Nuha Ali, Grade 10
I ask what you think of me, and the first word you use to describe me is pretty,
And to say I am disappointed is an understatement. I feel betrayed,
Of all the words out there, you choose one which only scrapes at the surface of me,
I am a vessel of magic and mad colours, but you only see blacks and whites and greys.
Maybe one day, this appearance of mine may not stay the same, and it should not,
I know I will embrace the changes of my ever-growing and flourishing body,
Because I will always love the reflection of myself and the fights I’ve fought,
But will I still be “pretty” in your eyes then, or will I become another somebody?
You define me as pretty, and my heart rips at its seams, bursting with words unspoken,
But all that comes out is an orchestrated smile and a thank you as per my duty,
Because I’m expected to expertly hide away the shards of my heart which has broken,
And I’m meant to thank you for conforming to your idea of exterior beauty…?
It scares me to wonder how many people have fallen for this empty compliment,
People who have never discovered themselves, who have become bound to the cruelty,
Of confining themselves to an image and moulding themselves around it,
Because these intelligent, compassionate people have only ever been told that they are pretty.