I looked up at my mother as a child 

And thought…

I will never be as beautiful as her when I grow up 

No woman will ever be

As a teenager I watched

As my peers started developing

Curves on their bodies 

And edges in their hearts 

I watched as the pretty girls got boyfriends 

(Who would eventually make them cry)

I watched as girls relaxed their hair and hated the fact that I wasn’t allowed to relax mine 

“Straight hair looks pretty ma, I’m tired of this bush on my head” 

(I didn’t understand anything)
I remember gaining weight, and people noticing 

My dinner became hot water and lemon 

(For weeks)
I remember the last year of high school. 

I remember the first time a boy looked at me and called me pretty 

I don’t know why it meant so much

Why it still means so much to young girls 

I remember relaxing my hair

(and immediately regretting it)

I remember my first year in varsity and more boys calling me pretty, (usually accompanied by a comment about my dark skin)
I remember learning how to use photoshop. 

I made my skin lighter. I made my eyes blue 

Perhaps it looked nice at the time. (If nice was a stranger)
“You talk to much for a beautiful girl” 

Must I turn my mind off and just take my clothes off? I remember catching myself. 

I remember crying. 

It has been a chase. A chase for beauty, since the day I realized I was a “her”, I wanted to be beautiful. Not realizing that it had nothing to do with how I looked. 

I no longer want to be the pretty one, that is a prison far to harsh for my heart. And a distraction far too dangerous for progress. 

There are other things. Far more appealing. Far more magnificent. Only now I realize that’s what I was looking at. 

While I was watching my mother. 

It was never her beauty. 

It was just her. 

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