Matters of a Superficial Nature


It’s a fact, humans are superficial beings, the degree of superficiality varying from individual to individual. When choosing someone to date, sometimes we’re too focused on the physical aspect that we fail to see what lies beneath the surface. Ask yourself how many times you’ve rejected someone simply because they’re too short, too skinny, too fat, too dark, “not your type” or they have a physical imperfection or flaw that you just can’t look beyond. We are all guilty of it. Just look back at your own past and think of that person you didn’t give a second look, only to realize much later that they’re actually quite a catch.

Boys in their late teens and into their early to mid 20s are generally very focused on the physical. All they want is a seriously hot chic to massage their egos and make them look good in public, personality (or lack thereof) notwithstanding. As we get older, we tend to focus more on what lies beneath the surface. We’re more interested in a chic’s intellect, character, principles and other qualities. Are we compatible? Is she someone that I can see myself with one year, two years down the line?

On the other hand, sometimes we’re driven to be superficial, not because of we want to be, but because we feel that we’re driven to be that way by the “expectations” of society.

Where’s this coming from? Well, I’ve had a crush on this chic for about a year now, and I’ve done absolutely nothing about it. And I’m not likely to do anything about it. She’s immensely gorgeous, her face is a delight to see every day coz she’s always so radiant and bubbly. She’s great to hang out with. She’s brilliant, funny, very silly sometimes but when she puts the jokes aside, can give you logic that defies her tender years. But this is where the “problem” comes in. She’s fat very much on the plus size.

Not that I have a problem with that, to be honest. I’ve been known to date one or two plus sized women. Skinny chics (who I call coat hangers) do nothing for me. Most men actually love a voluptuous woman over a skinny one any day. Forget the models you see on TV, they look more like posters for a World Food Programme campaign. (Did anyone watch the recent Miss World Kenya fiasco?)

But sometimes the things that people say are extremely hurtful and however much I try to ignore such comments, they really do bother me.

Two years ago, I had a fling with a curvy chic. When I say curvy, I mean that she had generous breasts, a small waist and ample hips, ass and thighs. Not much flab going on in the midsection and all that. She had a former friend (I have no idea what their beef was about) who I came to meet around the same time. And once she found out that we were having a thing, she began making very nasty comments about the chic.

“How’s your fat chic today?”
“How can you make out with that chic in daylight, kwani you can’t see the cellulite?”

The first time she made such a comment, I ignored it. The second time I asked her why she would say such nasty things about this chic, knowing her personality better than I did because they used to be close pals for a very long time. I asked her to keep me out of their personal issues. The third time I warned her that any more such comments would invite some form of physical violence. That was an empty threat coz I don’t violate women. But it did the trick, only that it was too late. Because every time I met up with the chic, all I could see was stretch marks and cellulite. I stopped seeing her for the person that she was and for the qualities that attracted me to her in the first place. Needless to say, that story died shortly thereafter.

During that time, one evening while hanging out with the boys, they made the now infamous “Actros” remark, (though it was in reference to a different girl). Initially it sounded like a harmless joke, just the boys ribbing one of their own kama kawaida. But with time, that comment sunk in real deep and I started thinking about it. “Is that what they really think? All this time we’ve all hang out together and today is when I get to find out what you really think about the girl I’m dating? Does she form the basis of conversation whenever you get together in my absence? How shallow can you be? She may not be your type, but I hoped that by now you’d have seen for yourselves what I loved about her personality.”

Back to the issue at hand. As I said, I do not intend to make any moves on this chic. I don’t think I can tolerate any more of these comments. Sometimes people don’t realize the effects of the snide remarks that they make. Sometimes they don’t even have to say a word, you can see it from the plastic smiles on their faces, betrayed by the looks in their eyes. And it’s not just from the boys (coz I now know better than to discuss anything serious with them) it’s general comments and looks from all over the place until one starts to feel out of place like one of them dreadlocked beachboys walking around with a middle aged mzungu woman.

Question is, does that make me superficial? The fact that I’ve been reduced to thinking along their line of thought? The fact that I’d now put my own interests aside for the sake of not being offended by their comments? The fact that I’d want to protect her from such nasty remarks by not getting involved with her in the first place? It wouldn’t be fair on her at all.

Is superficiality something that’s intrinsic? Are we allowed to be superficial sometimes? Is it fair to be?

PS: Please don’t give me any of that “watasema watachoka” and “if you really like her, go for it” nonsense coz I’ve heard it all before. Think outside the box.

What’s on my Playlist?
Kiss an angel good morning – Charley Pride

19 thoughts on “Matters of a Superficial Nature

  1. As a woman who is “size sexy” (as the comedian Monique would call it), I’d tell you that all those comments you were hearing, believe me we’ve heard them all. In this day and age, people I believe are the RUDEST they have ever been. And they think their comments aren’t inappropriate simply because they feel that they need to state the point that you’re bigger than them, and what your limitations should be.

