They told me that to be perfect
I had to fit into a mannequin shell, and
Be sewn into their
Perfection was the limit.
By the time I was 11 years old,
I realized that I was nowhere near
My skin was red instead of porcelain,
My legs were too short,
And my weight was too high.
And a 6 out of 10 by some stupid
Elementary school boys’ standards.
Numbers sat in the pit of my stomach and
I wanted them to be
Because I knew they were proportional
To the number on the scale.
The metronome of counting numbers in my head made me want to starve myself
Because if they could tear me to shreds like paper
I might as well look like it.
As the number on the scale dwindled
And the distance between my thighs got greater
I realized that the distance between myself and
Increased as well.
I was the same girl
With different proportions.
128 to 110
Being a size zero
Will not change
Who I am.
I will refuse to let numbers define me.
Maybe my skin isn’t flawless
And my legs aren’t long and thin.
Maybe my laugh is a little too loud,
And I fear things that I shouldn’t.
Maybe I’m a little bit awkward
And my mind is filled with dissonance,
But I know I can smile with reassurance
Because I don’t have to worry that my smile is too big
Or too small, because it shows that I’m finally
I do not need to conceal myself to be accepted.
The mirror and the scale do not determine my self-worth.
My flaws are my strengths, and they constitute the pieces of me
That I’ve broken and and put back together.
I accept that I’m not perfect,
But I know that I’m beautiful because
Despite any harsh comments thrown my way,
I will always be myself.