I never thought that in my life, there will ever come a time when it will be appropriate to make fun of female pot bellies.
But over Christmas, while in some party, as people were ridiculing my protruding belly, the joke turned on the 30-somethings women.
It turned out these women have even bigger bellies. We had a good hearty laugh about it and strangely enough, no one was offended.
Whereas we have looked the other way, generally avoiding the politics of the female body, today I want to ask in the most loving and respectful way that women must never get comfortable in their potbellies.
There are several theories why women have potbellies. For some, it is the post-birth body that is undergoing changes to adjust into a more maternal frame. Some claim it is contraceptives that are taking a toll on the female body.
But I am talking about women who drink beer and rarua goat ribs like no woman’s business. I cringe every time I see a Harrier-driving woman drinking Guinness, a beer that even men have ditched because it is just too dense.
There are some beer brands that have been labelled feminine, and I wish women stuck to them. Every time I see a woman with a brown or green bottle, I cringe, because that is how, around Nairobi, every adult now possesses a potbelly...and we are supposed to be cool with it.
We can’t. Lately, I have been noticing more and more men are being concerned about the female potbelly. It never used to be a point of discussion when weighing on the physical aspects of women. But increasingly, the line, “But ako na potty…” has become a stock phrase among my male friends. That belly is turnoff for many men, if women really want to know.
Unlike men who can use their money to get laid, for women there is no such alternative. The very reason that women used to hate the potbelly in men, is the very reason men don’t like it on women: It is unseemly, unsexy and if both man and woman possess it, it definitely gets in the way when it matters.
Women can defend themselves and justify it, but if we drop the politics of it all and embrace the positive side, it is a good thing if women considered exercising to reduce the belly.
Most women are well aware how socially invisible they become the older they grow. And many spend so much time and money caking their bodies in makeup and using expensive cosmetics. But sometimes a good shape sells more.
Men often take notice of an older woman who is well kept. It is why we have such terms as cougar and MILFs. According to my male friends who like aged wine, they say it tastes better. Good skills too. But you can’t have skills if you are not flexible. Tummies take this flexibility away.
There are those who nature has given sexy bodies that rarely get fat, even if they ate a whale every day! But to most of us, we must be mindful of what we eat and put in a bit of exercise.
The first advice I can give women is that they should not give up or resign to fate. They can start by cutting down on their alcohol intake and red meat. Everything in moderation. Secondly, hit the gym. It is difficult the first few months, but once you get used to it, you can slow down on the gym, and just eat well and exercise mildly. But most importantly, pay attention to it.
We can’t use the excuse that what is good for a man is good for a woman too. Or what a man can do a woman can do better. Women ought to draw a line.
Be sexy this year. We care. Trust me.