to all of the people who call girls pretty

to all of the people who call girls pretty

A Poem by ghosti

Right now, as I sit down to write this poem, I am wearing sweatpants and a sweatshirt, my hair is pulled up. And this is not to point and be like “Oh! I am not like the other girls!” Because about 50% of the girls at my high school look just like me. I am white, I am blonde, I am 5’5 and slouching, I really am basic. I wear glasses and that may be my only distinguishing feature, but I am what everyone would call “average” Average in the nice way. Average in the good way. Average in the “almost hot” way. See, while I’m wearing baggy sweat-clothes and I hide my hair, under all of that, I have a body. Some people might consider me only a body. Nothing else but a body. And that is why I do this. My mother asks me in the morning, ”Why don’t you wear nice clothes? Why this? I can’t see you in this. You’re drowning in the fabric.” No mom, I’m not drowning in fabric. I can breathe just fine. I breathe better in these clothes than I do in anything else. I can afford to breathe in these clothes. I tell her it is for comfort, that I am going school and I am there to learn, not to look pretty. She is like,”I get that, but you want people to think you take care of yourself. That you take pride in your appearance.” I take pride in my appearance. I find joy in what I am wearing. What I am wearing may not be unique, but it is me, and me is the best thing I can be. What she means by “you aren’t taking care of you appearance”, Is that “you don’t look pretty enough”. “No one can you see you there.” “The guys can’t see you there” And I know she doesn’t want to say it, but that is what she means. And honestly? She is right. The guys don’t see me. And that’s a good thing. Because I am one of the few girls in my grade, in my age group, With my body type, and blonde hair, and big chest, and actual hips, with a real figure under all of this fabric, That has not dealt with harassment on a daily basis. I do not get cat called, I’ve never been whistled at, I’ve never been touched inappropriately by a stranger, I've never had someone drive by and go “nice a**!”. I've never had that issue. I’m one of the lucky ones. Most of the people I know have been dealing with that issue since they were 12, since according to others they are women, since nature has taken its course. I haven’t, and I consider that a blessing I am going to try and keep. You think I am blessed by what is under my shirt but I think I am blessed because no one has noticed it. Because I am aware. I understand that this is how the world works. I know what I have and that people are looking at me and I don’t want people to look at me. That is the reason I wear these clothes. If I wear clothes that cover all of this up, no one is going to whistle at me. No one is going to see it. If I have no curves, there is nothing to honk at. If I do not stand out, no one is going to step on me. When my mom asks, ”Are you getting bad again?” She is referring to the years I was dealing with depression. The years I didn’t take care of myself. The weeks I never washed my hair or brushed it and watched it get matted with apathy. I did not get out of bed for days. I gained weight but I never ate. I did not even care. I was too busy trying to figure how everything worked, why I didn’t work, why I was broken. I never worried about what I looked like. I did not try and take care of myself, not even a little bit. So when she asks if I am getting bad again, I looked at myself in the mirror. Do I look sad? Do I look broken? No. I look like a survivor. My hair is brushed, my teeth are cleaned, I have the best grades I have had in years, I am the best emotionally than I have been in years. I actually remember yesterday, which is an important distinction from years ago, where I was unable to remember a thing. I am saying I am healed and you are telling me I look bad. I am saying that I won, that I am a hero, and you say I look like a slob. I am looking down at everyone from the mountain I’ve climbed, screaming,”Look what I’ve done!” And all you ask is why I am not wearing a skirt. The thing is, if I am wearing oversized sweat pants and sweatshirts, they will still envision in me in less clothes. They will picture me in tight shorts and some random skimpy shirt. But if I wear the short shorts and the thin crop top, they will imagine me in nothing but bed sheets. Or worse, in their trunk. And I do not want to deal with that. I went shopping for clothes with my mother because I had lost weight. And no, I did not do it on purpose. Please don’t compliment me. Weight loss is not an achievement but just something that happens. They say that I have gotten skinny but I have always been skinny and it does not even matter if I am. It should not matter if I am a size 6 or 10 or 13. It should not matter if I fit inside the Barbie doll box you made for me. Regardless of if it is 120 or 150 pounds, I still have a body to hide. So I am going to get clothes because the ones I have do not fit me anymore. At least, that is what my mother says. It is probably because she does not like the clothes that I own and is trying to convince me to get something new. It will not work. Then she points out the taboo subject- the undergarments. The bras and the underwear. Shocker- I wear them. We all do. And she is like “oh isn’t that one pretty? Do you like that?” It has lace. It is covered in a colorful flower pattern. It is grown up, it is adult. And I am 17. I guess I am a “grown up” now. She wants me to wear those flimsy undergarments. Pretty clothes under my *clothes* clothes. No one is going to see them, I tell her. No one is going to see that- why does it matter if it is pretty? She says “It just does.” And the unintentional silent answer is because someone might see. I might go home one day and not make it. I might end up in an alley somewhere, and you want the r*pist to commend my fashion choices. You want them to think that’s pretty. I do not want them to think that’s pretty. You think I would look prettier if I wore different clothes. It should not matter what I am wearing- Because according to God I am beautiful just the way I am. According to my pastor, I am beautiful the way I am. According to the hundred older men that watch me enter church on Sunday morning, I am beautiful. I do not want to be beautiful When people say “You’re pretty”, what they mean is they like looking at you. When they say “You’re beautiful”, what they mean is they want to touch you. What I’m trying to say is I do not want to be seen as something on sale. I do not want people to try and take me. I want to be the item in the store that will never get bought. And what I am not saying that the girl in the short shorts and the crop top is a clearance rack. I am saying that we are not clothes for others to try on. I am saying that we are more than just bodies, just skin, just something to look at What I want to say to the girl in the nicer clothes than mine, Is that I do not think she is pretty. I do not think she is beautiful. I think she is courageous and powerful and full of strength. What I want to say is that I am proud of her.

© 2022 ghosti


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Added on January 11, 2022
Last Updated on January 11, 2022

Author

ghosti
ghosti

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A young adult poet who writes out feelings. more..

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A Poem by ghosti