When I was born into this world, I was scrawny and frail.
Where other babies were cute and tubby, I was sickly and pale.
And my parents saw in their arms
a disaster of a child.
As I grew older, my skin stretched, I became tall and gangly,
awkward and lengthy
stumbling over my own feet.
And everyone winced sympathetically at me
but not even my family would call me pretty.
So then I ate, and gained lots of weight, and became a chubby teen
and kids would laugh and poke fun at my body
my mom and dad teased me, calling me pregnant
which stung more because no boy followed where I went.
After a year, I refused food,
and became a skinny rake once more,
plunging my finger down my throat
behind closed doors.
And my parents freaked out, and everyone got scared,
and I was sent to the doctor for proper care,
until I arrived at the average, healthy weight I am today
and it would be a lie to say I don't hate.
I hate my legs, I hate my nose,
I hate my lips, I hate my toes.
For half my life I was told
though my smile may be bright,
my face isn't quite right,
my teeth could be more white,
my hair is too light,
my body isn't a sight
any eye would linger upon.
And as the world told me "No, you'll never grow to become
something more than an ugly duckling."
I repeated to myself "No", over and over
and as I got older
and strangers on the street stopped to tell me I was pretty,
I said "No."
And as I grew up through high school,
and my friends would exclaim I looked cool,
I laughed at them, and considered them fools,
believing everyone was deceiving me
believing I could not possibly be a beauty
until a man loved me.
When I was twenty, that man came along,
he was tall, he was strong
he was a rock star beyond my dreams.
I thought him crazy to ever waste his time with me.
Every day he would say "You look so good to me."
and I would reply with an uncaring sigh "You are so silly."
Years went by and I was so happy,
amazed to be with someone so lovely...
and so I was stricken and heartbroken when after three years,
my prince left me.
I lay down upon my floor and flooded it with tears
I wept and wailed and cried, blaming my stupid fears
that I ever thought I was good enough to deserve someone like him
and vowed I would never let another in.
I wandered through life, numbed and lost,
refusing happiness at all cost.
And then one day I met him on the street
and boldly begged him for his reasons that made him leave.
"If I was pretty..." I began, and he covered my mouth with his hand.
"You've been the most beautiful thing I've ever known
but all you can say is no.
Every day I told you so, how I loved you, and you'll never know
how much it hurt every day
to have my words disregarded like dirt
you say I don't love you
but you can't see through
your own skewed vision of yourself
to ever be loved by someone else."
That night, I went home and stood naked in front of the mirror
trembling with my own childish fears.
And thought of all the times I said "No."
all the compliments I let go,
all the opportunities I left out of woe,
I wouldn't be enough.
For you can not live your life
until you are at peace inside.
You can not be loved by anyone else
until you can love yourself.
No boy or girl or mom or dad
can ever change the image you have
of who you are, except you.
I don't know you.
I don't care if you are tall, or short.
I don't care about the colour of your hair.
I don't need to know what others say
to tell you today
you are beautiful
you are precious
you are worth your weight in gold.
And the size of your thighs will never define
the soul that lingers inside your eyes.
And the shade of you skin is not the pigment
your personality is within.
You are someone special, someone lovable
and you are so loved,
but unless you can accepted that for you
nothing I can say will hold true.
For I realized after twenty three years
no one ever said I wasn't pretty