They told me that to be perfect

I had to fit into a mannequin shell, and

Be sewn into their



Perfection was the limit.


By the time I was 11 years old,

I realized that I was nowhere near


My skin was red instead of porcelain,

My legs were too short,

And my weight was too high.


I became


with numbers.


63 inches,

128 pounds,

And a 6 out of 10 by some stupid

Elementary school boys’ standards.


Numbers sat in the pit of my stomach and

I wanted them to be


Because I knew they were proportional

To the number on the scale.


The metronome of counting numbers in my head made me want to starve myself

Because if they could tear me to shreds like paper

I might as well look like it.


As the number on the scale dwindled

And the distance between my thighs got greater

I realized that the distance between myself and

Everyone else

Increased as well.


I was the same girl

With different proportions.

128 to 110





Being a size zero

Will not change

Who I am.


I will refuse to let numbers define me.


Maybe my skin isn’t flawless

And my legs aren’t long and thin.

Maybe my laugh is a little too loud,

And I fear things that I shouldn’t.

Maybe I’m a little bit awkward

And my mind is filled with dissonance,

But I know I can smile with reassurance

Because I don’t have to worry that my smile is too big

Or too small, because it shows that I’m finally


With who

I am.


I do not need to conceal myself to be accepted.

The mirror and the scale do not determine my self-worth.

My flaws are my strengths, and they constitute the pieces of me

That I’ve broken and and put back together.

I accept that I’m not perfect,

But I  know that I’m beautiful because

Despite any harsh comments thrown my way,

I will always be myself.

This poem is about: 
My community
Our world


Need to talk?

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