Shaina Brown

Building Confidence out of Conflicts

Shaina Strawberrie -

Tags: Woman

Building Confidence out of Conflicts

the feeling or belief that one can have faith in or rely on someone or something.

"Believe in the (insert your name) that believes in you." - a wise guy

Enter Coryse, guest blogger this week at

I’ve always been fat. Yes, fat! My thighs betray me, snitching on my true width from the side. As you travelled up the widening width of my leg hoping for the reward of a plump behind…you’d be disappointed. I always had a small waist though, for my size. Unfortunately, my clothes never revealed that. I lived the life of a big girl in a family of big women, in hand-me-down clothes. New clothes for me were new clothes TO ME but they came from someone else. Shoes from my mom, dresses and skirts from my grandmother and aunt. Occasionally, I’d get a pair of jeans which I was the original owner.
But my greedy thighs would rob me of that ownership within six months. Thigh burn, a plague against the big girl.
A daddy’s girl both in print and purpose, I have a pretty face. It was hidden by acne and the scars they left behind. When Aunt Flow made her very first appearance at age 10, she left behind her hardened children to torment me all the way into adulthood.
Then came the names:
Children need to read more because those names were grossly void of creativity. But they still hurt.

At home the juvenile delinquency continued:
“Like yuh getting fatter every time ah see yuh”, Granny would note shoving mountain of pie and callaloo in my face.
“Yuh rip a next jeans, oh gosh!”
Then the stinger: “Why can’t you be like your cousin?” Pointing at my slim, clear-faced, fair-skinned very pretty relative.
Comparison is a filthy little bandit.
I can’t be like her because I am me.

I am dark and chocolaty rich. When I lotion my skin I shine from across the beach.

My thighs are thick, just enough meat for me. They have carried me far, they can fill out any jeans, jeggings, skirt or dress with the right curve to break necks. My acne, Aunt Flow’s errant pikney still plague me but I manage them with the right diet. And when all else fails, salicylic acid and a beat face of Revlon will disguise any tryst I would have had with dairy. Haagan Daz in salted caramel is the Red Man of ice-cream.

Apart from my appearances, I came to value my character. I am strong. Either despite or because of the name-calling, I learnt to walk with my head high, and an extra swish in my hips. I appreciate my wit, my candour and my dark sense of humour. I have the innate ability to roll then get up with every punch that life throws my way, and Life and I been sparring for quite some time.
I developed a vintage sense of style from years of wearing other people’s clothes. Why buy a shredded denim jacket when I can rock my aunt’s Guess brand jacket from 1994?

I learned to accept my flaws, both imagined and genetic. What I wasn’t happy about, I learned that I had the power to change, cover or disguise them. And most importantly, I learned that other people’s opinions about me, were none of my business.

About the writer

Coryse is a hard-working mother of one. She is a lover of music but can’t play an instrument and is an Instagram model in her head. She occasionally struts the runway and has been told she’s good at it. When she isn’t aspiring to put letters behind her name and commas in her introductions, she can be found binging Netflix, attending yet another children’s party with her daughter or making hair products for 4C naturals with high-porosity hair.
You can find her putting her Bachelor’s in Literature and Communications to use on In the middle of things where she discusses her childhood, dating after divorce and heartbreak and coming to terms with motherhood.


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