I Am...


Cincinnati, OH
4175 Hamilton Ave. Apt. 2
United States
39° 9' 46.2348" N, 84° 32' 24.5832" W

I Am…


When I came into adolescence,

It wasn’t what I thought it would be.

I thought people would accept

The things I had inside of me.

Accept me as a person,

Not judge me for my outside.

But now I realize I cannot blame them.

I look at the many pictures of girls,

The ones in magazines and on TV,

The ones prancing around with their pearly white smiles

Grinning all the while,

With their perfect complexions and pretty long legs,

Casting shadows on the healthy images we portray of ourselves.

This fad of telling girls they must be perfect,

They must look flawless,

That they must never show that their legs aren’t shaved

Or that their faces aren’t spotless,

Infected with acne and blotches,

Has contaminated the minds of several young females.

This vogue that tells them that if they are black they must be “small-waisted, big bootied, big-chested with thick thighs and light to medium-skinned”,

This obsession that casts stereotypes what we women are,

That tell me as a future Black woman what I should be,

Telling me how I should represent my race.

A race that has always been known for the curves and bumps that make it beautiful.

A race always envied for the big-breasted, big-butted, big-thighed young women,

A race resented for the many shades that we have,

A race eternally beautiful no matter the shape or size of the person.

For it was the slaves masters who took the virginity of us women because of our voluptuous shapes and exotic tones.

Now we deny and let ourselves be manipulated because of a fad that our jealous mistresses created.

Now we listen to these images telling us not to be too dark or too light,

Dismissing the fact that we cannot change what color any more than we can change the rotation of the Earth.

Now, because of a fad, we let our eyes be blinded by the media.

Now, because of a craze, we deny ourselves and our history.

We let them influence the way we define beauty.

We let them influence the way we define grace.

We let them keep us from seeing the beauty that the others around us possess.

“We let them” is the worst part about it.

“We let them”

“We let them”

These key words, although so small mean so much.

It means that we gave them power.

We gave them control over us,

We gave them the right to make us oblivious to real beauty,

We gave them the power,

The power to shape our thinking.

The power to make us feel the way we do.

Does this mean that in fact the “them” and the “they” are actually the “us” and “we”?

Does this mean that we blind our own eyes?

Does this mean that we influence the way we define beauty?

Does this mean that we keep us from seeing the beauty that we possess?

If that is so, then let us put the blame upon ourselves.

Let us take responsibility in knowing that we helped our daughters,

Our sisters,

Our aunts,

Our mothers,

Our grandmothers go in a downward spiral of self inflicting pain and hatred sprouted up from the roots of vanity and perfectionism.

If that is so, then let us accept the fault as our own.

If that is so, let the we’s that see the light, stand up, and speak aloud:

“We are beautiful!”

“We are bold!”

“We are full-figured, dark-skinned, light-skinned, flat-chested, big-breasted, bald-headed, long-haired and free from grasp of ourselves!”

“We refuse to be smaller than we are destined to be!”

But in the end,

When it comes down to it,

How can they not judge me?

How can we not judge me?

We judge us.

It is how the we and the us are.

They/We are jealous because I am confident with my big thighs, big breasts, big hips, and my big butt.

TV telling them/us to look this way if they wish to be a star.

Neglect how you feel.

Be molded to be the best “Miss Skin N’Bones Teen USA” you can be.

Be anorexic

Be bulimic

Be dedicated to your pain.

Everything you do is for their/our personal gain.

“Suck it up and take it like a beautiful woman does,” they/we say.

Do what they/we want!

Be a size zero!

If you’re not, starve yourself until you are.

They/We look at me.

They/We tell me I’m nothing.

They/We think I wish I were them/us.

But I stare at them/us.

And feel pity for them/us.

And wonder what they/us see when they/us look in the mirror.

And wonder do their/our mothers notice them/us.

Do their/our mothers worry about them/us?

Feel for them/us?

If they do, don’t they/we notice their/our sunken cheekbones?

Their/our obsessive behavior?

Their/our unhealthy hungry looks?

Or do they/we think their/our daughters are beautiful?

Have they/we helped influence and foster those closes mindsets that make all teenage girls feel less than they/we are not skinny?

Have they/us helped make their/our daughters feel the pain that eats them/us from the both the inside and outside?

Have they/we helped kill their daughters in everyway possible: mentally, physically, and emotionally?

Have they/we ignored the things that are right in front of their/our face?

How can they/we not see?

I refuse to let anyone mold me into anything other than what God has planned.

For those girls who are less fortunate

For the daughters of the world who can’t escape

Them who can’t escape from themselves/ourselves

Them who can’t escape their/our mothers

Them who can’t escape from the pretty small girls with the white smiles and long legs in the magazines

Them who can’t escape from the beautiful perfect celebrities on TV,

I feel deeply and passionately for you.

I’ll love you for yourself!

I’ll love you because you don’t love you!

I’ll love you because in this cold world it’s hard to find love!

I’ll love you just because!

I look at them/us in their/our misery.

And then I look at myself.

I know what I don’t want to be.

I know I don’t want to be confined by my own pain.

I don’t want to be miserable.

I want to be me.

I want to be the person who accepts me.

I am the person who accepts me.

I am the person who tells me how I should look!

I am the person who looks in the mirror and realizes that I should change for no one other than myself.

I am…



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