Society has a standard on what is considered beautiful and desireable and I’ve never really fit the mold (in my mind). From my weight to my skin color to my hair type – nothing physically about me has ever been considered “good enough.”
To this day, I’m not a person who is constantly staring at myself in a mirror (just ask my Loctician). The only mirror I own is in my bathroom and that’s because it came with the house and it’s attached to the structure, otherwise I look at my mirror long enough to brush my teeth or to check and see if something’s in my teeth. Same goes for taking pictures. Love to take pictures…just not of myself.
Nothing Less Than a Masterpiece was written in my early to mid-20’s when I was living my best life and had finally come to terms with accepting my body for what it was. One day I studied myself in a full-size mirror and all these questions flooded my mind that went beyond just the surface of my weight like:
- What if I didn’t straighten my hair every couple of months?
- Should I be concerned with certain areas of my body being a lighter or darker shade than other areas?
- Is my sexuality visible?
- Am I not feminine enough?
- How come I can’t say where I’m from when someone asks me?
Writing this poem helped me take a long hard look at myself, like really examine who I was inside and out. There is always an aspect of me in everything that I write, but this is truly one of the most personal to date besides Woman on the Verge and One Sonday Afternoon.
SIDENOTE: Reading this poem years later has ignited a need to write a companion piece on myself in the present