By Erickka Sy Savané
Young, Ivorian artist Latitia Ky is someone to watch. Using hair (yes hair!) she’s creating beautiful, thought-provoking images to spread body positivity and draw attention to the subtle and not-so-subtle ways that we body shame young girls. Here’s a story, in her own words, taken from her IG that may have you thinking differently about some of the ways that you may be body shaming a young girl without even knowing it.
Latitia writes of this image via her IG:
I never struggled with my body, I always liked it. What I never liked were the comments. In relation to my body I have big boobs, which is not the problem even if I’m not always happy with them. People might think, I should be and even if I am very Ok. with that the most time, it’s not always funny. When i was younger (about 14), many people, especially women called me a whore, for just having them. I often got told that I am too slutty and my shirts are too sexy. The thing is, i never wore anything the others don’t, just normal shirts, it just looked different on me. People won’t belive how many adult (in my case women) assault young teenager girls. When you are 14 and haven’t even thought about sex, being a “whore” really confuses. In the other case for the men you’re also just boobs, nothing else. It’s the only thing they can see.
I don’t dress nondescript, I don’t want to. I can’t see why I should dress very careful just because anybody feels attacked by my body. I wear what I like, and I do what I like, not to impress any men, not to be “sexy” for society. I do it just for me because I want to.
Commenters could definitely relate…
–“I feel this story personally because I know what it feels like even though I am only 14”
–“It’s nice to know that people experience and have experienced the same things as me at such a young age… People think I’m “asking” for attention when all I want is the opposite. I’ve been going through this since I was 11, and it’s been getting worse recently. I’m slowly learning to love myself and accept myself for the way I am.”
–“I’ve had similar experiences my whole life and its nice to hear I’m not alone. I’ve been told such things even from family members and its shocking and it hurts. My whole life I’ve heard stuff about my body because I’m curvier and honestly this whole series us amazing. It’s such a blessing to hear that other people understand and have been there too.”
–“You’re amazing!! This art brings me joy and I even share with my 9 year old daughter!!”
Latitia also writes that she was shamed in her teens for being too skinny.
“Does she eat?” “I feel like she’s going to break,” “she looks like she is sick” “she’s awful.”
“When I was 18, a lot of things changed for me. I have met, discovered people and experienced events that helped me to love myself as I am, and this growing self-confidence in my physicality has affected my entire life. I started to dream, to have projects and to believe that i was able to achieve them despite my limitations.
Read more of this extremely intelligent young woman’s posts on her instagram page and share them with a teen who might need to hear what she has to say!
Were you body shamed as a teen for being too skinny or too developed?