'Tell me what happens the first time you see a woman naked.'
'The first time you see a woman naked will not be like you imagined. There will be no love, no trust, no intimacy. You won’t even be in the same room as her.
You won’t get to smile as she undresses you and you undress her. You won’t get to calm her nerves with nerves of your own. You won’t get to kiss her, feeling her lips and the edge of her tongue. You won’t get to brush your fingers over the lace of her bra or count her ribs or feel her heartbeat.
The first time you see a woman naked you will be sitting in front of a computer screen watching someone play at intimacy and perform at sex. She will contort her body to please everyone in the room but her. You will watch this woman who is not a woman, pixelated and filtered and customized. She will come ready-made, like an order at a restaurant. The man on the screen will be bigger than you, rougher than you. He will teach you how to talk to her. He will teach you where to put your hands and he will teach you what you’re supposed to like. He will teach you to take what is yours.
You must unlearn this. You must unlearn this twisted sense of love. You must unlearn the definition of pleasure and intimacy you are being taught. Kill this idea of love, this idea of entitlement, this way of scarring one another.’
His opinion drives your worth
‘you don’t know’ he says
‘but I look at you and see beauty’ he says
But you look in the mirror and still see
Dimples where you don’t want them
All your imperfections, glaring out at you
And his voice does nothing to drown them out
Countless songs and poems
Written about women
Who don’t realize their full worth
‘but I love you’ he says
So here’s a poem
I Am Beautiful.
I don’t care what others think
Because what they say is
Dust in the wind
My body is dying
It is decaying flesh
But my soul
Oh, my soul
It is beautiful
And my kindness shines of out my smile
My compassion shows in the pools of my eyes
My hard work is in the chips in my nail polish
My creativity is on display in my lipstick color, or piercings, or eyeliner, or tattoos
My outfit is my heart, worn on my sleeve, reflecting my mood
Every scar, ever scrape, every imperfection…
makes me me
And shows what I’ve been through
The extra weight I carry around represents my love for chocolate
Or the fact that one day I might actually create a life
Or already have
And when I look at the ground,
maybe I’m studying the pattern on the floor,
or the life coming up from it.
I don’t care if he loves me.
I don’t care if he thinks I’m beautiful.
Because I love myself.
I think I’m beautiful.