pretty hurts

pretty hurts.
it’s an old saying,
and
as a little girl,
i just thought it meant
uncomfortable heels,
blisters from flats,
tight dresses,
or pierced ears

but

it’s funny how much truth
a silly old phrase can hold.

pretty hurts
this is drilled into our brains
the belief
beauty comes at a cost,
a parasite
that roots itself
subconsciously,
festering,
little by little,
as little girls grow.

pretty hurts
like
the pangs of hunger
you willfully ignore,
because pretty girls
skip lunch.

pretty hurts
like
when you pinch
at the fat
on your waist
your legs
your wrist even,
until skin breaks.

pretty hurts
like
a pounding headache
you get
trying to study
but you can’t focus
because your stomach can’t comprehend why it’s so empty.

pretty hurts
like
shivering so hard your ribs ache,
always so cold
freezing to the bone
because seeing your bones
is all you care about anymore.

because pretty hurts,
right?
being pretty
being skinny
being fragile
being sick,
it’s worth it.

and wanting to be pretty
transforms itself,
into insatiable perfectionism.
never thin enough.
never light enough.
you know you’re dying
but you can’t stop,
pretty is supposed to hurt,
right?

pretty hurts
like
your purple fingernails,
like
hair falling out in clumps.

pretty hurts
like
staring at size 0 models,
hours on end,
ashamed you don’t look like a goddamn stick.
page after glossy page
of
people praising
celebrities for slimming down,
and throwing up.

is this what we are teaching?
teaching little girls
that thinner = better.
lighter = prettier.
society
a lesson
in every way you can hate yourself.
and little girls
are avid students.
studying every flaw reflected in the mirror,
learning to read nutrition labels,
memorizing menus,
practicing lies,
learning.
learning everything diet culture has to teach,
until they’re 68 pounds in a hospital bed.

a little more
hurt
and you’ll be perfect,
a little more
pain
and you’ll be worth it.

pretty hurts
like panicking every time you look in the mirror.

pretty hurts
like
broken friendships
like
worried mothers

and sometimes the hurt
is just too much
and you wonder,
was it really worth
the pain?

pretty hurts
pretty aches
pretty burns
pretty
pretty
pretty
kills.

Proudly powered by WordPress | Theme: Baskerville 2 by Anders Noren.

Up ↑