You're So Pretty

Girls are told from day one,

“You’re so pretty.”

Yeah I know, but pretty what?

Pretty smart?

Pretty creative?

Pretty brilliant?

Pretty amazing?

 

Or just pretty?

 

Even though I have accomplished so much,

is what’s on the outside

my looks,

my smile,

my body

my gender

the only things that define me?

 

The fact that my clothes and what I’m wearing

has a louder voice

than what I am actually saying.

 

People laugh when I’m assertive,

then I get upset.

And they say,

“Summer, get a sense of humor.”

I’ll take the joke when

my life

my opinions

my decisions

my voice

become a laughing matter.

 

Why is it that when

I speak up

I’m made two feet tall,

but when I wear a low cut shirt

I’m the center of attention?

 

And the worst part is,

it’s a trap.

It’s a paradoxical trap.

Because if you show of your body,

even though that’s the only way people will even notice you,

you’re called a slut.

As if your clothing represents your sex life.

 

And as if your sex life represents what kind of person you are.

 

So you go home and cry

and cover yourself head to toe.

And you come back, but they tell you

“You’re a prude.”

“You’re a virgin.”

“You’re being oppressed.”

“You need to live a little.”

 

Your personality and opinions are reduced to your clothing

but no matter what you wear,

it’s wrong.

 

No matter what you wear,

you’re not important.

 

We try to combat this by teaching girls

“You’re smart.”

“You’re brave.”

“You’re strong.”

“You’re powerful.”

But how will anyone know how powerful we are

if our powerful voices

are not important?

 

How can we speak up?

How can we speak at all?

 

What I’m trying to make clear

is that instead of teaching girls about girl power,

start teaching guys the power

of girls.

 

Because even if our voices are

opinionated

strong

powerful

loud

you can’t hear our screaming

if we’re being smothered.






 

Guide that inspired this poem: 

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