"Dear Jane," | Teen Ink

"Dear Jane,"

January 8, 2015
By ShiviChauhan GOLD, Wayne, New Jersey
ShiviChauhan GOLD, Wayne, New Jersey
15 articles 0 photos 3 comments

I recently read the poem "Dear Jane," by Alice Deng. The poem is about the narrator thinking out loud to her friend Jane, and describes the transition between a girl's pre-teen years to her teen years. The poem revolves around how the narrator and Jane had matured, and traded "... braces/ for bubblegum." and how Jane fretted about her weight, as the narrator was reassuring her and all other teen girls going through a similar issue.
     When my eyes read the first line, I was hooked. Being a thirteen-year-old, I had recently gone through the transition the narrator had, acting more mature and trying to be grown- up. It was fresh in my mind, constantly worrying about how I look and being self-conscious of my weight. In the media, many celebrities are bone- thin, and girls who aren't are thought of to be undesirable. This negatively affects young girls who hate themselves for how much they weigh, like Jane in the poem. The narrator, wise and wistfull, says, "I'm going to miss that little piece of Jane/ when it's gone." This had me thinking, "No matter how big my stomach is, no matter how big my thighs and arms are, they are all part of me. And no one has the right to take away any part of me, not even myself." This poem was an eye-opener for teens all around. Some girls take being un -satisfied with their weight to a next level. Since I, someone who isn't as insecure about her weight was deeply affected by this poem, you can only imagine the effect it will have on the anorexic girl who starves herself, or the bulemic girl who forces herself to throw up just to look "pretty." "Dear Jane," may be a small poem in a large newspaper, but it had a large impact on a little girl's life.

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