Beautiful Bodies: A Poem On Body Image

Posted on July 22, 2012 in Health & Life, Short Stories & Poems

By Nazreen Fazal:

Shopping with girlfriends or at the hairdressers’,
Flipping through magazines as I get my hair done
Page after page of glossy perfection
Sensuous curves and caramel skin so soft,
Image after image
Mocking me, calling me names
One places me in the ‘before’ selling distant dreams of a beautiful ‘after’
Dreams contained in big bottles and labelled lotions,
My skin needs lightening, body some tightening or,
they reveal, I face a future so bleak-
Men’s rejection, collapsing careers and eventual dejection

I can’t look at the mirror no more
That image is not me
It’s an ugly monster I’ve created
Done with this Frankenstein
Time to change
Throw out all Chips and chocolates,
The cheese in my spaghetti, sugar in my tea
Push out carbs too-out you go potatoes
My body is in my hands and I am its sculptor
Carving those curves, perfecting that pout

I feel good – I must be beautiful now!
A glance at the magazines- a broken heart
The images look thinner,
Eyes brighter, lips fuller
Skin flawless with that ever present glow
My shame burns me
Why can’t I be like them?
I sit at the table
Boiled vegetables on my plate
Stuff myself and then run to the toilet
A finger down my throat
Out comes it all
*Flush*
Some calories down the drain!
An evolving competition
Me and those calculating calories till death do us apart

Tiredness treads in now
But that’s a good sign!
I must be on my way
Hopes high I head to my ally
‘Mirror Mirror on the wall- who’s the thinnest of them all?’
no lies, hidden truths no more
Deep breath, eyes open and I see
A whale
A big ugly whale
Frustration. Anger.
If perfection eludes me,
I must step up my game.
Pit stop and I pick up some pills
Now guaranteed a fine future ahead
I take them- 1,2,3 at a time
Day after day, week after week,

My body now starved, some pills popped,
I feel different. My body’s not mine,
Instead a dying corpse
A sculptor’s worst nightmare
His masterpiece shattering in his hands.

In my race to perfection, I’d forgotten
That perfection, didn’t exist
Not in this world.
I wasn’t the lie, it was the image
Starved models make up caked,
Living lies,
Photo-shoots then photoshopped
Altered curves and concealed spots
Plastic smiles then painted on
Creating a fantasy; destroying million others
And mine.

So I take a step back and let my body speak for itself
It tells me to stop, this torture unbearable,
And look within
While my body starved, my soul did too
In the pursuit of perfection, I’d lost not one but two
The trails were testing and it took me some time
But I turned to the one who is perfect and he sorted it out
Cracks mended and tears stitched
I’ve prayed and the answer was lucid
To look beyond the body and go for the soul
This I shall polish and let shine for the world
The Creator created me this way and so it shall remain
I’m beautiful and so are you.

[box bg=”#fdf78c” color=”#000″]Disclaimer: The poem is about a teenage girl and her problems with body image. Not the story of the author, just what she sees around and reads more and more about (Alarmingly). Eating disorders now plague teenage girls, rendering them weak and with low self esteem. There needs to be a collective effort to ensure that girls feel positive about their bodies and are not constantly starving themselves towards unrealistic goals.[/box]

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