if pain and gain go hand in hand

When I reached puberty
My mother began to destroy me
Piece by piece

 

FIrst my pride
Stripped away with the wax on my legs
I wouldn't be able to hold my head high
I was told
When the disgusted looks of others
Would bow it for me

 

My individuality
Sculpted away as my body was molded
To fit the mainstream standards
And still I was berated
For not reaching Photoshopped perfection

 

My dignity
Escaped with the cries ripping from my mouth
As my mother ripped the hair from my face
It was my duty as a woman
She said
To appease and appeal to the male gaze
Instead of appealing to my own

 

My self-esteem
Disappeared in proportion
To the amount of makeup that masked my face
Flaws appeared unseemly
My mother admonished
They made me look unsuitable
As a mate and a breeder

 

Confidence was laughable
In a symbol of femininity
How dare I be crass and loud and rowdy
When that would put me on equal ground
With the men vying for my body

 

It wasn't until I lost myself
That I realized
If beauty is pain
I don't want your brand

This poem is about: 
Me

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