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Beautiful or Just Subservient, I No Longer Know

by Emma Lynn 3 years ago in slam poetry

To Be Taught that Beauty is Pain

It burns when you speak of natural beauty.

I don’t know how to be normal

be a man

take a stand

hold my own hand

because you taught us that all we were good for was

a little fun

to sit in the sun

never run

always be pretty

never gritty

never a bitch

“well why do you let him talk to you that way”

you say

putting me on display

but I can’t be a bitch

so I just sit, q u i e t.

but, I think you know

because you threw me in this ditch

in the process of telling me to stay a while

but hold my tongue

but stand up and rise up

but don’t throw up some suggestions to help at work, they’re not important

don’t throw up your hands in unity girls, you might knock someone off their high horse

don’t throw up your food, unless you remember to lock the bath door

don’t let them see you wipe off the returned dinner

you might make someone

S A D.

interesting enough that our pain

with no gain

no restrain

always ugly

always damaging

always disgusting

made you

S A D.

but while you’re sitting there all sad

don’t choose to forget that you’re the ones who

punished us

made us believe that all we could do was

plant a seed

and need and need

and bleed and bleed and BLEED

and be q u i e t.

maybe you could be quite

and find a way to put those 'supportive' words back in your mouth

since the only time you seem to take them out

is when you find the need

to tell me how to bleed.

maybe you could sit back down on that high horse

and ride it right out of town

but don’t forget your crown

cause you can go be the king of that town

of millennial nice guys

cause I don’t owe you sex for those kind acts and great words of ‘encouragement’

cause I don’t need them

cause I learned to live the first 12 years of my life to live without them

cause I was too busy being taught

don’t leave the house

without your trusty mace

no bathroom trips

without your right-hand man, your ace

no sitting too close too man or too far,

or he’ll have to put you in your place

no leaving the house without makeup

no one wants your real face

but remember,

we only want natural beauty

we only accept natural beauty

we only allow natural beauty

even if it means

thousands of dollars and a scalpel

or sitting in a room with a woman and tweezers

and risking your eyesight for pretty eyes

or ripping your hairs out of every pore

on your now tender body with hot wax

you seem to forget they used that to torture them that way to get them to talk.

so I guess that when you talk

that’s why I feel tortured

that's why it burns when you talk of natural beauty

and why pretty skin and

girls so thin

or perfectly thick

though just a trick

feels like hot tar.

I guess that’s why it hurts so bad when you talk of how the strong are too butch

but the weak are a waste of space

you know what,

give me a place,

show me a trace

of the line

where your perfection lies

I’d finish the race if I could but your iron maiden words

cut me too deep

and I’m tired.

for that race, my legs won’t carry me

that line, my eyes won’t let me see

but at least I have pretty eyes, right?

you did a great job of teaching us that your beauty

that’s pain

with no gain

no restrain

always ugly

always damaging

always disgusting

will least keep

us q u i e t

and leave you

c o m f o r t a b l e

slam poetry

Emma Lynn

A college student in love with art, writing, poetry, slow fashion, and the environment.

Read next: Sad Truth

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