I can recall the last time I was called cute
The last time I was called pretty
The last time I was called beautiful
But I cannot for the life of me recall the last time
I was recognized for something other than my appearance
I couldn’t tell you the last time I was called creative
Or imaginative, thoughtful, clever
That my mind was wonderful
Or that I was even alive
When did life become a contest of appearance?
At what point did I become ashamed of the scars on my face?
If Jupiter is known for his great spot
And the moon is idolized for her craters,
Why aren’t I?
We hide behind masks because our own anatomy,
Is not perceived as good enough
Because someone told me
That in order to be beautiful
I had to forget the paint I used for paper
And to put it on my skin instead
I am a creature of a culture
That has taught women that
In order to be beautiful
She must meet criteria
That her body comes with a warranty
And her value is a measure of the price sticker
On her lipstick
And not the compassion in her blood
That her face is more imperative to her beauty
Than her dreams and aspirations
I live behind a curtain of ideals and false certainties.
To this day
I am still clawing the mask of society’s ideals
Off of my cratered face
My whole life I was led to believe
That pretty was success
And skinny was mandatory
That you are not worth a thing to the world
If that scale says anything over 120
Since when did skipping dinner for the week
Make me more beautiful than
Skipping class to see a friend in need?
And if the hair on my legs
Is any indicator for the worth of my mind
Then throw out my razor
Because if the world only sees me as what it wants to
It is my job to challenge it.
Because beauty is not beautiful
If every girl doesn’t feel it