Saturday, April 26, 2014


I can present myself
the way society
deems most "appropriate":
pretty, cute, feminine,
"standard," primped and polished,
made up with moisturizer,
mascara and mousse,
tightly bound
in claustrophobic couture,
slanted and perched atop
high heels
by way of the most
uncomfortable toe tyrants,
in getups that make
me feel confident
and comfortable
only in the moments
when I measure myself
against the female
"standard" of beauty --
the template
that is not necessarily
prescribed in writing
but is nonetheless
plastered all over
every imaginable media vehicle.

I know how to
play the game.
I know how to pass.
I know how to succeed
in that world.

I can play the part,
but I'm tired --
tired of pleasing
everyone but me
and satisfying everybody
else's needs
but my own.

Don't get me wrong.
I understand the value
and importance of
conveying a professional
image at work
and "putting your
best foot forward"
in social settings.

I realize that every
woman is different
and that some women
may even enjoy
priming and preening
and prancing.
My question is: do
we actually enjoy
the work
of primping
(or pimping, as it were),
or is it only the
acceptance, admiration,
adoration, affection,
affirmation, approval,
or attention resulting from our efforts
that we truly enjoy?

I am not suggesting
that we all stop
bathing and
fill our wardrobes
with rags and tatters.

I simply wish that
we -- that I -- would
release ourselves
from the prison of
patriarchally prescribed
"passability," when it
comes to female beauty.

I'm tired of
asking for permission --
from myself and
from my society --
to be human --
to be a real-life
person, rather than
a prototype or
protege or protagonist
in a man-made story.

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