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body checking— a poem by zoe frenchman

by zoe frenchman 17 days ago in sad poetry
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this poem focuses on the subject of body image and my skewed perception of my own body. body dysmorphia, generally heavy self-criticism, and eating disorders are debilitating, and i’m hoping people can comprehend those mentalities, at least more so, through my work.

i stare at myself, and i stare and i stare, and i exceedingly care;

when i stare and i stare, it’s a strange nightmare;

i stare and i stare and i can identify some flaw on my body or my face in everything that i wear;

i stare and i stare and i care too much and it’s not fair;

it’s not fair that i was cursed with this debilitating illness that is utterly treacherous to bear;

sometimes i feel as if my ailments are beyond repair;

i nitpick every blemish, imperfection, and scar;

and the cognitive distortions enhance each one by far;

and each fictitious malformation is equally bizarre;

sometimes the constant fixation of my flaws;

and these absurdly false deformities, are the cause;

of my emotional outbursts and episodes of doubt;

sometimes my insecurities deter me from merely going out;

i cant go out, because the mascara is smudged around my face;

i cry an awful lot, but in this case;

i was so unstable and weak that i couldn’t help but weep;

sometimes i wish i wouldn’t fall in so deep;

deep into the pit of darkness, self-criticism, and fear;

sometimes i wish everything wasn’t so painfully severe;

i stare at my thighs, and i think they’re too thick;

i stare at my face and each pimple or blemish makes me sick;

i stare at my hair and it’s too frizzy, too wild, there’s too many baby hairs, it’s this, it’s that, and i nitpick;

my mind truly races so quick;

i stare at my stomach— it’s too stubby, it’s too large, it’s not flat enough, i look bloated, i should skip yet another meal today to compensate for my perception of my torso, yeah, that should do the trick;

i stare at my body to the point deliberate restriction;

and what i find to be sad;

and this is crucial to add;

is that the rational part of me is aware that the irrational part of me creates all of these excruciating ideas in my brain which are undoubtedly fiction;

not to mention the constant friction;

within myself and this relentless internal contradiction;

i hope and i pray that i get to see the day;

that this pain will at least begin to fade away;

the day that i don’t worry how many calories i ate each day;

the day that i don’t stare at myself with the upmost disgust;

the day that i begin to trust;

and that trust must begin within my own mind;

i hope i see the day that i can remotely unwind;

i hope i see the day that i can abolish the brutal memories of all the times that i have self-maligned;

most importantly, i hope i have the pleasure of absorbing the day;

that i can let go of the need for perfection, and i can accept myself, be as it may;

i’ve always had this desire to be “pretty”;

but i think i’ve really just wished to ensure that i’m skinny—without any pity;

i guess i would rather always feel excessively shitty;

than take a step back and process my life;

process certain methods in avoiding both internal and external strife;

i’ve been self-destructive for as long as i can recall;

but my most prominent self-destructive behavior of all;

is the overall betrayal of my own body as whole;

as i have neglected to care for it, and when i was in pain, and i was hurt in my soul;

i damaged it, and now the damage is out of much of my control.

sad poetry

About the author

zoe frenchman

I’m Zoe, I’m 19, and I’m an aspiring writer, filmmaker, & mental health advocate. For someone so young, I’m able to eloquently articulate my emotions in a manner that touches the reader in some way, & writing has always given me an outlet.

Reader insights

Nice work

Very well written. Keep up the good work!

Top insights

  1. Heartfelt and relatable

    The story invoked strong personal emotions

  2. Easy to read and follow

    Well-structured & engaging content

  3. Compelling and original writing

    Creative use of language & vocab

  1. On-point and relevant

    Writing reflected the title & theme

  2. Excellent storytelling

    Original narrative & well developed characters

  3. Eye opening

    Niche topic & fresh perspectives

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Comments (15)

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  • Jessie Jones13 days ago


  • Harmony Kent15 days ago

    Zoe, this is fantastic! 💕🙂

  • Zari's Diary15 days ago

    I love your poem Zoe. I wrote a poem about my stretch marks one time. Your poem is a little similar to mine. I never published it. I think we should be vocal friends I'm subscribing.

  • Emily Dickerson16 days ago

    Nice poem! It is interesting work and has a wonderful rhyme to it!

  • Blake O'Connor16 days ago

    This was a heartfelt story. Thanks for sharing

  • Kelsey Clarey16 days ago

    This hit very close to home </3 Thank you for sharing <3

  • Carly Bush17 days ago

    This hurt in a good way. Very raw and real.

  • Kendall Defoe17 days ago


  • Andrea Abbott17 days ago

    Hi. Great insight. I dealt with anorexia and perfectionism. Let me tell you it will turn into fear of aging, being rejected for really any behaviors or flaws, etc. IF you allow your power to be given to other people. What it really comes down to is facing your fears, feeling empowered to not base your decisions in terms of other peoples responses and to feel more self-love and acceptance. In time if you do the more feared things and be nicer to yourself (again screw other people's distorted projections) you'll live the life you deserve, one of peace. Keep up the writing!

  • Kamran Mehmood 17 days ago

    woo, that's excellent and nice playing of words. I like the most when poem rhyming at the end and I wrote many of same kind of poem you can check on my profile and give me a feedback it will great honor for me. thanks for sharing

  • Carol Townend17 days ago

    Very much heartfelt. I was like you when I was in my 20's. I was too fat, didn't look perfect enough, My thighs were too big... I saw myself as flawed in every way. I pray that one day you will feel at peace with yourself. It takes time, but it can be done.

  • lexington17 days ago

    Super touching piece, and it's very brave of you to post! I appreciate your rhythm, rhymes, and inspirational message! Much love <3

  • Bambino Wolf17 days ago

    zoe! great work love:) this resonates for me, with multiple loved ones who have suffered from eating disorders and intense body dysmorphia. thank you for your words and this deeply honest perspective:) keep writing pls!

  • Nicole Carroll17 days ago

    I think it’s a big part of healing to express our pains. I can feel the contradiction in your mind between your logical thoughts and your perceived body image. I hope you find healing and peace in the body your blessed with! Also, poetically, I love the middle section! It’s powerful, the words and maybe the rythm seemed to propel me along! Thank you for sharing!

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