It was never truly mi

I wrote the following piece to express the way I’ve been feeling lately, and have often felt at various points during my life in regards to my physical body. As I’ve previously written on this blog, I’ve struggled in the past from disordered eating and obesity. I can remember from an early age, not feeling “right” in my body. I knew I was chubby or fat and that I needed to lose weight. I never felt good enough because of my weight. As a teen, peer pressure kicked in and I felt the judgment of others, especially boys, as a heavy weight, constantly dragging me down. The constant double-standard of having to be attractive but not too sexy was a very difficult message for any adolescent to manage. Over the past many years, I’ve starved myself through numerous diets, lost and gained weight over-and-over again, and have lost the ability to read my own body’s signals. I often feel completely disconnected from my own body. In so many ways, it doesn’t feel like my own.


This body
serves as a house for my soul,
a vehicle to carry me through this life
But was it ever really mine?
To whom does it belong?

For as long as I can remember
there was always an awareness
that this body
must always be kept pleasing to others
Not too fat
No, never that

A temple to god
On loan for this lifetime
My womb
strictly patrolled
and controlled
by those who speak on god’s behalf

And speaking of men
Their judgment extends
far beyond the womb
Don’t show too much
or you’re a slut
But you should smile more
Show a little skin
Don’t be so uptight

What is a female body for
if not for the entertainment
and pleasure
of others?

Though it is my duty
to stay healthy
and to keep my body functional
I am ever aware
this body is a leased vehicle
It was never truly mine

2 thoughts on “Bodies

    • Thank you for your comment, Toi. I’ve been using this blog frequently to work out some issues regarding my health and weight. This poem was partially inspired by some of my struggles with weight, but also by the constant judgement about women’s bodies by, not only men, but by other women. The poem you wrote on your blog a couple of days ago underlines the fact that these issues are even more complicated for women for color, whose bodies are “policed” by white people, both literally and figuratively.

      I hope you will keep writing poetry. Your beautifully written work spoke to me as well.

      Liked by 1 person

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