“One day I decided that I was beautiful, and so I carried out my life as if I was a beautiful girl. I wear colors that I really like, I wear makeup that makes me feel pretty, and it really helps. It doesn’t have anything to do with how the world perceives you. What matters is what you see. Your body is your temple, it’s your home, and you must decorate it.”—Gabourey Sidibe (via seabois)
“There are people who will feel threatened by the idea of you liking yourself. This is because if you like yourself, you’ll believe that you deserve to be treated well, so you won’t tolerate it when they treat you badly, and they either don’t know how to treat you properly or don’t want to treat you properly, so they know you liking yourself means that you will invariably leave them or stand up to them. When somebody wants you to be insecure or to doubt yourself, it’s because they want to use those insecurities and doubts against you. To hell with those people. They don’t care about you. They just want to be able to treat you like dirt, and they’re scared you won’t let them, so go ahead, scare them; love yourself.”—Power is me convincing you that I have it and you don’t. (via officialryanross)
I am riding in the passenger seat, listening to my mother talk about the ways love has failed her. I can see the fifty-six years on her face, though she wears them well. She has been called “wife” by four men, “girlfriend” by eight names she has slipped into conversation, “lover” by strangers I will never meet. When I curiously ask, “Why stay married if you’re unhappy?”, she goes stiff. ‘You don’t understand,’ she says defensively. ‘You’re just a kid.’
I am seventeen the first time a boy mentions marriage to me. We are giddy with the idea of gaining light by revealing our dark to each other. But we are too entranced by how bold shouting ‘forever’ is to know how suffocating it can be. We have no idea that we will spend months listening to each other punch ‘fiancee’ out of our speech. Or that one day, when we are sharing a bed, we will look forward to getting away from each other in sleep.
At nineteen, I am doodling in the margins of my college notebook, when my teacher says, ‘Second marriages have a 67% chance of ending in divorce. Third marriages have a 73% chance. And if you’re on your fourth, well, really, what are you doing?’ I think of my mother in her fourth unhappy marriage. I think of my father in his fifth. I wonder if picking myself up and trying again is in my genes.
I do not pick myself up and try again when I learn that I am not going to marry the first person I loved. I pack the remainder of my tiny world into two suitcases and leave the photos of us to die on our bedroom walls. I write lots of shitty poetry and tell my ghosts to ‘keep quiet’ when I think nobody is listening. The next time a boy knocks on my chest and asks, ‘How deep do you go?’, I do not show him. I say, ‘Infinitely’ and leave when he complains about the spaces in me he will not be able to fill up.
My ninety-year old grandma, with her silver hips and bullet-wound lips, tells me, in a thick accent, that ‘Nice girls should be married.’ For years, I watched her treat love as the greatest task on her ‘to-do list,’ always cooking and cleaning to keep the relationship alive. But I am too weak, too selfish, too young to carry the weight of love. She says, ‘Find someone nice and settle down,’ but I have a desire for the world that must be fed. And I am trying to first settle the disorder in my head before I think about sharing my bed.
”—Forever Is Too Large To Promise | Lora Mathis (via soggypoetry)
my friends sister was telling me about how in highschool a guy tried to take a picture up her skirt as she was walking up stairs and she saw, grabbed his phone, broke it in half, and handed it back to him and said “you can tell your mom why your phones broken”
A boy sprawled next to me on the bus, elbows out, knee pointing sharp into my thigh.
He frowned at me when I uncrossed my legs, unfolded my hands
and splayed out like boys are taught to: all big, loose limbs.
I made sure to jab him in the side with my pretty little sharp purse.
At first he opened his mouth like I expected him to, but instead of speaking up he sat there, quiet, and took it for the whole bus ride.
Like a girl.
Once, a boy said my anger was cute, and he laughed,
and I remember thinking that I should sit there and take it,
because it isn’t ladylike to cause a scene and girls aren’t supposed to raise their voices.
But then he laughed again and all I saw
was my pretty little sharp nails digging into his cheek
before drawing back and making a horribly unladylike fist.
(my teacher informed me later that there is no ladylike way of making a fist.)
When we were both in the principal’s office twenty minutes later
him with a bloody mouth and cheek, me with skinned knuckles,
I tried to explain in words that I didn’t have yet
that I was tired of having my emotions not taken seriously
just because I’m a girl.
Girls are taught: be small, so boys can be big.
Don’t take up any more space than absolutely necessary.
Be small and smooth with soft edges
and hold in the howling when they touch you and it hurts:
the sandpaper scrape of their body hair that we would be shamed for having,
the greedy hands that press too hard and too often take without asking permission.
Girls are taught: be quiet and unimposing and oh so small
when they heckle you with their big voices from the window of a car,
because it’s rude to scream curse words back at them, and they’d just laugh anyway.
We’re taught to pin on smiles for the boys who jeer at us on the street
who see us as convenient bodies instead of people.
Girls are taught: hush, be hairless and small and soft,
so we sit there and take it and hold in the howling,
pretend to be obedient lapdogs instead of the wolves we are.
We pin pretty little sharp smiles on our faces instead of opening our mouths,
because if we do we get accused of silly women emotions
blowing everything out of proportion with our PMS, we get
condescending pet names and not-so-discreet eyerolls.
Once, I got told I punched like a girl.
I told him, Good. I hope my pretty little sharp rings leave scars.
”—'My Perfume Doubles As Mace,' theappleppielifestyle. (via queenofeden)