Poem: Fill Yourself Up

I don’t want to be a shell,
Hollowed out and waiting.
Magazines make me want to yell,
Anticipating the girls who will see them
And take them at their word.
It’s absurd – the socially prescribed idea that
We should shrink to fit the space left for us.
Messages addressed to us on shiny covers.
A thigh gap will not fill you up.

There comes a point when the steps you are taking
Take you away from yourself.
When the creaks of joints and bones meant to hold you up
Become as loud as the voice in your head
Telling you to keep going, to run faster, to be better.
To push away the food on your plate
And forget about what makes you great
Beyond your shrinking frame and self restraint.

I want an end to this, for all of us.
I want the space in my brain
Reserved for guilt and shame
To be put to better use.
Don’t reduce yourself to likes or pounds –
Self love won’t be found by scrolling through a stranger’s life.
By all means, look after yourself,
But know that you are not worth less because
You don’t fit into that dress any more.
Embrace your hunger
For food, experiences, love, connection.
Cut your ties to punishment
And the time you spend with your reflection.

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