This may be part of why I’ve avoided the movie even though I know, rationally, the message is completely different than the one I began internalizing at 4 years old.
I recorded myself reading the post I wrote about body image and it is nearly 10-minutes long so I was trying to figure out how I could sum things up a little more succinctly... enter poetry.
There is something so cathartic to me about telling a story in rhythmic way... I'm sure it has something to do with my brain's constant desire for patterns, but that's a thread to pull at on another day.
For now, a piece about desperately trying to understand myself and how I fit into the world around me until I realized that I no longer want to fit.
[Content warning: body image, gender, white supremacy]
The first thing I remember consciously;
My legs looked nothing like my Barbie.
Her calves nearly touched; strong but shapely…
My clumsy logs didn’t do that… maybe that’s wrong with me
Is this body, and what they see, why I feel so incomplete?...
Questions that haunt every memory
Next, covering the bump on my nose, dreaming of surgery;
How can I satisfy expectations publicly,
While blending in and not being perceived,
But also appreciated, listened to, and taken seriously?
Maybe that’s where I’ll find the answers I need;
The sense of existential safety I so desperately seek
to who I am and why I always feel alienated, not “unique”.
Dress “like a girl”, try on gender conformity;
Maybe then they’ll like me.
Face too flat, tone of voice too dry and empty…
All that masked femininity;
They still rejected me.
Trade it in for dark humor and clothes “too baggy”.
Maybe I could be one of the dudes; everyone's buddy…
Find my place being crude and funny.
All that masked masculinity;
They still hurt me
Maybe respect IS in embracing femininity…
And what if shrinking to disappear could lead me to safety?
Manipulating my body as reciprocated energy;
Maybe self-worth IS in being part of a “we”…
All that internalized misogyny;
They still used me.
Go to school and get the degrees…
Service above self; dedicate and contribute to society -
Maybe that’s where I’ll find acceptance and solidarity.
All that selfless productivity;
They still had it out for me.
“Make loving yourself the priority” -
I’ll “fix” my mindset and physical body
Because obviously I manifested being unhappy and lonely.
Mind the binaries; label to avoid the bad and unhealthy…
All that societally-driven toxic positivity;
Unknowingly supporting the patriarchy and white supremacy….
A mirror of things I can’t unsee…
Fuck them all because I can’t love THIS me
Tear it all down, uncovering shadows’ hidden transparencies…
I found authenticity behind rejection sensitivity;
Learning about trauma, audhd, and my body.
Empowered with information that explains a life of existential misery;
Finally realizing why I can’t control if they hate and invalidate me.
Whether they choose to misunderstand loudly or quietly,
I’ll keep minding my business - enjoying this sense internal safety
Through feeling and healing my soul; finding purpose in community.
You're free to think what you want, but keep it to yourself; I'm busy
Unmasking, healing trauma, and working collectively
to manage my invisible disabilities.