28 October 2015

OctPoWriMo 28 - What Makes Me Beautiful

Today's prompt is to record myself reading my favourite poem out loud. I've done this before other years and, this year, I really want to write 31 new poems this month so I'm skipping this prompt.

There are two popular songs that have always bothered me. They are what you might call problematic. "What Makes You Beautiful" by One Direction and "Beautiful" by Christina Aguilera. Both of them, I believe, are trying to bring across a message of confidence in one's own beauty, but they both fall short.

When One Direction says, "You don't know you're beautiful; that's what makes you beautiful," they are implying that insecurity is attractive and, conversely, that a self-confident woman who knows she is beautiful is not attractive.

Christina says, "I am beautiful in every single way. Words can't bring me down," and that's good. But then, in the very next line, she says, "So don't you bring me down today." Wait, what? If words can't bring you down, why are you worried that anyone will bring you down? What can they do? She's undermining her message here.

I wanted to write a kind of response to these ideas, a poem of self-confidence. I believe that confidence is beautiful. Not arrogance, but knowing who you are. It's taken me a long time to get to a place where I can say that I am beautiful and mean it, and some days I still can't do it. But maybe this poem can remind me of what makes me beautiful.

What Makes Me Beautiful

I know I‘m beautiful
That’s what makes me beautiful

Paint your face
Dye your hair
Lose weight
Because you’re worth it

Take up space
Hear me roar
I create
My own self-confidence

I know I’m beautiful
That’s what makes me beautiful

Don’t tell me
My insecurities
Define me
I know I’m beautiful

For I know
My confidence
Defines me
That’s what makes me beautiful

I know I am beautiful
That’s what makes me beautiful