Self-Portrait at Seventeen MAG

February 24, 2016
By ailie44foresman BRONZE, Pittsburg, Kansas
ailie44foresman BRONZE, Pittsburg, Kansas
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

I inhale,
suck in my gut,
then turn toward
the dirty mirror of
my vanity.
The maroon
shift dress pulls tight
across my breasts
and hips.

I tug
at its seams and
smooth its wrinkles.
Still holding my
breath, I study
my figure.
Hour glass,
I assure myself.

I exhale,
and my body reclaims
its natural shape.
My ample stomach evades
the thin material
of the dress. The fabric
no longer conceals
my pillowy figure.

I stare
at my reflection
for much too long.
Remorse surges
through me. I am no
Marilyn Monroe
or Brigitte Bardot.
The glass has broken;
the sand has spilt.

The author's comments:

I have struggled with eating disorders and low self-esteem for many years. This poem is very personal to me, yet I wrote it out of empathy. I want readers who are suffering from similar issues to know that they are not alone. This is a universal issue that affects many people, both men and women. 

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This article has 2 comments.

on Jun. 4 2016 at 8:44 pm
ambivalent GOLD, West Bend, Wisconsin
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on Apr. 15 2016 at 1:15 pm
StormDancer BRONZE, Missoula, Montana
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This is a beautiful and true piece of writing. I have struggled with an eating disorder for a long time. I've been cleared as healthy now and I believe that I am. It took a lot of work to get where I am today and I will have to work for the rest of my life to be healthy. But it's worth it to feel the joy of life without the nagging insecurity of your appearance invading every happy moment. I hope that you have or will reach a similar point because you are beautiful, I can see you through your writing and emotion, and you are truly beautiful. This poem is amazing, your writing is breathtaking. Thank you.


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