not in Primary anymore

lipstick

when i speak instead of listening you start instructing me about ideas that were mine originally,

you are saying, “don’t worry

that i don’t really ask for or listen to your ideas

and i interrupt and explain over things you already know and ideas you’ve already had

because at least i like to look at you”

you whisper, “it’s okay

when others have conversations about your body

because that’s a compliment, right?”

you smile this crocodile “we shall see” smile

when i talk about the things that i love

because my feminist ideals do nothing more than amuse you, and you’re convinced I’ll “come around”

“don’t worry,” you croon,

because “i can forgive a lot about a body as long as you have a pretty face”

i’ve finally learned the language. translated, your backhanded, bodily compliments really mean, “don’t worry that your wildly active mind and heart are ignored while your body faces undue scrutiny and rejection for being untamed because your face is pretty enough to make me forget about the sins your body commits”

you really say “i don’t care about the thoughts and ideas that have a home in your mind because you are worth little more than something to watch, you are only a warm body that is sometimes aesthetically and physically pleasing”

your phrase “you are beautiful” is a bandaid on a gash, a poor solace, some sort of consolation

a cheap fix

for the inhumane, outrageous, unreasonable double standards, for the way

you think to lull us into security, to pacify us with sweet sticky words like beautiful

pretty

cute

amazing

like those words are all that give us value

you use beautiful as a distraction, as a filler

so you don’t have to admit that we are more than objects to be looked at, that we can change worlds

that we don’t need anyone’s consent or approval for our bodies or our dreams

i’ve gotten so used to beautiful as the end-all be-all that i’ve allowed myself to remain in a world where

you look and i’m looked at

and you approve or disapprove of my body

and my fate rests upon that decision.

i want to yell

“i am

fiery

perceptive

hardworking

funny

charming

charismatic

assertive

and a million other things

how dare you

allow one characteristic

to negate everything i am”

there are others i want to look straight in the eye and ask “would you like me, if the world told you it was okay? would you admit you are attracted to me, if you weren’t scared that others would think i’m not worth loving because the body that houses my soul is considered too far from perfect?”

so

don’t you worry about me

because anyone who thinks my belief that all human beings are equal regardless of race, class, gender, sexuality, ability and looks is an amusing phase I’ll get over isn’t worthy of my time, because that’s my life’s purpose

don’t sweat it

because anyone who would only date me if I was smaller, taller, blonder, neater, more fashionable, less passionate, less driven, less caring, if i wore lipstick is exactly the type of person i have absolutely no interest in 

so goodbye

because my body is not an apology

and i will never say sorry for my body’s existence as it is or as it will be at any given point in time

it’s okay

because i will never diminish myself into something just because it makes life easier or simpler for

you, your mind, and your eyes.

DON’T WORRY;

i will never ever try to pull the word “beautiful” out of your lips

because that’s the last word i will ever need

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5 Responses to “lipstick”

  1. David

    Some of the most beautiful people I had the honor to know were sunburnt, wind blown, dust covered, hadn’t had a chance to bath in days. They were there to do what needed to be done. If you can’t get past the superficial you haven’t learn to cope with the world. These people need your sympathy. Much like the rabid racoon needs your sympathy ounce you have beet it off your leg.

    Reply

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