Cut and Paste

A little girl sits in her room on the floor,
Magazines cover the path to the door.
She's sat with some scissors, cutting things out,
Two eyes, ears, breasts, flat stomach and mouth.
This shopping list of perfect features this girl has not yet grown,
A long list of features this girl feels she must own.

She's finding the parts, she so wishes were hers,
All of the features she is told, that she should prefer.
She's cutting them out, sticking them to her frame,
But for this sad sight, she is not to blame.
For her ideals of beauty have been tainted,
To look pretty, she is told, her face must be painted.

She flicks through these pages making notes as she goes,
Writing down the things they tell her she must know.
To be beautiful is to be thin, with makeup on every day,
Personality and character is no match for what you weigh.
That's the world this girl has grown up in,
One in which numbers say you must be thin.

With all these standards a girl look has to live up too,
Images edited so they don't even speak true.
She's growing up based on an image of something she can't be,
For none of those images reflect the reality.
The girls in those magazines do not even look like that,
With skin so edited all blemishes are made matte.

We are damaging people with these false promises,
Of what your body can look like if you do all the "right things".
It's time to end this campaign of what beauty should be,
It's time that the industry started to see.
Beauty is not something defined by your image,
But by your insides, to that beauty has no limits.

A little girl sits in her room on the floor,
She looks at these images and can't take any more.
She rips them and throws the magazines in the bin,
For she won't be losing weight to match their idea of thin.
She's happy and healthy and loving and whole,
A wonderful girl with a beautiful soul.

The first day of National Poetry Writing Month. This is a poem about fighting beauty standards set out by magazines. Similarly to how magazines ‘Cut and Paste’ parts of the model’s body they like to create this perfect image, this poem tells the story of a girl who wishes to cut and paste her own version of beauty onto her body. It is about the battle we face trying to live up to unrealistic beauty standards. Everyone is beautiful, all body shapes, sizes and heights, it is all about representation. This is not me saying that the girls in the magazines are not beautiful too. Instead, I am saying we absolutely do not have to edit natural human bodies to the extent we do. We do not need to take arm hair off girls, remove stretch marks, remove cellulite, edit in six packs and jawlines onto men, make sure they are a certain weight and hight with the right amount of muscle definition. We do not have to edit photos at all, these people are perfect just the way they are, to begin with. If we are only showcasing certain weights in photos we have gone too far wrong. Bodies are beautiful and that should be recognised. We do not need edited pictures. Young impressionable people are growing up and seeing things on their bodies that are not in pictures of other people that set standards. They think there is something wrong with them. There isn’t. There is something toxically wrong with the beauty industry.

All bodies are beautiful.

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