and she has lowered the rent
points to her chest and says
‘Man, if you lived here
you’d be home by now.’
With insides made up of
broken shutters and cracked self-esteem,
I thought compliments were jokes
being made at my expense.
I poured over teen magazines,
hoping they contained the formula
to make me stop hating myself.
I thought that if I spent my summers
mixing ingredients in my kitchen
to make homemade face scrubs and
hair masks, I would be able to go to school
in the fall a new, likable person.
Do not eat that, do not forget to exercise,
do not leave your house without a coat of
makeup, do not let them see you for who you are,
I told myself each morning.
I fell asleep counting things I wanted to
change about myself and thought
that the secret to liking myself
laid in looking a certain way.
But still, the pimples sprouted like
angry wildflowers in the pavement,
still there was extra fat for me
to squeeze in front of the mirror,
still there were reasons for me
to wish I could sink into the floor.
Walking through the halls became hard,
being anywhere besides under my covers became hard,
even opening my mouth became hard.
In a group, I trained myself to hold my breath
for fear that I would disturb the air by inhaling.
In my free time, I cut out pictures of girls
whose thighs were not scarred, whose faces
did not bear punch mark bruises, whose
chests did not appear to
contain an anvil of reasons to not be alive.
‘Ugly’ used to be all I could see. I was not
young and learning, I was stray hairs, a dirty chin,
matted hair and six tons of self-loathing.
It took me years of being blind to the
beauty in my chipped teeth and grey hairs
to learn that pretty is not a formula you can find.
Pretty is not found in the perfect makeup packages
winking at you behind the counter.
Pretty is not offered in a boys’ mouth
or a bottle of prescription pills.
Pretty will not be found by cutting yourself
to the bone in an attempt to expel whatever makes
you feel so alone. Pretty is a place. Pretty is a state of mind.
And you can only reach it by replacing each
reason in your head of why you are not enough
with a reason why you deserve to be loved.
Pretty Is A Place | Lora Mathis
for every anonymous message I get in which someone tells me that they cannot stop hating themselves.
the “i’m not afraid to verbally assault a middle schooler if they look at my kid the wrong way” haircut
YOU KIDS THESE DAYS AND YER FANCY “SPRINTING” AND “MOTION CONTROLS”
WHEN I WAS YOUR AGE WE COULDN’T MAKE LINK RUN FASTER
NO, WE HAD TO ROLL ACROSS HYRULE FIELD TO MAKE IT TO KAKARIKO BY NIGHTFALL
BAREFOOT, IN THE SNOW, TAPPING THE A BUTTON REPEATEDLY FOR 10 MILES
AND WE WERE GRATEFUL