"you really are beautiful,
in your own kind of way",
as he spits through his teeth
in what way is that,
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."
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
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 ass
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
and supposedly sexy
since when were curves a curse?
and who the fuck decided it was a good idea to pattent worth with a lipstick shade, anyway?
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 shit outweigh a tiny bleach-blonde bimbo
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
let us not give this disease to our daughters
let us not allow our sons to carry the gene
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
we are Woman
and we deserve to finally soar