Let us talk about beauty.
I am beautiful. I am full of face and have eyes that men have fallen head-long into like a chasm of grief and pain and pleasure and have been lost. Forever. I have a mouth full and sweet like a rosebud, just on the cusp of bursting into a full and long flower that men have kissed and nibbled and sighed into. I have full breasts and midnight hair that tumbles down my back. Yes, it’s true, I am beautiful.
In our society beauty can be everything. Ever since I was a girl all around me have commented upon my face, later my body. I have held value because of these things. I have been lost and devoured and used because of these things. I recognize that I am beautiful, but what is that exactly?
I am visually appealing. I am easy to look at. I invoke pleasant feelings in those who glance in my direction. I kill myself slowly a little more every day to live up to the expectations that others have placed upon me and that I have made my own. I starve myself; I fill my body with chemicals in a desperate attempt to become thinner. Diet pills, laxatives, endless diuretics. This is some months. Then there are the months when I am so exhausted and spent that I just eat to fill the hole left behind. I am filled with guilt and pain and I am filled with more guilt. Every morsel is a punishment and I do this to remind myself that I must be beautiful to have worth. I obsess and the ones who love me the most suffer with me.
The funny thing is I do not believe that others must live this standard that has been set for me. I recognize the beauty in others I love so much. Fierce independence, self-assuredness, the ability to survive, spirituality, loyalty, innocence, worldliness, a loving nature, a protective nature; all are things of beauty and make the bearer beyond compare. I even recognize some of these qualities in myself.
Yet, in my darkest hours it’s the ugliness in my psyche that haunts me. In my deepest of depths every pill, every morsel withheld, every graze of the razor across my arms and wrists and thighs is a secret message to myself; a message that says “You must do this to be loved.”
It seems boundless, this pit that I have dug for myself, but I have just written this down. I have acknowledged that it happens. This is my admonition, my cry for help, my pact with all of you and with myself to stop this insanity. I will stop this. I will write and maybe even talk and I will stop this.
I want to be free.