(I'd Rather Be) My Own Kind of Beautiful

November 18, 2013
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The amount of times someone–
usually a girl my age, but sometimes
an older woman–has said to me
“you’re so lucky that you’re skinny;
you’re so beautiful”

And I smiled docilely
and accepted the compliment
and continued with whatever I was doing

But the more times I heard these
“compliments” they began to
build up into a wall of undeniable panic
a frenzied question of “would they
still think I’m beautiful if I wasn’t
so thin?”

Every morning, waking up
checking my stomach to body
ratio: am I still beautiful?
Am I still thin?
At 16 the words were so connected
in my mind. I didn’t consider the
words to be synonyms when applied
to others, but when it came to myself
I did.

Every morning, waking up
looking in the mirror
Worried I had somehow grown
larger in the night.
I didn’t think that would be the worst
thing, but the people around me

When I finally started asking “why”
after all, I didn’t care what my body
looked like. At least, I didn’t think
I did.

I had let these facts about my body
Be phrased in compliments and
let myself believe that if I
Started looking different
No one would care to notice me

So, yes I am still “skinny”
But it’s okay, because I
set myself free from these
Ridiculous notions that this
is what’s most important about me

To let that define me would be
as silly as someone saying
“you’re lucky you have straight
hair” and not curling it
in case they didn’t love me

So maybe I am smaller than you
Or maybe I’m larger
But I hope you realize
That it’s rather arbitrary
To point it out, because we’re
not really supposed to be the
same…are we?

And the next time someone
“compliments” me by saying
“you’re so lucky to be skinny”
I’ll look them right in the eye and say
“I may be tiny in body
but I’m f***ing huge in spirit”

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