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Body Positivity and Me

Body positivity seems to be the ‘in’ thing at the moment which is amazing but I feel because it’s such an ‘in-trend’ thing, many people forget what it actually means to some of us.

I’m Mayah, owner of Awuraba and when I was formulating my idea for Awuraba, I was only going to focus solely on Body Candles before I made the decision to broaden my candle range.

A little bit about me and my history with my body issues. I’m a mum of 1 in my early 30s (30 at the time of writing this) of Ghanaian decent and grew up in a household that was all female. I lived with my mum and 3 younger sisters and I remember being slim was expected of us. There were always little jabs if one of us was eating too much or going up a size in clothes. And all though as a teenager I was actually pretty slim, it’s in my genes to be ‘thick’ and I always had thick thighs, bum, breasts and stretchmarks on my hips. The women on my dad’s side are not ‘small’ women and it was pretty obvious that although I was slim then, my body was taking that shape. I remember a few times my mum would tell me to ‘be careful before I end up looking like them’ like it was something I could control. So from then I was always self conscious about my size. Once I hit my early 20s, the inevitable happened and I started rounding out slightly and I remember constantly trying (and failing) to loose weight. Looking back now, I wasn’t even ‘big’ at all. I just happened to move from being a size 8 to 10-12. But it was really something that was bothering me.

I was dating a guy who actually quite liked my size so I stopped stressing about it so much, but he made a comment about the stretchmarks on my hips. He said and I quote “It looks like you have the map of the Circle and District Line on your hips.” (Google the ‘TFL London Underground Map’ if you don’t understand this comment so you can get some context.) He found this comment hilarious but I was devastated. I had now gone from worrying about my size to now feeling terrible about the stretchmarks I could really do nothing about!

I could sit here and write pages and pages about comments made about my size, my body, about the time a guy called me ‘hench’ because I had gained a little weight. (Also I should mention, I’m 5ft 2 so every tiny bit of weight I gain shows and looks like I’ve put on a stone when really I’ve probably gained only 3 lbs!)

But anyway, let’s fast forward to the age of 27 when I became a mother. When I became pregnant, I was trying to loose weight (again) so I was pretty cheesed off that my work was now being undone! And of course, your body changes after you have a baby and I knew this but I didn’t realise how much my body would change. My once perky boobs where now hanging and I didn’t even breastfeed because my milk never came in. My stomach- stretchmark ridden, loose skin, overhang, c-section scar, c-section pouch. I looked at myself and all I used to think was “my body is ruined”. I became depressed partly due to this and guess what my coping mechanism was… eating! And you guessed it. I gained loads of weight, which of course made me feel worse. I was like this for the first year after having my son but slowly I started to accept the body I now had and I did manage to loose the over-eating weight.

My son is now 3 and when I tell you I have never loved my body as much as I do now- even before I had a baby, I never loved myself and my body as I do now! Yes, I’m a size 14 instead of a size 8. Yes, I have an abundance of stretchmarks, loose skin and a caesarean scar. But I’m amazing, I’m beautiful. Every single woman is beautiful, regardless of the shape or size. And this is what I wanted to incorporate into my candles. It’s also why my body candles have names. They are not just gorgeous looking candles. They represent someone out there. As I grow my candle business, I will be releasing more beautiful bodies to represent more beautiful women and I cannot wait!

To check out the body candles stocked now, click here.

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