Perfect Insecurities

My cousin is 10 years old

skin and bones

and she thinks she’s fat.

Isn’t there something wrong with that?


From the moment we enter this world

we are force fed

images of what “true beauty”

looks like.

Of what we need to look like.


Make your hair look pretty.

Don’t ever forget your makeup.

Hide those freckles

those blemishes

those imperfections.


Sit up straight.

Hold your tongue.

Please your man.

Your desires can wait.


Wait. What?


Perfect smile.

Red lips.

Pretty nails.

Big boobs.

Thin body.

Sexy Curves.

Tan skin.

Long legs.

Big butt.




I am not a Barbie!

I will never be

you will never be

we will never be

this idea of perfection.


But that does not mean

we are not beautiful.



is the way you laugh

at your best friend’s joke.


is the way you smile

when you’re truly happy.


is the way your hair falls

when you don’t try to fix it.


is you.


I am not embarrassed

that I play rough with my brothers.

I am not ashamed

that my figure

doesn’t have much of a shape.

I am not afraid

to speak up for myself.

I am proud to say

that I have small breasts.

That I am not tan or tall.

That my hair is wild.

That I have freckles

and blemishes

and glasses.


Because all of these things

that the media says

make me less perfect,

make me, me.

And there is no one else that I would rather be.


We have to stand up

and rise against

the unattainable beauty standards.

So that all little girls

can feel beautiful

in their own skin.

So that teenagers

never feel so insecure

that they punish themselves

with starving

and cutting

and mental abuse.

So that every grown woman

can feel beautiful

without the approval of a man

or the media

or each other.


Speak loud.

Stand proud.

Because we are not perfect.

We are beautiful.

This poem is about: 
My family
Our world


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