(A performance poem)
Today, I watched the video on Youtube of a woman justifying her right by birth to feel beautiful.
She used phrases like “even though”, “in spite of”, and “despite everything” which brought tears to my eyes.
I wanted to wrap my arms around her size and tell her that she is more than the lack of a gap between her thighs.
What I really wanted to know about her wasn’t the number on the tag of her dress, but how she deals with stress. What it is that she thinks she gives to the universe, and how if she weren’t on this planet, life for someone would be just a little bit worse.
I wanted to breathe in her charisma.
I wanted to click my fingers in the front row to let her know that the poetry she’s slamming is changing me, rearranging me…
In a way that I will never be able to properly thank her for, her poetry was an attempt at saving me…
I was inspired by that big beautiful woman to start writing a new poem of my own called ‘People Who Love Me’ and to finish it by crossing off the name of anyone who has ever made me feel ugly.
For a long time I loved a boy who couldn’t tell me I was appealing, “even though” it was invariably him that instigated being with me sexually. I treasured him “in spite of” beautiful girl after beautiful girl he would love that wasn’t me. And I loved him despite the words he spoke casually.
Like ordering from a drive through…
“I don’t want to be with you.”
And then when I asked him to let me go, he said no.
Today I watched a woman speak about being loved in a way I’ve really only ever dreamed of. She smiled about being left behind as if it were a favourite past time; she acknowledged insecurity as something that’s perfectly normal, and anxiety as if one suffering should be loved anyway.
I was caught off guard by these remarks.
Because I also live in a society that says a scale and some numbers dictate the way it is okay for me to look. I live in a world that will not consider my experience or qualifications because I use crutches to walk. I’ve never been in love which I suspect is because the world has spent my life insisting that I’m not pretty enough.
I am more than what you think I consist of. I am a mountain of struggle, and strength. I am experience.
If nothing else, adjectify me for the capacity I have to forgive, and tolerate, and love.
If you need to validate me by the measure of a number, count the times I have decided on a person’s worth based on whether I like the way they look.
Then quantify that number against your own.