    Long story short, life has made a number of us thick skinned. Now, for the average person, this amount of abuse is hard to stomach. And you have every right to want to protect youself. But it would be incorrect for you to say that you’re saving the lady you’re interested in the insults, because really you’re not. If it isn’t coming from your friends, then it’s coming from someone else.

    I wouldn’t call you superficial, it’s self preservation. Because really, why would one put themselves in the line of fire if they have a choice. It’s basically just down to you, looking inside yourself and deciding if it’s worth it for YOU to go through with it.

  2. I think being superficial comes naturally for humans. It doesn’t make it a good thing or one that they should tolerate. I have met people i didn’t think I’d like but after knowing them, they become very beautiful because of their personality.
    What I’m I saying? You have the right to be attracted to the woman you date, regardless of other opinions, if you like em small, like I do go for it, if large be it, why not. He is wallowing in folly who thinks this gorgeous bodies stay like this forever….a good personality, however…

  3. Love the post- totally- but left me wondering! You do call skinny ass women ‘hangers’ and ‘wall hangings’ and other names to the effect- so whats the difference between you and and the friends who made such remarks- because you do it yourself- yes you guessed right-am one of the skinnies-

  4. Well, you shouldn’t care what your friends decide the definition for ‘beauty’ is. Give yourself and your friends time, at some point in the future it will matter more to you what makes a woman than just how she looks. Trust me.

    Oh, and NO woman wants to be with a man who is insincere in his affections of her. So, if every time you look at her all you see is er, cellulite as opposed to the real person she is?? Do her a favor and don’t bother hooking up with her.

  5. call it like it is… if you’re looking to leave ur chile jus cos she’s a lil’heavy(pun reserved)…jus cos ur boys said..or cos they look at her funny…and yet.u admit she’s a catch in everyway in ur own eyes…then yes,by jove…you are being shallow! I say defend what u like, forget the voices around and jus enjoy urselof!…anyways, i wont stand here on my high pedestal and give a speech…i have been known to wave away many a short man…*looks down in shame…and karma does u in…cos during that time its like i became a short man magnet…and now i know,that was shallow of me..but hey,its a hard

  6. You could be the person that changes your boys’ perceptions by pursuing what you know is good for you.

    As Matheka asks, what is there to last?

    • Agreed with Gream and Mutheka. The thing about is that at the end of the day, we’re all cavemen and cave women. Women will still be intrinsically attracted to a certain kind of man and men the same. Deriving from the norm/standard is always given a sneery side eye when in fact, there’s no real ‘norm’ or no set ‘standard’.

      So while there are societal considerations to be taken, dating is not a beauty pageant; it’s an emotional investment. And it all depends on whether you’re in for a quick buck or the long stretch.

      2 pennies.

  7. Excellent post. It just goes to show there are a lot of ill-mannered people out there. We deride blacks, Jews, Spivs, Pakis, fat people, thin people, albinos, cripples, gays, lesbians…If we only stopped sometimes to dig a little deeper.

    I agree superficiality – the younger sibling of prejudice and bias – is a common human trait but what for me makes it especially galling is when one actively voices their superficiality. It’s unfortunate when kids do this but pure malice when carried out by adults.

    Keep it to yourself if thinking of unleashing your opinion about someone’s weight, body, disability, appearance and am sorry, there’s no thinking out of the box about this because one consequence is a lot of ‘could have beens’. Many people have lost someone who was potentially ‘the one’ because they couldn’t rise above their superficiality.

    Instead, choosing self preservation and living to fight another day is the path of least resistance, that many choose to follow. I am ashamed that I once let a so called ‘fattie’ go who was in all aspects a magnificent woman. Extravagantly proportioned, pretty, elegant, dignified, prone to spectacularly ostentatious nail polish. I could go on… It was my loss!

    I read somewhere about a hunchback who married a beautiful lady, against everyone’s protestations and they lived happily. Point is, we are all guilty of this at some point in our lives but it is a choice we have to make, deliberately and resolutely to give another human being a fair hearing.

  8. I had this friend in high school. We weren’t tight or anything, but we hung out a lot. She wasn’t popular at all. Most people didn’t like her, though I never bothered to find out why.

    One day, another pal pointed out that she hated the girl’s pity-parties and whiny voice. The pity thing didn’t bug me, but from then on, every time she spoke, all i could hear was *squeak*squeak*squeak*whinge* It was hard to hang out after that, and years later, i still feel sad about that. Not guilty, just sad.

  9. Plus, now that I think about it, I turned down a really fun guy who asked me out. He was very entertaining, and great company, but I hated how people looked at us. I could just imagine what they were thinking and saying. My daughter called him ‘The Grandfather Man’. He was 60.

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  11. Question: what’s the different between the people that refer to plus size women as ‘Actros’ and this author who refers to skinny women as ‘coat hangers’?

    Answer: No difference.

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  13. people will always say whatever they want to say, about anything, IF you let them. i think there is a quote to that effect, just forgotten it. Try not caring. Coz i think your problem comes from the fact that you care too much about what people say. you will be surprised at how people will just get used to the fact that she is your girl and some of your boys might actually go as far as trying to slice you. its a psychological thing…

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