Facing My Fears; A Shalom Black Inspired Tale

Hey guys!!!!

I told you I was serious on being back right??

So I was casually scrolling through YouTube last night and got a video notification from Shalom Blac (A popular YouTube blogger and a burn survivor)

You guys should google her. I think she’s pretty amazing!!

As a fan, I proceeded to watch her video and that’s what inspired this post.

Her series is Titled Facing My fears.

She basically did what she had always been afraid to do and after watching that video, I actually shed a few tears.

Maybe it’s because I could totally relate to how she felt probably not in the exact proportion but I understood what it felt like to be judged based on how you look.

For those who do not know, I have tribal marks (two incisions across my face).

For as long as I can remember, they’ve always been on my face. It had been given to me when I was a kid on holiday with my grandparents.

My Dad came back to meet a child different from the one he had dropped before Christmas.

Growing up, It had never dawned on that I was different.

I knew others didn’t have these “marks” but I had never for one day felt “ashamed” because of the way I looked.

However, that was about to change upon my entry into secondary school.

I attended two secondary schools and I spent just 1 year in the first and the remaining five in the second.

I came in as a transfer student in JSS2 and my first week in school, I was sent to another class to pick up something from a teacher.

I walked into the class room and everyone burst into laughter and I could hear someone in the background say “she must’ve fought with a Lion”

All I recall from that day was running out of the classroom to my class and just topping my head over the table crying profusely.

I was only about 13 at the time and it was the first time I ever felt different or ashamed of how I look.

From that day unknowingly, the seed had been planted.

My High school days passed in a hurry and on getting into university, I would always use makeup (it wasn’t even peng then though lol)

For some reason, I felt I had to conceal my “scars”, reduce how prominent they were so I would be accepted, so I wouldn’t be teased, so boys will like me.

I wanted to fit in so badly. And this continued for a long time and society didn’t help.

Often times, I would go out and it was almost as if the fact I could speak proper English made people uncomfortable.

I would get funny looks and some people would even ask me why I was “forming” like I was expected to be chanting Yoruba incantations everywhere I went.

My insecurities grew and one day, just like magic, I had a long talk with myself.

If I didn’t find myself beautiful, nobody would.

If I wasn’t proud of the way I looked and who I was, nobody else would.

So some days, I would look closely at myself and tell myself I was beautiful.

I would “hype” myself in front of my friends and a mirror and we would laugh and they’d call me conceited!!

I did it so long that I began to believe it!!! I felt beautiful, I was happy and I didn’t care what anyone else thought!

Gradually, I got so comfortable without wearing makeup.

Even till now, as a reminder, I take time out for long periods to go out without makeup to remind myself just how beautiful I am.

I am not my Silky and soft weaves.

I am not my Revlon foundation

I am not the clothes or shoes that I wear

I am the words that I speak

I am the decisions that I make

I am the life I choose to lead

I am the love that I choose to give

I am who I say I am

Sometimes, people ask me if it bothers me & honestly, it used to but not any more.

For those who are “different” or struggling with insecurities you need no validation from anyone but yourself

So just Incase the universe forgot,

You are beautiful

You are spectacular

You are a work of art

Say it to yourself till you finally believe it.