War Paint



I doubt it’s ever crossed your mind that I am not putting on a mask in the morning, but I am not hiding behind my mascara tube.

I am putting on my armor. 


Feminine is not soft. 

Diamonds are a girl’s best friend, and they can cut straight through glass. 


Feminine is not weak.

Frida Kahlo’s husband once described her as a ribbon wrapped around a bomb,

And I am lace wrapped around a grenade.

You had better built a bomb shelter in your basement before I detonate. 


Feminine is not safe.

Poison arrow frogs are beautiful-

Little hopping splashes of neon paint, but their skin is so toxic that deadly weapons can be made from their sweat. 

As I dab on bright pinks and violent purples remember that bright colors in nature mean DO NOT TOUCH.

I am poisonous, do not touch me. 

I am a poison frog, dip your arrowhead between my painted lips and it will stop a heart in seconds. 

I may be small and full of color but I was built to destroy predators. 


Do I look unnatural to you?



I want winged eyeliner sharp enough to cut through sinew and bone.

I want lipstick redder than blood and hotter than newly forged metal.

I want to line my eyes so clearly that I never lose sight of my future.

I want to glow in the dark to lead me, and the girls feeling strong for the first time in their lives, through the night,

into a sunrise as pink as their hopeful cheeks. 


Magazines told me to change myself, to be pretty.  Beauty is pain, they said, but they never said whose pain it had to be. 

I will turn that pretty back and over and around and I will shred those magazines into confetti to celebrate my victory.


I am slathering on my war paint for the daily battle of survival,

Smoothing in the cracks to keep myself whole. 


My Body is my rightful home, and I am taking it back.

I may be a squatter in a space I don’t yet own, but nothing will stop me from hanging curtains in the windows to my soul

Planting flowers in the garden in my chest

And painting the walls with the colors of the woman I could be. 


Feminine is not soft

Feminine is not weak

Feminine is not safe

Feminine is a weapon of mass destruction,

And I am staking my claim on mine.

I am staking my claim

On me. 


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