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.

so this is KC

it’s not quite my home,
this i know,
the home of my favorite memories
so i can wish.

just walking here
fills me with content
watching the city rush around me
an excited calm.

so this is KC:
fairy lights lining ledges,
a parking spot nowhere to be found,
orange hued evening skies.

i almost live here
but not quite,
suburbs near the edge of the city
just average blue springs.

but the city steals breath,
buildings stacked buildings,
a scene of a hundred different strangers
amidst the unmoving city.

some bits don’t change.
quik trip at every turn,
the erratic, ever-changing skies,
between my home and KC.

the city always felt cold.
smiling through shivers,
the bite of winter chill stung my face
snaking underneath my coat.

hand in hand,
exploring curious vendors,
wandering city with a dear friend
in awe of the the busy streets.

it’s not quite my home
home of the lighthearted moments
where walking is a small adventure,
home of my heart.

land of the free

she burns her hair away

and fades her brown skin

anything to be good enough

anything to be human enough

 

he doesn’t speak

and he hides his skin

anything to be invisible

anything to live

anything to be safe

 

she has cut her native tongue from her small mouth

she has faded her home away

anything to be a American enough

anything to be free

 

they are scared

they do not cry

anything to get back to their mother

anything to finally have a home

 

the children of the land of the free

are no longer free

they are chained by fear of a bullet being embedded into their backs

the fear of losing their parents

the fear of going back to dangerous homes

the fear of dying

much too early

Black Out Poetry with Molina Speaks

With our guest speaker Adrian Molina (whose artist name is Molina Speaks), we played with Black Out Poetry.  I had seen this on Instagram and on the walls of our campus, but I had never played around with Black Out Poetry myself. I loved it!  I love the idea that words don’t belong to the person who put them on the paper.  I love that you can make art with words, be inspired to be creative in a safe place, and turn something that was someone else’s into yours.  It was such a fun activity, and the kids really got into it as well.  As Adrian was leaving, he asked if anyone wanted more pages to play with, and most every student took more pages.

an open letter to boulder colorado

june 12 2018, 11:03am

 

an open letter to boulder colorado

the city that has shaped me, for better or for worse

the city that has taught me the importance of activism and acceptance

the city that has taught me about money, exercise, and expensive cars

in this city, it’s impossible for anyone to see me as anything more than my skin tone and neighborhood.

the city know nothing about my mexican roots or my great great grandfather who came to america from china as a railroad laborer.

it knows nothing of my mother’s childhood, her poverty, her section 8 housing, her long walks to school everyday.

boulder knows nothing of racial diversity, class diversity, or sexual orientation.

outsiders look in and see a utopia of athleticism and prose

in my city no one stretches too far outside of the privileged straight white man mold.

 

ironic.

iconic.

ignorant maybe.

i am from a place the preaches acceptance

but fails to see the importance of acting upon your words

because acceptance is more than liking someones facebook post

or retweeting a tweet about raising money for trans at risk youth

 

what is acceptance?

when is it okay to use other people to boost yourself up and over personal societal roadblocks

when there are people who wake up and face oppression each and every day

and are disregarded by their own family members and peers around them

 

boulder has shaped who i am and who i want to be

boulder has taught me that actions speak louder than words

that when we speak about race, we should not try to erase it and be colorblind and instead acknowledge everyone and not eliminate their identity

and boulder? some advise if i can.

i want to be in a place where diversity is encourage, differences are celebrated, and resources are accessible to everyone.

 

thank you

 

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