Because I'm Worth It

“Look at our beautiful granddaughter!”

Thank you, grandma. So at school I learned-

“I love it when your hair is nice and long.”

I know, mom. I have this project for school-

“I like your hair short.”

I know, papa. In chemistry at school we’re learning-

“I hope you’re wearing shorts under that.”

I am, dad. Guess what I learned at school-

“Molly, please go back in your room and change.”

But, mom, I’m going to be late to school if I-

“Where’re you going little lady?”

Just heading to school. Have a nice day too.

“You need to put some lipstick on. How about I take you to get a manicure?”

I think I’m okay, Nana. I’m just going to school.

“That skirt is too short.”

I was just trying it on to see what it looked like. I won’t wear it to school.

“Well that skirt is too tight.”

Mom, everything that even remotely shows that I have a butt, you hate. I’ll wear it outside of school.

“Molly, put on something else other than those high-tops for goodness sake. Your teachers are going to think you’re homeless.”

...Alright...But I like them and they’re comfortable to wear to school.

“I bet you have all the boys all over you at school.”

School. Yes, School! Wait, what?

“I said I’m sure you’ve got a special boy at school.”


I have much bigger worries than boys at school who feel they have the right to rate me by the size of my breasts and not by my algebra average.

I have much bigger worries than if my lips have that feminine pop of pigment.

I have much bigger worries than if I’ve over-worn these shoes until their soles feel just as worn as mine and they’re screaming at me to give them a damn break.

I have much bigger worries than if I should take out my three-day-old braids so that my hair will wrap around my face and accentuate my lips that are exhausted from being forced to curl upwards because you “want to see that pretty smile, honey.”

I have much bigger worries than anyone’s opinion of how I look.


But don’t get me wrong,

It’s up to me if I want to wear a dress and feel great in it.

I can wear makeup and not be insecure.

If I want to be 5’4” instead of 5’1” for a night, then I’ll put on my heels and endure the pain.

I can choose the jeans that hug my figure a little tighter over the ones that say I’m less of a distraction.


But it's up to me.



Please stop looking at the size of my bra and look at the size of my brain.

Please stop asking if I have a sweet boyfriend and ask me if I have qualified teachers.

Please stop telling me to stop trying to look like a twenty-year-old and tell me not to stop trying to get into college.


Please stop commenting on the quality of my appearance and comment on the quality of my education.


Because I love it, because it empowers me, and because I’m worth it.


This poem is about: 
My family
My community
My country
Our world


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