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Oct 2013
"you really are beautiful,
in your own kind of way",
he says
     as he spits through his teeth

in what way is that,
i wonder?

in a way that can't be crammed into a size five dress?
in a way that isn't actually aesthetically appealing?
in a way that's too intelligent to find your misogynistic outburst colored flattery?

he pushes the wire-like hair away from my face
and wipes an angry tear from my freckled cheek
     "see, all you have to do is try."

oh, boy
try
yeah,
     that's what i'll do
so i can catch another in a long line of "men" who think i COULD be beautiful

as if beauty is only one color
     one size
     one shape
as if it can truly be measured with a bathroom scale and a hand-held mirror
and can be purchased at a costly brand-name outlet in a shopping mall near you

my mother's mother has an affinity for referring to my twenty-three extra pounds
in a way that one refers to the neighbor's busted-down ford that needs towed away
"oh, catrina, you really could be so gorgeous,
     if you'd just get rid of some of your fluff."

she pinches at my sides
     and the backs of my arms
     and the little curve at the tops of my thighs
          just below my ***
like i'm an over-stuffed pillow on her antique love-seat
that's about to burst at the seems
     should the seemstress not pull out the threads with her teeth
and remove the unsightly over-fill like black-heads from a slender nose

everything she buys me comes from a plus sized store
     and wears a fat filthy double XL on it's tag

considering that i factually only need a large
i fight back my plump tears and wear a cheap smile
as i give thanks i don't mean
and kiss her on her heavily perfumed cheek
     "oh, such lovely lips
     why not a splash of lipstick?"

as soon as i'm out of her home state
i take the clothes back to the "big-girl" store
and trade them in for pizza and beer money

the girl behind the counter ironically weighs ninety-two pounds soaking wet
and that's only if she's still got on her padded bra
     slender
     starved
     sickly
     and supposedly ****
since when were curves a curse?
and who the **** decided it was a good idea to pattent worth with a lipstick shade, anyway?

no
     no way

i am beautiful without having to paint myself that way
my existence is not defined by the shape i take
my flaws and imperfections can't be remidied with any myriad of poking and plucking
     nipping and tucking
and all of my greatness and wonder sure as **** outweigh a tiny bleach-blonde *****

oh
*******
     and that pretty little pony you rode in on

i refuse to be pressed against a rubric and graded like a show-dog whose owner will only settle for best-in-show
     and kicks his failure of a companion sharply in the ribs when he doesn't bring home another ribbon

this obsession of society's is making us sick
  
we don't teach our children compassion and empathy
     we instead instill their heads with talk of thread count
     and color schemes
     how to brush on blush
     and how to pick a suit
cute won't save the world

i beg you sisters
     please
let us not give this disease to our daughters
let us not allow our sons to carry the gene

together
     let's put to rest the ill-concieved notion of our beauty residing without us
          rather than within

let us never again bow down to the revlon gods of vanity

together
we are Woman
     and we deserve to finally soar
Catrina Sparrow
Written by
Catrina Sparrow  wide wild wyoming.
(wide wild wyoming.)   
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