Here is why we need to de-crown selflessness

By Marion Maina

Bottom line: How many times have you sat down pretending to enjoy a movie that was killing you softly, simply because you did not want to appear uncool?

“Babe you look amazing, trust me,” Nick purred as he strained to put his arms around me.

He realized he couldn’t pull it off, my midsection was too wide. Instead he placed his hands round my shoulders. I stared back at the mirror, unconvinced by his feeble flattery. The dress was stunning but my bulging curves did it a great injustice. It seemed to be bursting out of my body and the zipper could barely hold.

Nick leaned closer, rubbing my back soothingly, “Babe if you do not like it, we can change into something else, how about you borrow my sweatshirt. I will wear one too. It will …”

I had had enough. His feigned concern was not helping, so I spun around to give him a piece of my mind. Wrong move. With a resounding rip, the zipper finally gave way, breaking free as the now ruined dress came crumbling down to my feet. I broke down and wept.

When I decided to lose weight and live a healthier life, no one compelled me. It was a choice I made for myself. The people in my life had loved all of me. They loved my curves and edges, my perfect imperfections as John Legend puts it. My boyfriend if anything fed all my cravings. He was religiously committed to ensuring I amassed as much weight as possible. It made me happy, at the time. When I woke up, smelt the coffee and realized I didn’t like this fat girl in the mirror, I did something about it. I did it for me.

It is important to evaluate the reason as to why you are doing anything. I know of a girl who went around carrying 10 braids piled on her head simply to keep her boyfriend happy. Apparently, this guy had suggested she gets more creative with her hairstyles like her friend Nelly. So the poor girl walked around with a stiff neck, hair tumbling over her tiny shoulders – she literary had the weight of the world on her shoulders- just to make this guy happy.

Sad, I know, right? But wait a minute – how many times have you sat down pretending to enjoy a movie that was killing you softly, simply because you did not want to appear uncool or not fun? How about last Friday when you downed a glass of some murky unlabeled substance, despite the fact that you are a red-wine-kinda-girl-, just to accommodate your broke boyfriend and not to appear snobbish? Alright, what about the time you wanted to have a quiet time in prayer, but Sister Mary dropped by and insisted you listen to her testimony that went one for about three hours?

Society has misled us to shun putting ourselves first. It has gone to the extent of labeling any attempt to prioritize yourself as being mean, selfish, inconsiderate, uptight, overambitious, snobbish, if my editor wasn’t giving me a word limit I could go on and on. I beg to differ. Your happiness matters, your opinion is important, your desire counts. I am of the notion that a lot of us are bitter and angry because we sacrificed our happiness for people or things that were totally not worth it.

Let’s give ourselves a little more consideration. Let us quit forfeiting what we really want in life so as to “keep the peace” with those around us. Let selflessness be robed momentarily of its sainthood to pave way for some self-prioritizing.

The writer is final year public relations students and a fitness enthusiast.

The Communicator-Moi University's photo.
The Communicator-Moi University's photo.

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