Gugu Nk­abinde


Marie Claire (South Africa) - - Bodt Positivity - Fol­low the story of Gugu Intimates and shop the lat­est nude un­der­wear col­lec­tion Guguin­ti­

Isn’t it funny how, one day, you wake up and the de­sire to truly love your­self has shot way up your list of quests to con­quer? And how, af­ter that day, noth­ing is ever the same? You can never not be this per­son who wants to make a bet­ter ef­fort at it.

Go­ing through my jour­nals and so­cial-me­dia posts over the years re­mains one of my favourite ways to re­flect on my life. It is there where I can pin­point the steps – big and small – into my­self. I am kinder to my­self now. When I used to say ‘I love my­self’, it was tem­pered with the idea that the proof of that self-love was in how oth­ers loved me or per­ceived me. To be at a point now when the phrase ‘I love my­self’ is about me and me alone, has been noth­ing short of an ad­ven­ture.

I’ve also evolved in the way I carry my­self. I’ve shaved my head and have never loved this face more – this face that I used to hide be­hind vol­umes of hair. I edit my­self less too, be it the images of my­self I post or when I act in re­sponse to fear of any kind of judge­ment.

How do you start a busi­ness whose vi­sion is to in­spire womxn of all shades, shapes and sizes to feel beau­ti­ful and com­fort­able in their own skin – all while work­ing with your own self-love ‘stuff’? I knew from the start that I can’t in­spire a vi­sion I don’t be­lieve in for my­self. When I first started work­ing on Gugu Intimates, I re­alised how much my self-talk af­fected the qual­ity of my life. I was mor­ti­fied at how I would shut my­self down for dif­fer­ent things – my skin, weight, laugh. I caught my­self us­ing words that, if I over­heard them be­ing said to some­one else, I’d prob­a­bly call the Hu­man Rights Com­mis­sion.

These days, I have de­cided to al­ways hear my­self out, and then to play judge and jury; as in, is that ab­so­lutely true? The straight-talk in the mir­ror has be­come so much more sin­cere. I hold my­self to re­plac­ing each neg­a­tive state­ment with one that is true – even if, at first, I may not en­tirely be­lieve it. Be­cause when I start by accepting my­self, what­ever the trait or fea­ture, I can then start to inch closer to lov­ing my­self from there. This is based on one of my newer be­liefs: that self-love is truly an essential in­gre­di­ent to liv­ing well. The more pos­i­tive you are about your­self, the bet­ter you re­late to the world, and the bet­ter you cre­ate.

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