Pretty Skinny – Kristiana Reed

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We say skinny

like it’s a swear word.

We blame skinny girls,

ask who ate the skinny girl

and can’t bear the skinny girl

who says anything about her weight.

We’ve branded ribs and collarbones

who didn’t ask to be shown.

We tell them to eat more,

call them twigs, stick-thin

and not flowers pretty enough

for the bees,

because only vultures pick at bones.

I’m not saying skinny

needs to be the new curvy

or vice versa.

I’m asking women and men

and every gender to be a little kinder

to every body.

Everybody has bones and insecurities,

pages of a history

they ripped from their open book

long ago, to be kept and stowed.

I’m asking as a girl

who has always been small

not to chastise me

for the way my elbows poke

when yours don’t.

All we are, is skin and bone

and it shouldn’t matter

how much we show,

keep to ourselves or flaunt

in Instagram posts.

 

I would like to say

I’m skinny or curvy

or fat or thin

without feeling dirty.

I would like to say

I’m a woman who

is learning to love

her body;

the skin and the bones

she has no choice but to be in.

 

We say skinny

when we should say

‘Beauty comes in every shape and size

and it is not for me to decide

if you do or should feel pretty.’

 


 

Kristiana Reed is an English teacher and a writer (in her free time and day dreams.) She is the author of the WordPress blog My Screaming Twenties and she writes about love, her struggle with mental health, survival and hope. She is currently in the middle of producing Between the Trees, her debut anthology, and writing her first novel.  

Published by

Kristiana

I write poetry and prose inspired by the people around me - whether that be my own reflection or a stranger in a cafe. I am the Vice President of FVR Publishing and head of talent acquisition in the UK and EU, a curator for Blood into Ink and a collective member of both Whisper and the Roar and Sudden Denouement, and I write reviews over at Indie Blu(e).

8 thoughts on “Pretty Skinny – Kristiana Reed

  1. The truth is spoken in the best of the way possible.‘Beauty comes in every shape and size and it is not for me to decide
    if you do or should feel pretty.’ There is so much of body shaming these days. thanks to the narcissist culture of social media.
    Your poem is a hard punch.

    Liked by 1 person

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