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Updated: Mar 19, 2021

I look into the mirror,


as my mother birthed me.

The curves, the planes, the nodes, the bumps, the stretches, the scars

I look into the mirror and think

who is this body in front of me

To whom

do those flabs,

those curves belong,

those scars belong

I look into the mirror and I think

someday, someday, someday

that perfect body is waiting for me

after a successful diet,

a cleanse,

a workout,

that run I’ve been putting off for weeks.

I look into the mirror and I think,

and I think,

I am a woman chasing her own tail,

but not my tail,

the tail of another woman’s who chasing another woman’s another woman’s another woman’s

and so on and so on

until the last woman finally grasps the tail and rises victorious to the mirror

to only see she is skin and bones

I look into the mirror and I think

beauty is unpredictable, evolving,

Beauty is quickly changing,

she expects the best of both worlds

Curvy, thin, big breasted, flat chested,

beauty expects you to be hourglass with no extra bumps,

big butt no butt, short, tall, thick brows, thin brows, thick lips, thin lips,

beauty expects you to have long neck, tiny waist, thin thighs,

beauty expects you to be muscular, and strong,

beauty expects you to be everything,

and nothing at all

You could almost say beauty... is a woman

I look into the mirror and I think


we have seen too many funerals,


we have seen too many suicide notes,


we have seen too many

“You’re ugly.”

“How could you go out looking like that”

“You could stand to lose a few pounds”

“That dress doesn’t fit you right. It’s unflattering.”


we have too many sallow girls admitted into hospitals

We have been too many traitors against ourselves

Beauty wants us to fail,

to curl into ourselves,

to flinch at the face in the mirror

Beauty wants us to cut,

to starve,

to shudder over pounding porcelain toilet seats,

convulsing in fluorescent light


a co-conspirator with our menstrual cycle,

like beauty knows when we’re most vulnerable

She wants us to obsess over photoshopped frames

plastered pictures of perfect…


She wants me to know I’m not perfect

Beauty swings from the dangling earrings that pull on our ears,

the stiletto heel of our “going out” boots,

she whispers that the other girl is prettier than we are.

I look into the mirror

and I turn my heel,

and the mirror shatters

Because mirror,

because beauty,

when did beautiful become a prerequisite for warrior


when did we begin fighting a war against ourselves in the mirror

A war we already decided to lose

When did a sixteen year old feel compelled to hate the body she was given

When did we decide to kick the gift horse in the mouth

When did ‘healthy’ become less important than beautiful

When did beauty hurt

When did beauty start to tear us apart

When did beauty become ugly

So I don’t look into the mirror…

Because the mirror doesn’t tell me anything anymore

The mirror shows me what beauty demands I be:


Disneyified, filterfied, designer, dreamy, defined and misdefined

And what I’m not

So I don’t look into the mirror…

I don’t need this manufactured, man-made model

Of what beauty is supposed to be

When beauty is not something you see

So I don’t look into the mirror

Because beauty comes from right here

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