Punctuality eludes me sometimes. I try but perhaps I relegate to the African in me and go lax on the timeliness. Please don’t misunderstand – I’m not saying we lack discipline. Africans can have a more fluid sense of time and we don’t rush. We savour moments and we understand things come up. It helps that we are infinitely patient so we don’t mind waiting within reason.
I can’t pinpoint when in my childhood it was that I thought that beautiful had only one definition. Maybe it was after I became awestruck by Disney princesses’ alabaster skin, golden hair and ruby lips. Perhaps it was this formidable Smirnoff ad that was all limbs and skin. Or those 90s print ads featuring the newly-crowned, emerald-eyed beauty queen, Aishwarya Rai. They all had a cumulative effect on shaping what I thought beauty was. I also take blame because I have perfectionist tendencies and, in my mind, if you didn’t look like Miss World, you weren’t beautiful. How black and white!
Since switching to this way of eating/life, I have found myself at the receiving end of some very confused, shocked and even sympathetic looks. Most people imagine I must have very little choice when it comes to food and when I tell them I don’t normally have lunch (because my breakfast keeps me fuelled so I find I am not hungry), the disbelief and disdain is almost palpable. And then I show them this picture and their confusion multiplies.