Dear Society, Stop Selling Me Short You Piece Of Shit – Sincerely, Anorexia Didn’t Win This Time

girl studying with books and macbook at a coffee shop Photo: Alanna Bagladi
When I was a little girl
My mother told me to eat as I pleased.
She taught me that it was my choice.
“You want to be healthy?
You eat healthy.
You be conscious of your health sweetheart.
But don’t you worry about what you look like.”
She said,
“Baby, you’re always beautiful”
But I didn’t always feel beautiful.
There’s something with the way the world seems to market our humanity
And place us all on display
That didn’t satisfy my little girl brain.
My innocence wasn’t raised from the ground up
It came crashing down like lightning bolts
Striking pieces of me that were meant to be kept safe.
Ana came along and she told me that my mother was a liar.
I didn’t have a choice.
Society was the guideline
And Ana said she’d show me the ropes.
She said that my mind was telling the truth
And that every time I looked in the mirror it was was only telling a tall tale.
And that
Fairytales hid themselves in the cracks of my reflections
They were only fragments of my imagination.
I wasn’t as skinny as I needed to be.
Ana said that even though my thigh bones poked through,
The fat was silently there
Sneaking its way in.
That even though my skin may look sickly
It was because I hadn’t shed enough pounds
Only tears.
My ribs may have been prominent
But Ana said it was a lie
I wasn’t skinny enough.
Ana said that she and the truth were knotted together
By pinkies and bones
And that she was the only one to listen to.
Everything else soon turned to a whisper.
Me and Ana would sit through nights
Flipping glossy page after page of magazines
Admiring model after model
Perfection after perfection
Crying over reflection after reflection
We couldn’t sleep.
We’d go to class
Ana would sit behind me in every single one
She never left my side no,
We were united
Just like Ana and the truth
Me and Ana were flattened together
By our pinkies and our bones.
Ana made sure that the insecurities?
They were shouts.
Suffocating any whisper that tried to burst its way through.
Confidence was the enemy
And Ana just wanted me to win
Needed me to win.
Those magazine pages,
They became our bible
And not until my mother ripped them from my prying, bony fingers
Did I see
That Ana was the real enemy
Not me.
My mother said,
“You want to be healthy?
You eat healthy
You be conscious of your health sweetheart
But don’t you worry about what you look like.”
She said,
“Baby, you’re always beautiful.
And those magazines? They don’t know reality
Don’t let society sell you short
Don’t let someone you don’t even know tell you what to look like.
Sweetheart,” she said,
“Listen to your Momma
Because I may be biased
But I damn well know
That you’re worth more than any
Glazed over magazine page.
And my little girl?
Her bones carry beauty
Baby, you carry love in those fingertips.
So let them rest from flipping page after page
And close your eyes to what your mind is showing you
And then open them to the truth
‘Cause baby, you are beautiful
And no magazine can tell you otherwise.”


Becky Harrison : Certified klutz, free spirited, go-get-em goof ball. Loves writing poetry and the beach. Strong believer in bucket lists.