Forever Young

Womanhood | By Ntombikayise Kanyoka, Radio Producer / Voice Over Artist | 31 October 2014

Why is it hard for women to tell the truth about their weight, age and size? Recently I went to a photo shoot for Soul Magazine and I was asked the dreaded question, what’s your clothing size? I answered back, 36! Then came the day of the shoot where clothes were already chosen by the stylist, all a size 36.

Now, one thing I forgot to mention was, I am a 36 when it comes to clothing that stretch but in actual fact I am a 38. The clothes were handed to me and I was shown the change room. After trying all 3 of the dresses that couldn’t even go past my shoulders, there was the last purple dress that was left for me to try.
“It fits, the purple dress fits!” I screamed…

It then dawned on me, when I was standing next to this super skinny model, that maybe I shouldn’t be excited about the “purple” dress fitting cause at that very moment I felt like Barney the purple dinosaur! So my first photo shoot turned out to be a serious reality check!

After 30 years of being on this earth, yes I am 30 years old, I think I know why we lie about our weight, age and size.

Society has set these standards for women to be forever young and that means that if you are over 21 and are curvy you have past your sell by date.
Growing up I was always the “fat” one amongst my friends and still am. I struggled with my weight, I even went to the extremes of throwing up after every meal for 3 months until my mother caught me, and gave me a good hiding. Now, some would call that abuse but I call that my “wake up call”

People like Jill Scott, Lebo Mashile and Angie Stone were very instrumental in my coming to terms with the fact that I am a big girl and that’s fine. They were all pretty, confident and most importantly out spoken about issues concerning their weight.

Lebo summed it up perfectly for me when she said: “I wake up every day and tell myself that I have no choice but to be radiant and confident. I refuse to be a sloppy, unkept big woman. I refuse to look like I am hiding from the world, even though sometimes, on the inside, I feel like crawling under a rock and hiding forever.”

So let me introduce the true me this time: Hi, my name is Ntombikayise Kanyoka, I am 30 years old, I am a size 38 and I weigh 88kg. I am iS’dudla and I am ok with it.