When we were younger, we talked.
People in the movies are fake
But we tried to be like them anyways,
Make your skin whiter
Make your face lighter
Turn your voice into silent gold.
We knew we are real people
But we tried unrealistic things anyways
Waists can’t be that small
Thighs are never that skinny
But that never stopped us from running more
And eating less.
Who cares what they think?
But we cared more than anyone.
We heard every word they said
Our eyes were too dark
Our hair not fair enough
We saw no one like us on tv.
As we grew, we learned otherwise.
That when we sit in the sunlight,
our skin shines golden
and our hair becomes vibrant
shining and hued
We glow in the lighting we were made for.
That skinny thighs come with a price
Far greater than what we could pay
When we saw so many people
Fading away before our eyes
As they tried to look like the ideal,
They lost the health
That we retained.
That our eyes are pools of obsidian,
Deeper than any ocean
and if people are not careful
They will get lost
within our depths.
If you are one of us
And you have heard the whispers
Know that your eyes glitter
Your hair is beautiful
your skin is not too dark
You are meant to be this way
You are meant to be here
the way you are now.
This piece was written after I considered how my confidence in my appearance had changed over the years, and how other girls who looked like me would struggle with their self esteem. This was made to reflect upon my thoughts, and to lift us up when we are feeling low.
I’m a junior from Massachusetts. I’m a writer, artist, and musician trying to make a difference for the world. Poetry is how I reflect upon my thoughts and actions. I hope this poem has an impact on you.
Cover photo source: Ashley Seil Smith http://designcrushblog.com/2019/03/22/ashley-seil-smith/