to UCT, weighing way less than I currently do, I started going to gym, everyday at 6 am, while I TRIED "healthy meals" which were a mission with the menu we receive at res. Nonetheless, I lost the weight, but gained it back 2 times more as I kept on falling off the wagon this year, due to how busy my life became(bad excuse? *hides*). I have to say that having my clothes fit better, always felt really good, but consistency and self-pity can be an issue for me at times. Ultimately, I have to make being healthy through making a change in my lifestyle a priority.
#4 I am overindulgent in a few areas of my life
This is including: shopping, taking and editing pictures as well as sleeping. This clearly translates into my eating habits as well.
#5 Promoting Self-Love carefully
I have never condoned being FAT and living a lifestyle that places you at a verge of killing yourself (nor will I ever). I promote loving yourself whether you are small, big , or in-between. However, being fully aware of how to take care of yourself, because personally, loving yourself means you wouldn't allow yourself to get to a state whereby you would suffer from bulimia or obesity.
#6 Confidence, Confidence, Confidence
My confidence is my driving force for the desire I have to inspire and empower women ( men as well :) to be the best that they can be in every aspect of life. Someone’s opinion of your weight should never stop you from loving life and working hard to achieve your dreams.
#7 Presentation is important
In most cases it really does not matter how big or small you are, it is about how you present yourself to the world. Unflattering outfits come in every shape and size!
#8 Bikinis are for every size
For the longest period of my life, I had refrained from wearing a bikini and this year, I challenged myself to break the normative yardstick of who is "allowed to wear a bikini." Earlier in August when I was in Hong Kong, I was in heaven while I tried on various swimming suits and found ones that are perfect for my body shape. Couldn't have been any happier.
#9 Fashion is fashion no matter what size you are
However, I have learned that not every style or trend is meant for me to try. If I really want to try a style that may not work for my body type I have learned to find a way to alter the look or change it up a bit. This has helped me develop my personal style so much.
#10 DO IT ANYWAY
StayBlessed and LoveYourself
It is indeed a very interesting process of reflecting on how appearance can translate in certain aspects of our lives whatever size you are. Let's hear yours?