To The Boy Who Called Me Ugly

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I hope you never kiss your mother

With that mouth

Hatred would pour from your lips

Filling the one person who loves you

 

I was raised by men as hateful as you

Men who believed my body was theirs to shape

I was never perfect enough for them

 

I spent years of my life

Trying to rid myself of this sin called my body

Trying to tear, sew and purge the skin I lived in

I do not care to continue this warfare

 

It took me 17 years of my life

17 years

To call myself beautiful

 

It took starving weeks

I wanted an empty stomach

I wanted my insides to disappear

For them to turn into a black hole so I could be gone as well

 

No one calls it a disease

If you’re still average size

Fat girls can be anorexic too

 

I spent days lying to myself

Telling my body that it could survive on one meal

I never told myself I had a problem

Never admitting to my slow suicide

 

I still get up some days

To see the sun rising in the sky

Only to be reminded of how high my stomach rises

 

But I have stopped hating myself

I have stopped carving my name into a granite stone

Stopped believing that emptiness

Is the only way I can be happy

 

I have learned to accept

That not every day will be a good day

And my good day is not the same as yours

 

I have learned to accept love

Whenever it is offered to me

Society is a disease

Saying that the emptiness is the only thing you need

 

I do not wish to be empty anymore

I want to be full

Full of love and joy

 

I want what I never thought I deserved

 

Someday someone will touch me

I do not want my body to recoil

Like a gun

Ready to shoot at first warning

 

I will not stop their fingers from caressing my stomach

I hope they love my battle scars

I hope they love me

 

War isn’t always guns and bombs

Sometimes it exists within us

I have met women with PTSD

That have never left their homes

 

I have met people with missing limbs

More whole than I will ever be

Because I have amputated parts of myself that I may never get back

 

I can place blame on men like you

For my scars

Because you are so narrow minded

That you can only picture beautiful as a size zero

 

I can blame women

Women that rearrange their faces

Hoping to rewrite their genetics

For the tears I have shed

 

I can blame society

A society who treats beauty as only

One type of color, size and image

For the distorted body I see

 

But I will not place blame

I will only recover

From this traumatic experience

 

I am learning to stop craving the emptiness

I am learning to stare in the mirror

I have learned to stop hating myself

 

I do not know how much I can learn on my own

But I do know how much I can teach

 

You are my first student

Lesson number 1

Learn to rid yourself of adjectives

That you would not call your mother.

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