If she was your regular street girl, you would have taken her for an 18 year old girl because of her stature and tiny voice. Meanwhile, she celebrated her 30th birthday this year.
Although, Simi Ogunleye’s voice remains a blessing especially in terms of her career. Her stature and her tiny voice were her insecurities while growing up. She wished she was a bit bigger and her voice, a little deeper.
In a chat with Genevieve magazine, Simi speaks more on her insecurities and bullying.
On her insecurities
I felt as if people were taking me for granted because of my size. People would often treat me like a child and my tiny voice did not help matters.
I remember when I was 27 and had gone to pick up a cake for my birthday. There was a queue and this lady began acting rude towards me because I told her to get in line. I didn’t have any makeup on so I looked much younger than my age and she began talking to me like it was a child who spoke to her.
There were days I wished that my voice was a little deeper than it is. There was this time I was on the bus with my mum and I said something that only a grown person would say and one of the passengers looked back to see who had spoken and I heard someone say “I thought she was a child.” I used to be embarrassed about it and had wished that my voice had more authority but that was then.
I remember getting advances from secondary school boys still in their uniforms even after I had graduated. I would just laugh at myself when things like that happen, “Ah, see my life, I don suffer!”. But, because it happened to me a lot, I got used to it over time. I can’t change it.
I’m very hard to bully and the credit for that goes to my mum. I didn’t grow up in a house where bullying was allowed. Nobody ever tried to make me feel like I was less than them. I always knew how to speak up for myself and people around me. And if anybody tried to bully me, I somehow found the strength and will to shut it down.
Society itself is a bully. The idea of societal confirmation or validation is bullying. People think that their opinion of how you look should matter. Colourism exists in societies where there are different races and colours. This makes people think that light-skinned people have a better advantage to get things to work for them. I’ve never felt like that. I feel like the level of attention we give to such issues make them worse.
For example, if someone tells me that I’m dark-skinned and still beautiful. I always tell them that I know. You don’t have to tell me. I love being dark-skinned, I like dark-skinned guys. Having great, healthy skin matters more to me than the colour of the skin.
Society’s standards affect people. Depending on how strong or thick-skinned one is, it could affect them, bring them down, and make them want to change who they are. But they can decide to brush it off because, at the end of the day, people will have their opinions.