It happens over time. When you finally realize its impact,
the cumulative nature of its treachery, the dehumanization
of your being, you step away, neutralize the nonsense.
Like clay, you're formed and shaped, smoothed, spun
by others who orbited old-line thinking, a social system
whose wheel produced shapely, attractive vessels.
Raised watching beauty pageants, where top 10 lists
were written and compare and contrast comments
resonated across the room, you learned early on what's
valued in a woman: her face and body. Not caring much
for glamour, you responded with frowns and messy hair,
preferring your brother's old shirts, you imagined a world
unbiased on lookism. As you got older, you covered your
budding physique with bib-overalls, though this type
of clothing rarely sat well with a certain male relative,
Why on earth do you wear those damn, baggy things!
Show off your figure! Embarrassing comments and ogling
eyes triggered something in your subconscious, told you
to eat, gain weight, hide your shape. As time progressed,
you fell for the system. At seventeen, you were given
diet pills in preparation for commercial modeling school.
After a lifetime of being dismissed, pigeonholed as nothing
more than an ornament, an empty vessel, you stepped away,
returned to the potter's wheel.
You've come full circle, having listened to and rejected
the overt and indirect messages of a woman's worth
is tied solely to her appearance. Once again, you're a lump
of clay, moving around the wheel head, but this time
backwards, as you undo the smoothing, yield to the real,
most beautiful version of the no-nonsense you.
Jeannie E. Roberts has authored four poetry collections, including The Wingspan of Things, a poetry chapbook (Dancing Girl Press, 2017), Romp and Ceremony, a full-length poetry collection (Finishing Line Press, 2017), Beyond Bulrush, a full-length poetry collection (Lit Fest Press, 2015), and Nature of it All, a poetry chapbook (Finishing Line Press, 2013). She is also the author and illustrator of Let's Make Faces!, a children's book dedicated to her son (author-published, 2009). She is Poetry Editor for the online literary magazine Halfway Down the Stairs.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.