A Poem I Needed to Write for Myself

I am not the shade of my lipstick.
Instead I am the way my mind
sculpts these words into poems,
and these poems into stories.
If I allowed myself to be labeled
based on something as juvenile as lipstick,
my name would be cheap.

I am not the width of my hips.
Instead I am the confidence in my walk.
I am a model for my own company of me,
and I treat every day as a runway to show off
an improved and brighter style of happiness.

I am not my grades;
because I will never define my intelligence
with merely one letter.
C in biology, B in geometry
My mind could fill lakes and oceans with dreams and beliefs and feelings.
Tests show my memorization skills,
intelligence shows the path I will take.

I am not my weight.
One number does not have the capacity
to capture my smile when I laugh,
my aspirations and knowledge, or the amount of love in my heart.
It does not show the nights I stayed up
talking my best friend out of suicide,
or how I sing to my younger sister our home
turns into hell.
All it is, is a quantity on a scale
and I will not be comprised in one number.

I am not my mental illness.
If I was depression, I would only be nights I said I could not make it
but I did.
If I was bipolar disorder, I would only be the good days
because those are the only days that matter.
If I was anxiety, I would not be writing this poem right now.

I am not my stereotypes.
Loving someone of the same gender
will never make me less of a person
than someone who doesn't.
Having short hair doesn't make
anymore masculine than the girls
with an extra 14 inches.
Being quiet does not make me a bitch and
speaking my mind does not make me obnoxious.
Calling myself a feminist doesn't mean I hate men.
It means I hate the injustice of being
unequal to them.
It means I believe everyone deserves to be equal.
People can label, but they will not define;
that is up to ourselves.

I am not what society wants me to be.
It took me a long time to figure out
that no one will be happy with themselves
if we keep chasing standards that are set too high.
Instead, I am creating my own standards.
I am setting myself free.

I am beautiful.
I am intelligent.
I am precious.
I am outspoken.
I am the good days.
I am art.
I am His child.
I am confident.
I am lovely.
I am flawless.
I am me.

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