When I was in high school, I was once (read, a couple of times) referred to as a coconut. A coconut means someone who is black on the outside and white on the inside. Never mind the fact that if someone was asked to produce a coconut that was black on the outside, they would have as much luck milking a chicken. The reason for this was because I had an “accent” and I had a few mannerisms that were considered foreign. On the foreign mannerisms, I’m clueless. But the existence of the accent I can’t argue about it. A lot of things are said about people with foreign accents. Some will say a person spotting a foreign accent is fake or lacking in cultural identity, but here is an accent I have had since primary school. It cannot be undone and I wish not to undo it because it is a part of me that I like.
Over the years I have also been made fun of for my walking style. I don’t know what is wrong with it though someone mentioned I have peacock feet. But I remember in primary school my mother encouraged me to walk tall. Those days I used to watch Ally McBeal and there was this character named Neil played by Portia de Rossi and she was gorgeous and she walked tall. I admired her so I was more than willing to take mum’s advice. When I grew older I discovered good posture was a sign of confidence, great for good health and it makes the person more attractive (self-explanatory). On the peacock feet, I dare say I just have that natural swagger.
I have also been dissed for being a lady. For some reason it wasn’t very popular to be one in high school and university. I think it stems from the premise that after women were subjugated for so long by men, they decided it’s time they wore the pants and fought back. But I disagree with this, I love being a lady. I embrace my femininity like it was the best gift that God ever gave to me. I would trade the dull power suits for dresses and skirts, florals and bows. This is because at some point I realized that feminine charm disarms men. If a guy will get off a matatu and take my hand to help me get off, then who knows what more he will do to make me comfortable. So yes call me soft, delicate, whatever but I will keep building my arsenal of feminine charm and be a lady unashamedly.
I have been told I am a little quiet, reserved, shy perhaps. And I will blame it on my mostly melancholic temperament. Some people find it a bit of a bother when I seem so aloof in the midst of activity and that I tend to zone out and my mind wonders into nothingness. In spite of this, I have been given compliments about my being quiet. Quietness amid semi-chaos cuts a picture of serenity, and there is beauty in serenity. Catch me quiet in a social situation and I will not apologize. At the end of the day, sure it is annoying when people highlight your unique elements and try to make them sound like idiosyncrasies but let it not ruffle your feathers. Instead keep in mind the people who appreciate your uniqueness. Then move a step further and be one of those people, the president of your own fan club if you will because if you love yourself others will too.