In her second piece JOY (our Nigerian poet) details our on-going obsession with the body beautiful and the impact it has on the young and old.
Stop staring at me like that,
I see it in your eyes you don’t like how my shoulders are built,
My back is hunched and my feet are huge,
You say , full brows and an oval shaped face,
All I can give is eye bags and badly chapped lips,
You want long afro hair but my scalp owns a tangled short fringe,
Am I not enough for the spotlight,
They said, ‘’contoured cheek bones and a visible jaw line’’
I own acnes and a spotted face dabbed in concealer,
Picking at the scabs on my skin,
Poking at them, hoping they peel off and then heal,
It makes my nail beds bleed,
I thought you loved my obvious collarbone,
You had said that my breasts were the perfect size, no?
I had them stacked and tied down to avoid its growth
The mirror told the truth even though it had a crack,
I walked past it and saw my bulging stomach,
After I’d stopped eating burgers and did the extra exercise?
I kept seeing the curves on my hips,
The big Tees did not do justice,
I tried out the new trend, big jeans,
‘’Six feet tall is the criteria ’’ ,
Take a walk, jog, run , run even faster,
‘’Don’t come back with folds on your skin’’, let that be your mantra,
Broadway praises the pretty girls with long legs ,
For this I tortured myself with steroids and meds,
Please pause, continue and then pause, again.