A beautiful body

I have a beautiful body.
An unexpected statement from
a full-figured, curvaceous girl.
But let’s try it on for size.
I understand the weight of memory,
and in my family, size matters!

It was established in school -
You’re a fatty boom-bah! -
that thin is in. I was six,
and much more interested in books,
than mindful of my looks.
I have always understood
that it is preferable
to be capable, intelligent,
than condescend to mere appearances.

My father learned his lesson
on looks at 34. A heart transplant
saved his life, but laid his body
to waste. Some strangers would point
and stare at his morbid obesity -
murmuring of the disgrace, his laziness -
never knowing of the terrible medication.
Steroids and cyclosporine experimentation;
just witnessing an after-effect
of his body’s annihilation,
deteriorating from a welder’s strength,
to a frail man gasping for breath.
That’s a weighted memory
I don’t wish on anyone.

Then there was my Grandma.
A stoic farmer, who combined
strength with maternal elegance.
Her body destroyed by strokes,
something that perversely seems to mingle
atrophy with the indignity of shingles.
She could not even speak,
became inclined to moan and weep,
reminding me once again that bodies
are nothing next to disease;
they can only crack, collapse and bleed.

Never has this creed seemed more true
than as I ponder what to do for my Mum.
A loving and gentle parent, now facing
her own kick to the head deterioration.
. . . Just a passing reference to Parkinson’s,
a terrible waste of her body
as it succumbs to shaking and
central nervous system desecration.

So when I can confidently assert
I have a beautiful body.
part of it is attitude:
I have a cheeky smile;
I repudiate labels and guile.
With an easy-going stride
I am drawn to better people,
greater places, which abide.

When I look at people
I offer warmth and compassion.
Such things mean a lot more
than skinny jeans,
the width of my chest,
or how much I might
holler and jest.

With my arms upraised,
I used to pretend I was a tree.
Nowadays I let that be a symbol;
I am carefree, happy to be me.
Whatever shape or size you might see,
I know what type of person I want to be.
Beautiful, inside and out,
because that is the measure
of all the people I care about.

This song best captures my thought process on body image P!nk’s – F@#&!n Perfect
Made a wrong turn once or twice
Dug my way out, blood and fire
Bad decisions, that’s alright
Welcome to my silly life

Mistreated, misplaced, misunderstood
Miss ‘No way, it’s all good’
It didn’t slow me down.
Mistaken, always second guessing
Underestimated, look I’m still around

Pretty, pretty please, don’t you ever, ever feel
Like you’re less than fucking perfect
Pretty, pretty please, if you ever, ever feel
Like you’re nothing, you’re fucking perfect to me

You’re so mean when you talk
About yourself. You were wrong.
Change the voices in your head
Make them like you instead.

So complicated,
Look happy, You’ll make it!
Filled with so much hatred
Such a tired game
It’s enough, I’ve done all I could think of
Chased down all my demons
I’ve seen you do the same
(ohh ohhhhhhh)

Pretty, pretty please, don’t you ever, ever feel
Like you’re less than fucking perfect
Pretty, pretty please, if you ever, ever feel
Like you’re nothing, you’re fucking perfect to me

The whole world’s scared, so I swallow the fear
The only thing I should be drinking is an ice cold beer
So cool in line and we try try try but we try too hard
And it’s a waste of my time.
Done looking for the critics, cause they’re everywhere
They don’t like my jeans, they don’t get my hair
Exchange ourselves and we do it all the time
Why do we do that, why do I do that (why do I do that)?

Pretty, pretty, pretty

Pretty, pretty please, don’t you ever, ever feel
Like you’re less than fucking perfect
Pretty, pretty please, if you ever, ever feel
Like you’re nothing than you’re fucking perfect to me
(you’re perfect, you’re perfect)
Pretty, pretty please, if you ever, ever feel
Like you’re nothing, you’re fucking perfect to me

I’ll defer to Anna Quindlen, of The New York Times: “People who are knowledgeable about poetry sometimes discuss it in that knowing, rather hateful way in which oenophiles talk about wine: robust, delicate, muscular. This has nothing to do with how most of us experience it, the heart coming around the corner and unexpectedly running into the mind. Of all the words that have stuck to the ribs of my soul, poetry has been the most filling.”

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  • ShadowDancer
    ShadowDanceralmost 4 years ago

    Beautiful you. What I love about you Deb is that you really lay out your soul with every piece of ink you spend. I wish I could have your courage to put it on the line like this.. this is such a moving and inspirational piece. I needed to hear it for myself, I needed to hear it to think about others lives and what they are going through behind closed doors, and now I need to hug you and hug myself…. beautiful indeed.. and the first step in attaining true love and wisdom is when you fully accept and love yourself.. thank you for writing and sharing this.. it was medicine for my soul.

  • Your comment is so touching PJ. Thank you! You are medicine for my soul poetsister xxx

    – msdebbie

  • Lisa  Jewell
    Lisa Jewellalmost 4 years ago

    a brilliant write,
    you really are beautiful in and out and melt me each time I see that smile :))


  • Aww Lisa, I feel likewise darling heart. Cannot wait to give you and KS a big cuddle in Aug xxx

    – msdebbie

  • ClaireJane
    ClaireJanealmost 4 years ago

    Great message, wonderful to read. xx

  • Thanks Claire! Appreciate your kind thoughts xxx

    – msdebbie

  • Marg Thomson Photography
    Marg Thomson P...almost 4 years ago

    oh WOW! This is JUST what I needed! It’s absolutely right and perfect and so incredibly uplifting! I hope you don’t mind – I want to share this to the world (well, facebook and twitter lol) – but if you do mind, then please let me know. I think the whole world needs to hear this. It is simply beautiful. You are beautiful. Thank you so much! xoxox

  • Thank you Marg, your lovely comment thrills me to pieces! Share away. I may even try sending it to FB myself, as my Mum requested the same thing and it would present it to a wider audience I guess, which is the point of writing for me! Love and laughter xxx

    – msdebbie

  • waterbug
    waterbugalmost 4 years ago

    Yes and yes. Your words are a truth that cannot be denied.
    wonderful poem. Thanks

  • Thanks Ken, I really appreciate your kind reply to the poem :D

    – msdebbie

  • SimplyRed
    SimplyRedalmost 4 years ago

    yep yep yep…the heart shows true darling…the outercase a carrier for the lovely person inside always believe this xxxx

  • Thanks so much SimplyRed xxx

    – msdebbie

  • CreativeKitty
    CreativeKittyalmost 4 years ago

    amazing write

  • Thanks CK :D

    – msdebbie

  • SimplyRed
    SimplyRedalmost 4 years ago


  • Thanks for the honour of an AOE feature SimplyRed :D

    – msdebbie

  • Arcadia Tempest
    Arcadia Tempestalmost 4 years ago

    You have invited us into your ‘home’ and we feel so welcome to be exactly who we be with you. There is nothing like acceptance…..not even chocolate can beat this feeling me thinks..
    Beautifully scripted writing Ms Debbie..xxx

  • Oh my dear friend! Acceptance is an ethos I know we both share. And yeah, chocolate is great . . . but not that good! Thanks for such a kind and lovely comment KS, I feel blessed to have your friendship xxx

    – msdebbie

  • Jenifer DeBellis
    Jenifer DeBellisalmost 4 years ago

    (click the banner to go to the permanent feature gallery)

    Congratulations. We are so pleased to have you as a Featured Artist.

    Anna, Sybille & Jenifer

  • Thanks so much Anna, Sybille & Jenifer and Team Panther for the privilege of a feature xxx

    – msdebbie

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