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August 22, 2013
By , Gap, PA
I have been subject to girls
Who think being pretty means being a stick’s twin.
But twigs are so easily broken,
Like the hearts and spirits of the girls who strive for perfection.
These girls think a size four is overweight.
I wonder what they’d think of me, a size 17.
By their standards I must be obese,
Like a blue whale, or a fast food addict.
And who cares about personality?
Intelligence is unattractive.
Men would rather girls be stupid and naïve.
And unfortunately men run our world.
They dictate what it means to be attractive
A small waist and a bigger bra size.
God forbid you eat 100 calories a day.
Sure, you can eat that slice of cake,
But only if you purge after.
Starving yourself is glamorous ,
Because having your ribs poking through your skin is sexy.
Because what matters is the outside,
And nothing else-
Now tell me, who told you a size zero is desirable?
Did you know about Marilyn Monroe?
She was a size seven, and she got with Jack Kennedy-
It’s too easy to blame society,
The airbrushed models, the too thin Hollywood moms.
My question is this:
Where are these girls parents?
And who told them that their worth is based on who they f***?

The world is cruel to girls who don’t quite fit the mold.
The blade you tattoo your arms with is your father.
Every ugly word is represented by a tally,
Keeping a record of wrongs.
These scars are our warrior wounds.
Like a Vietnam vet with PTSD.
And who doesn’t love wearing long sleeve shirts in summer?
Because once you start exposing your anatomy
You can’t let anyone see your arms naked.
They have the texture of tree limb,
Rough and scarred.
Identical to how our souls feel
After years of the abuse.
Some of us choose to mark our stomachs
Because we will never wear a bikini anyway.
I know what it means to feel the cold sting
Of release that the sharp blade brings.
We think we are finally in control of what happens to us,
But it’s a trap.
A trap set by our broken minds.
That piece of metal that we once controlled
Becomes our idol that we worship every day.
The pain we feel inside is transcribed
On our flesh.
We are held captive by the thoughts of others.
We are prisoners of a war on appearance.

Believe me when I tell you I know your hurt.
Being a teenage girl is a challenge to be accepted.
And I applaud you for surviving to this day,
When so many others have voted themselves out
Before they had a chance to grow.
The morgue is filled with girls of all sizes,
Girls who are finally equal because they all fell in the same trap.
These thoughts weigh heavy on my mind
Now listen, because this is your life line.
My words are your life preserver,
So don’t pretend that I’m not speaking to you.
Stand in front of your mirror and tell me what you see.
Trace the scabbed tattoos on your arms with your worn hands
Press your fingers to the battle scars
And remember the pain.
The razor you thought was reality
Is really a mask.
The marks you make are cries for help,
Don’t tell me you don’t want out.
Because, remember, I walked in your shoes.
I know what it means to have a mom whose never around.
I know about the father who called you fat,
And the siblings you raised because your parents
Were sitting at the bottom of a bottle.
What you need to remember is that
Life is more than eighteen years.
And one day those girls who hated your body
Will hate themselves for their empty lives.
You will find strength in numbers,
If you allow yourself to grow.
I promise someone will find you to be attractive,
Not just for what’s on the outside,
But for what’s in your heart
We are all equal under God,
So open your eyes and your ears.
What matters is how you decide to treat
Others and yourself.
You are not who the fathers and brothers
Tell you you are.
You are who you were born to be.

Join the Discussion

This article has 5 comments. Post your own now!

TurabianKnight This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Aug. 27, 2013 at 12:10 pm
This poem is really brave, but I feel like you're hiding a bit behind clichéd ideas (men run the world, etc). My favorite stanza is the last because it feels the most honestly you. I wish that the rest of the poem were more about you and less about what you think other people are experiencing...otherwise, fantastic job!
LesGirl016 replied...
Aug. 27, 2013 at 9:40 pm
My goal wasn't to share my experience so much as to say that I understand what it means to be on the outside. I took my life and tried to relate it to other teenage girls. tThat's why the last stanza is my personal experiece, and not the first two.
Iyanna D. said...
Aug. 26, 2013 at 12:45 pm
that poem was so intense and real and just amazing
WhenYouCantSleepAtNight said...
Aug. 26, 2013 at 7:25 am
"These scars are our warrier wounds." I can relate to this totally & you're an absolutlely AMAZING writer.
ObsessiveWriter said...
Aug. 26, 2013 at 12:42 am
This was very inspirational! You are an amazing writer, and I applaud your creativity and emotion. Great post!
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