She looks at the tummy, if one can call it that. Tummies are supposed to be flat and toned like the girls on MTV not folding like a towel at Transcorp Hilton or jiggly like Shakira doing her thing. This one is definitely a bele! She holds her breath and sucks it in, it looks good from the front but from the side, she looks like she is pouring a drink offering to the god of gluttony! What d’hell?
25, 26, 27, 28…..she remembers the mountain of eba she ate, damn! Washing it down with a bottle of small stout was a bad idea. 29, 30….and that tub of icecream Moses bought her. The guy was unbelievable! He liked his women endowed with big succulent boobs and an ass that could only be described as idi-araba! Yet he wanted her waist as small as the elastic band on his boxers and her stomach as flat as his flat screen plasma. Had he not seen her mother’s bele before he toasted her? How she wished her tummy was as flat as the girls she sometimes caught his eyes eagerly scoping like vultures circling their next meal. He had better know that a big stomach was a great cushion for his head after a long day and he could always pretend it was a 3rd breast! Men were so hard to please….31, 32, 33, 34….she remembered the size of Moses’s gut and chuckled. Did he think she didn’t want her very own real life Denzel? Hian! He called it a sign of good living, she called it one nkwobi-beer combo too many! She was sure he had forgotten how the regions below his belly looked and she sniggered every time he pushed his car seat back to create room for his investment! 😉 35, 36, 37….what would she wear for that party oh?! She groaned as memories of her last shopping expedition came to mind. What were those New york designers thinking when they left little or no space for plus sized tummies? She had struggled into ill-fitting dress after ill-fitting dress, looking for the dress that would make her look like the sex godess she was and had only conceded to buy the black chiffon gown when the frustrated attendant, threatened to bring her dresses from the maternity section. She wasn’t fat, goodness no she was only endowed in one place too many!
38, 39, 40, 41….The truth was she had been proud of her pot belly, flaunting it in bikinis and wiggling it like a belly dancer when the beat allowed. She could’ve sworn the men who pursued her were attracted to that round soft belly. She boasted to the skinny girls with abs that Picasso and the great artists of old, only painted women with tummies like hers. Yes, she considered herself a masterpiece. Her perception of her body image hadn’t changed but now she found herself conforming to the almost completely westernized culture that had become the rule book dictating her people’s perception of beauty. The doctors said her large gut wasn’t healthy, well she’d inherited it from her grandma who had eaten okporoko till she was eighty eight! She counted to 50 and stopped. Glistening with sweat and breathless, she glanced at her tummy hoping to see it had shrunk an inch or so but alas it was all there, defiant like a Niger-delta militant!
Puuuush she cried, inhaling deeply as she tried to force herself into the corseted dress she had chosen to punish herself with. Even after all the exercise, her tummy refused to be bullied into smaller confines. Puuush! Still no luck, with beads of sweat on her forehead and panting like she’d run a mile, she threw her hands up in defeat!
Was it her fault that amala and eba were staple foods in nigeria? Was it her fault that her tummy decided staying unnoticed was a crime against humanity? What did her gym instructors with their perfect little bodies know about true beauty? She may not be able to wear a belly ring that would peek through the folds but which of those non-existent tummies would support the native beads grandma had made just for her? Why would she consider a tummy tuck or liposuction when others had died trying to do wuruwuru to the answer?! She was an african woman abeg! Built like a rock, made to last. She didn’t have freckles and she never turned pink. She could wake up at dawn to feed her family, keep three jobs and still have enough energy to pound yam and pound her husband all in a day’s job.
That bele of hers looked good in a blouse and wrapper and proudly provided support for her breasts with or without a bra. Her husband found it easy to spot her in a crowd and could beat his chest and exclaim that his wife was well taken care of. Yes a big belly wasn’t fashion forward but it didn’t make her any less of a woman. She was a proud african woman with skin like an oil-painting, a backside like a station wagon, breasts like talking drums and a belly like the oba’s palace. She was beautiful, every stretch mark and cellulite telling a wonderous tale. She was groomed to weather any storm, a maiden fit for kings and she’d give you a run for your money anyday. Bele or no bele, she was on fire! 😉
…for all the authentic african women out there, you are perfect just the way you are!!! Have a lovely day peeps, xoxoxoxo 😉