When do you take control of your body?
I’m thirteen. I stare at myself in a department store mirror, trying on jeans for the new school year. Late August has left me swollen and sticky, and I feel frustration blossoming in pinpricks behind my eyes. Skin hangs over the waistband of mint green skinny jeans- another trend that just doesn’t ‘flatter’ me.
These days I read teen rag mags like bible verses, saying a prayer each and every night for the type of willow thin body that girls and boys of all ages dream of.
I crave arms like vines, fingers spreading wide as waxy leaves grow out and out and out.
I desire legs so thin that bones show through tightly stretched skin, graceful and shocking, a walking sonnet, a dancing poem.
I could hear blood rushing, pulsing, pumping beneath my skin and I contemplated my figure.
Wrong wrong wrong.
When I was younger, I had dreams of being beautiful.
In this Kohl’s dressing room, spider veins spread through the glass of my thoughts, snaking cracks that spread throughout the entirety of my teen years. My reflection remains shattered.
What happens when you can’t even love yourself?
Shame finds purchase in your sleepless nights.
Disgust rests beneath the enamel in your nails, so that at every meal time there is a hesitation with each bite.
My worth was determined by what others saw. My beauty hidden in the compliments of another, easter eggs laid out that I searched for far too long.
Being obsessed with your image is exhausting. Time consuming. Boring.
I was bored with berating myself, tired of the struggle within my mind driving me crazy.
I grew up.
I’m twenty. My sense of self worth no longer rests in the eyes of another. I dream of independence, and growth, light and laughter.
In these thoughts, I am weightless.