Grrrl Fest @ The Silent Barn
603 Bushwick Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11206
United States
40° 41' 55.1796" N, 73° 56' 3.21" W

I did not ask to look the way I do


I did not ask for the curves of my waist to fall so deep that you cannot find your way out of them

Or for the the strips of gold that run through my skin


I did not ask to be stared at

By the middle aged man on the street corner

Or that police officer on the train

Who I did not have to look at

To know that he was undressing me with his mind

Caressing every one of my curves, from my breasts

To my waist

Down to my thighs

Hugging every part of me with his eyes

Deceiving people with his badge into thinking they are safe

While he was the only one that made me feel like I was in danger


I was only 10 years old


And even as a 16 year old now

I cannot look at a police officer without cringing

Or having this feeling of hatred come over me

As if it were their fault


I spent the next four years

tying sweaters around my waist to hide my ass

Wearing extra large black hoodies in 90 degree weather

To hide the body I was never taught to appreciate

My body makes grown men become dazed

so much so that they have to make sure I am aware of it

While with each remark

I only hate myself more and more

Each comment piercing through the skin they wished was theirs

Creating scars on my flesh

So deep filled with the traces of scum that were left by the person who created them in the first place


I should not be afraid to go outside

Or feel the need to conceal these size 14 thighs from the world

Or have to hear from the boy that I've liked for four years that "I'm cute for a big girl"

Don't tell me you would rather just have me as a friend because you and I both know

The connection between us is something that neither of us has found anywhere else

The intangible love you have for me does not surpass the actuality of me because you won't let it be

The numbers on this scale I stand on  are only what you see

And it's not fair that I see so much more in you


I did not ask to look the way I do

And I did not ask for the irrational shame I drag along

Overflowing with ignorance and fear

Like an anchor tied to my ankles

It is hard for me to travel freely without feeling suffocated

And I don't seem to understand why

It has become a universal language

to hate oneself


Poetry Terms Demonstrated: 


Need to talk?

If you ever need help or support, we trust CrisisTextline.org for people dealing with depression. Text HOME to 741741