When I was a little boy, i loved my skin, it was light. I loved my lips, it was pink. But I hated my face. God, I hated how ugly I looked.

I have a prominent forehead and my head is generally big. Also, the space between my nose and upper lip is naturally swollen. Whenever —
I looked in the mirror, I saw this ugly child. A lot of adults then would tell me that I was cute, would pinch my cheeks, but I never bought it because I learned early that adults actually lie a lot.

Also, I saw people in my age groups, boys who I knew were really fine —
and I noticed this because I'm gay (even though I didn't realize then) and because unconsciously, I'd been taught by the society what acceptable beauty is.

I grew up with the consciousness that I'm ugly. First and foremost, my light skin was lost when the sun of the —
North dealt with me. If you've ever lived in the northern part of Nigeria, you'll know they have extreme weather conditions. I became darker. My forehead grew and so did the swollen part between my nose and upper lip.
During this pandemic-induced lockdown, I hated what I saw in the mirror. I bought a mirror in my room and each time I go there, I'll try to style my hair (which is natural and short, so imagine my frustrations) or do something to my face. Just anything that would make me —
look and feel better. But I wasn't able to leave my room with any of those modifications because of obvious reasons: my family's homophobia.

But I thought, if I couldn't change my face, I could at least change my body (read abs) which I wasn't also proud of and so I started —
working out to flatten my pot belly and tighten my abs. I was successful.

After coming out to my family a few days ago and leaving home, it took me 24 hours to hit the salon and braid my hair. I needed to see what my face would look like.
When I look in the mirror now and see myself, I'm wild with excitement. I go, "fuck, I'm hot!"

And I'm not apologetic about it!
I know that in the queer community, there's a lot of emphasis on body and looks and I know this can be depressing and negative. Yes, I think the pressure to look "hot" should stop but I also think that if you feel you don't, and you get a new body through any method, —
then you deserve that happiness. You deserve that satisfaction.

If you are very comfortable with how you look currently but it's not the "acceptable beauty standard" fuck them! You are beautiful.

If you feel you are ugly and get a new body or face, naturally or artificially, —
own that shit!

Everyone has a different path and journey and like I said earlier, you deserve happiness!!!!

You deserve to look and feel good. It's all love from my corner 💓💓💓

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More from @vicw0nder

2 Aug
For many of us, hugging our pillow, crying to bed, seeing people in movies have a support system in their family or have access to mental health care and awwww-ing at it, has become a norm.

We literally have no one who actually fully comprehends us. Except —
a few of us who ended up quite lucky with some friends-turned family. But even the pandemic has strangled that connection because now we have to be with our families who we don't even like.
Today, I was telling someone that I'd have love to mourn my mum in the presence of my friends rather than family. Yesterday, a friend told me that a man who raped her as a girl, came to her house and tried raping her again, but she found the strength to fight back. The painful —
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