Adamandia and I are very close friends and, co-incidently, neighbours.It is one of our most delicious indulgences to sit together at her kitchen table after a hard day at work and unpack over a martini rosso on crushed ice.

CS Lewis once wrote: “Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another, “What! You too? I thought I was the only one”.

That quote describes those conversations between us.


We would drop our jaws with incredulous astonishment as we revealed our insecurities to each other.

”No?”, we gasped over gulps of aperitif, as we looked at each other, totally unable to believe that the beautiful woman sitting across from us was experiencing this type of type of insecurity.

I mean, I think you will agree when you meet her later – she is totally gorgeous. I can’t think of a single time that I have introduced her to someone who hasn’t commented afterwards on her breathe taking beauty.

And she reported the same experience with regards to me.

So there we were. Both seeing the magnificence in each other – but totally blind to it in ourselves.

The more we can look honestly at ourselves, with the kindest compassion, the more we can befriend all parts of our self.

The things we like.

The things we don’t like.

When we can look at ourselves with compassion and get to know how we work, well, everybody benefits. Like the proverbial girl next door.

OK, let’s change a pace a little here.

Let’s call a spade a shovel.

In order to keep our self destructive demons at bay, we really owe it to ourselves to maintain a healthy self esteem.

In fact, we should be proud that we see and struggle with the contradictions of the world – and yet still see that it an important to ensure that we have the confidence we need to be ourselves.

Like it or not, a big part of that is being happy with the way we look.

And by this, I am not advocating drastic measures at all. In fact:

No diets.

No Plastic Surgery.

No prescription drugs.

Just working what you got.

If you go into any bookshop – we can all find a variety of inspiring glossy publications written by cucumber sandwich and mushy pea eating fashionistas who have great ideas and useful tips.

Many of us have sat, glued to our TV’s, watching prolific and entertaining insights – covering every angle from how to look good with your broeks off – to how to choose the broeks that you eventually decide to put on.Oh, and let us not forget those delightful corn dog moffies who transformed the average Joe on the street into the epitome of the male Adonis , with a simple shake of their limp wrists.

These prolific gurus have offered us advise, jam-packed with skillful tricks and key formulas to assist us in transforming our images and capitalising on how best to shake what our mamma’s gave us.

Imbued with their inspiration, we are rearing at the bit to capitalise on our unique selling points.

We are hooked.


Many of these volumes are currently collecting dust on our bookshelves too.

So where did our enthusiasm fall flat?

Perhaps the answer lies in the fact that when these pearls of wisdom have been designed by the Ambercombie and Fitch /Marks and Spencer state of mind, they may as well be pearls to swine.

How disappointing to page through these books which punt international solutions. The need may be universal – but the answer is local.How can we capitalise on ourselves when these indispensable tools can only be acquired across the Atlantic Ocean.

A biltong, braaivleis and koeksister instruction manual with tips and guidelines as accessible as Mrs Balls Chutney or Ouma Rusks.

And you can pick them up without putting on your flippers and snorkel.

Self Esteem is how you feel about yourself. Self Image is about how you see yourself and how you believe others see you.

They are closely connected because if you have a poor opinion of yourself your self esteem will be low

This may be how you see yourself physically or your opinion of who and what you are which is normally called self concept. It is important as it affects your self esteem and confidence.

Self image includes stuff like:

 How you see your personality

 What kind of person you think you are

 What you believe others think of you

 How much you like yourself or you think others like you

 The status you feel you have

 What you think you look like

So, if I pick up another book that refers to body shape in terms of Apple, Pear, Pencil? – I think I will throw up.

I can just imagine the question being asked like an airhostess would say “chicken or beef?”

I know we all come in different shapes and sizes: some of us are tall and thin, others short and shapely and that knowing your shape is the first step in finding out how to make the most of your body. Instead of popping the “Chicken or Beef approach, we asked woman if they could drawn themselves as a stick figure – what would they look like.

My sister and I sat one day at Cresta having a cup of coffee when the thought came to mind – and I started drawing the pictures on the back of an old envelope. The results were hysterical – we laughed until the tears started streaming. But once the laughter died down – everyone looked at their picture – and nodded slowly … we laugh, they said – but yes – that is how I see me.
Fuck, I thought. This is terrible – I don’t see my friends the way they see themselves – but – I recognised how – when I reviewed the picture of me – a wave of recognition had crossed my mind too.

We had to do something about this...

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