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I am not pretty

I am not pretty.
I prefer instead
to be described as
intelligent,
hard-working,
self-sufficient,
great in bed.

I am not especially angry,
but gosh, with an opinion
it is easy to fool folks!
That’s right, chalk it up
to anger management issues.

No need to consider
your own level of fear.
Imagine that! Such
vitriol from a girl!

I will not be your
damsel in distress.
I prefer instead
to be called Debstar,
rockstar, awesome,
than crying bleakly
to be rescued like
some Disney princess.

I am sorry if these thoughts
offend you. After all,
I was just meant to be
the smart one.
My beautiful sister Barb
took her jibes as
the pretty one,
especially when a first-round
uni offer was not provided.

But she overcame that
token comfort,
the small-minded label
of a country-town
where such distinctions
are rife, yet meaningless.

Here is what we do
I told her in 1994.
You have five minutes
to cry, get all of that out
of your system, then we plan.
You would be a great nurse.
They will be lucky to have you.
We will make it so they cannot say no.

And so it was . . . persistence
delivered a second-round offer…

So, let me tell you again,
Debstar is not a sex kitten
stuck on a stripper pole
somewhere sleazy.
Barb is not a pretty face
who can be shamed into
vacuity for perpetuity.

We are like-minded sisters
fighting the good fight.
We know there are no damsels in distress
Even a sex kitten can work out
how to get down from a stripper pole

I am not a pretty girl,
Barb is not a pretty face,
I don’t want to be a pretty girl,
you guessed it,
I want to be so much more
than a pretty girl,
than a smart girl.
I want to be all that I want to be.
Such ridiculous labels do not define me.

I am not pretty

msdebbie

Joined March 2009

  • Artist
    Notes
  • Artwork Comments 32

Artist's Description

Memory poem, in response to the still far too common use of distinctions for girls. All of which can be damaging in the worst ways…
Debbie is the smart one, Barbara is so pretty, Lynda is a tom-boy…
I grew up in a loving family and could retort with the full force of my wit to these sorts of observations of my sisters and me…but in some cases it causes untold pain and heartache for people.
I also consider it wrongful where boys are concerned too, but that is not really my area of expertise :D
This is for Barbara
Below is a back catalogue of some writings that underpin the thought process for my current poem

Musical inspiration – Ani DiFranco – Shameless
“Shameless”

i cannot name this
i cannot explain this
and i really don’t want to
just call me shameless
i can’t even slow this down
let alone stop this
and i keep looking around
but i cannot top this

if i had any sense
i guess i’d fear this
i guess i’d keep it down
so no one would hear this
i guess i’d shut my mouth
and rethink a minute
but i can’t shut it now
‘cuz there’s something in it

we’re in a room without a door
and i am sure without a doubt
they’re gonna wanna know
how we got in here
and they’re gonna wanna know
how we plan to get out
we better have a good explanation
for all the fun that we had
’cuz they are coming for us, baby
they are going to be mad
they are going to be mad at us

this is my skeleton
this is the skin it’s in
that is, according to light
and gravity
i’ll take off my disguise
the mask you met me in
‘cuz i got something
for you to see
just gimme your skeleton
give me the skin it’s in
yeah baby, this is you
according to me
i never avert my eyes
i never compromise
so nevermind
the poetry

we’re in a room without a door…

i gotta cover my butt ‘cuz i covet
another man’s wife
i got to divide my emotions
between wrong and right
then i get to see how close i can get to it
without giving in
then i get to rub up against it
till i break the skin
rub up against it
till i break the skin

they’re gonna be mad at us
they’re gonna be mad at me and you
yeah, they’re gonna be mad at us
and all the things we wanna do
they’re gonna be mad at us
they’re gonna be mad at me and you
they’re gonna be mad at us
and all the things we like do

just please don’t name this
please don’t explain this
just blame it all on me
say i was shameless
say i couldn’t slow it down
let alone stop it
and say you just hung around
‘cuz you couldn’t top it

Artwork Comments

  • 8upchef
  • msdebbie
  • Lisa  Jewell
  • msdebbie
  • Mark Ramstead
  • msdebbie
  • Initially NO
  • msdebbie
  • Sybille Sterk
  • msdebbie
  • trwoody
  • msdebbie
  • linaji
  • msdebbie
  • SimplyRed
  • msdebbie
  • mss3
  • msdebbie
  • BabyM2
  • msdebbie
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