Woes of Feminimity

we coveted them,
the others.
those with stick straight bodies
and coordinating hair.
tan and flat.
we covered ourselves,
all insecurities.
the tummies every man
claimed to love
until they found something younger,
blonder,
thinner.
no matter who you are
there’s always someone
younger,
blonder,
thinner.

we were never good enough.
we cried in bathroom stalls on first dates.
we cried while making love
because these men loved us
for who we were,
loved our scars,
our spread,
our cellulite and
freckles.
they swore they loved us
and all the while we wondered
"why couldn’t i have chosen someone with higher standards?"
and instantaneously hated him.
it’s never that our partners couldn’t stand
us
but that they couldn’t stand
our expectations for ourselves.

we fought our mothers,
their crow’s feet consuming our faces,
how our fathers
were disgusted at watching us eat.
we fought his abuse,
his touching,
his drunkenness.
we hid our bodies to hide from him.
we attacked ourselves
because its what we were accustomed to.

we believed
that being beautiful
meant being good.
and that being good
was all there was for girls like us.
we believed
that leading
blonde bland middle-class republican lives
was the best we could hope for.
we believed
that being able to count our ribs
was a status symbol
and that having men objectify us
meant we’d arrived.
we were earning out keep.


we believed it
because we were too afraid of being bad,
of being flawed,
of being human.
perfection seemed attainable.
if only we were

younger,
blonder,
thinner.
then someone could love us enough
to make us love ourselves.

we coveted them
the others,
their confidence
in their underdeveloped bodies.
we coveted them
because they didn’t have the burdens
of being a woman.
because they had not yet had
the experience of finding someone
younger,
blonder,
thinner.

no one will ever love us enough
to make us love ourselves.
we will never be done.
we will never be enough.
we will never be good.
until we are good to ourselves.

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