An Ode to Make-Up

Dear make-up,

thank you.

Thank you for being

a blindfold

to the hungry eyes,

a bandage

to the fresh wounds

a towel

to the naked girl,

thank you.

Thank you for contorting

an appearance

as painful to the eyes

as my own skin,

thank you.


This is an ode to you, make up.

you’ve allowed me to make friends

with that horrid reflection.

that dark picture

that grows on glass

making every reflective surface

uninviting yet incredibly addicting.

the T.V. glass tells us

our bodies are distorted

the mirror glass sends us

reflections contorted

the doctor tells me I’m healthy

my eyes tell me I’m diseased

with the dire infection of

the uglies.

side effects?

thick in the wrong places,

teeth decorated with braces,

hair prevailing,

skin scaling,

attempts to appreciate reflections

are unavailing

upon the sea of ugly



so I must thank you,


for deterring that reflection.

because nothing burns the eyes

like seeing your own complexion.

I carefully peruse

and pick and choose

every flaw

in utter awe

at the immense degree of ugly I saw


so, thank you.

i truly appreciate

your skill to alleviate

these detailed inspections

of my own complexion.

thank you for

painting gender roles on my eyes

with that mascara called Oppression.


My favorite is the foundation

the foundation of fear

you help to make ALL of this clear

to predators that they are the hunters

and i am the deer


or maybe my favorite is the lip stick?

sticking my lips


because any woman who asks for equality

is a dirty, raging hoe

or maybe she’s a feminist...

but who really knows?


And those moments when i wash

all of the dirt and make-up off my face

I also scrub off

the number on the scale beneath my feet

the weak, inflicted smile on my face

the inferiority imposed by the media

the unrealistic


expectations of beauty

and the cat calls

and booty calls

77 cents and that is all

The “c’mon just do it for me”

the “she deserved it, didn’t she?”


Once I rinse them down into the drain

scrubbed clean off my skin

bare face

naked soul

I must thank you from within

for always covering

and contorting

this creature

so pure and raw

because, of course, her imperfections

are societal flaws.

it is impossible to see

make-up-less woman

and look at her in awe


i could not appreciate it more

that I do not have to see my eyes lined with anything

but sticky black paint.

I must thank you for hiding

flaws of my face

I cordially thank you,

For carefully applying

society’s affliction

upon my bare skin,

because God forbid,

if I really saw my reflection

behind that cloud of powder,

that shadow on my lids,


I might even see

a woman.


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