P-R-E-T-T-Y

Aurora is the definition of beauty- skinny and p-r-e-t-t-y.

Who needs a personality when men will fall for your appearance?

 

Ariel is selfless and brave.

Go ahead, give up everything and change yourself for a man.

But don’t worry, men are forgiving, they might even accept your flaws.

 

Belle is loving and understanding.   

Be gentle and kind, even to a beast.

Overlook the abuse in relationships.

Be understanding of his anger because there is a tender prince hidden within.   

 

That's what fairytales taught us to believe.  

 

When I was 6 years old, I asked my mother,

“Why are all the princesses wearing dresses? I prefer pants.”

She said, “But don’t you want to be p-r-e-t-t-y?”

She eyed me up and down

As if she wanted to believe I was someone else’s kid.  

As if the next moment she’d kick me out for “acting like a boy”.

 

Or when I was in seventh grade,

I dreamed of becoming a professional soccer player.

The thought of playing soccer had been running through my mind so many times that

If thoughts had legs, they would be broken from all the running.  

Then that thought shattered like a porcelain vase on concrete ground.

My father told me to “snap out of it”.

He said that I’d build up too much muscle on my legs and stop being p-r-e-t-t-y.

No boy would want me then.  

 

Just a few weeks ago, I told my father I wanted to work at Google.

He paused for a minute and I swear I heard the faintest scoff slip through his lips

Convincing me it's not worth it.

You’ll never outperform your male colleagues.

The job’s not even for a girl.

I don't think they'll even hire you.

I guess the last comment is partially true because

 

I know this:

 

When I apply for that job, I would be judged based on

The size of my eyes,

The structure of my nose,

The color of my hair,

The length of my heels,

The fullness of my lips,

The amount of makeup on my face,

the color of my cheeks,

The structure of my teeth,

The symmetry of my face,,

The color of my eyes,

The definition of my cheekbones,

The smoothness of my skin,

The fullness of my brows,

The diameter of my waist,

The clothes on my back,

The shape of my body,

And the gap between my legs-

 

While men would be judged based on what?

Past work experience.

 

I was taught from the beginning to listen. Not speak.  

I’m so good at absorbing now I can’t help apologizing for being interrupted

And to move somewhere else when a man invades my space.

I’m so used to listening, when my parents told me to be more like the smart boy in class

I agreed.

While the “smart” boy is wondering why he has the second highest grade in class and who has the highest.

I guess he’ll never think of me.  

I’m so used to listening I start my sentences with “sorry” and think that my opinions are merely noise.

I’m so conditioned to being “nice” I’m willing to give men second chances.

 

All my life it’s been people telling me to be p-r-e-t-t-y

P-r-e-t-t-y

P-R-E-T-T-Y.

Is my life worth less than 6 letters?

 

I am sick of being told I am not p-r-e-t-t-y enough,

Not skinny enough,

Not smart enough,

Not confident enough,

Not tall enough,

Not creative enough,

Not attractive enough,

Not good enough

Because I’m done waiting for Happily Ever After.     

 

I might not be p-r-e-t-t-y, but

 

I am i-n-t-e-l-l-i-g-e-n-t.

I am a-m-b-i-t-i-o-u-s.

I am t-a-l-e-n-t-e-d.

I am h-a-r-d-w-o-r-k-i-n-g.

 

I am

e-n-o-u-g-h.  

 

This poem is about: 
Me
My family
My community
My country
Our world
Guide that inspired this poem: 
Poetry Terms Demonstrated: 

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