Crossing the road workmen whistle

a young girl’s, barely sixteen, shoulders bristle

with discomfort and self awareness in each stride

this unwanted attention leaves her knotted inside

as she glances up at a photoshopped ad

the disproportionate body makes all women sad

she mentally scans over comparing each inch

reaches her hand to her stomach to pinch

her mind whispers ‘I want to be thin’

runs her hand over her face to trace bumpy skin,

feels grease from the day on the tips of her fingers

stands searching the image and lingers

swallows the disappointment and steps on the bus

sits down near the back wanting no fuss

slides out her phone, opens facebook

every fake friend giving their best look

photos enhanced by the well angled selfie

finds the vain self portrayal unhealthy

next one’s her stop, she heads for the door

passing discarded magazines all over the floor

pages of cellulite highlighted in red

slut shaming the women who are active in bed

Home. Shuts the door heads up the stairs

past the flickering screen where everyone stares

Bag on floor. Close the door. Switch on the TV

pauses to choose vampire diaries or glee

pretty singing or pretty dying, she chooses death

watches a flawless skinned girl draw her last breath

She then smoothes over her skin with face wipes

another product that fails to live up to the hype

it neither makes her happy or brings her a boy

the advert suggested they’d bottled pure joy

Sits down on her bed and reaches her table

clutches some pills, reads over the label

She found them last week while searching on eBay

bought them in the small hope they do what they say

She dry swallows double what they recommend

not caring one bit to how this would end

The pills came with no decent advice or warning

and the girl was found cold in the morning

Parents and friends knew no reason why

a girl so young would let herself die

So surrounded by body image in reality

it has become a part of normality

Be thin, be pretty, is there a gap in your thighs?

Have you got straight white teeth? Big blue eyes?

right clothes make the right impression

leaving most unimpressed in this recession

and why is no one comprehending

why Rihanna’s nipples are still trending?

why one woman’s body parts hold so much attention

when gender violence and war don’t get a mention

appearance of women is of vital importance

gets celebrity and corporate endorsements

slim unachievable bodies at every glance

young girls today they don’t stand a chance

We don’t want to raise a no esteem generation

this issue needs tackling without reservation

to convince our girls to accept their reflection

taking the concept of beauty in a different direction


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