the history of make up. (explored)
sitting in front of a mirror at five years old
with oversize pink framed glasses,
i delicately applied red lipstick on my lips and cheeks
trying to be as pretty as julia roberts was in "pretty woman."
i thought i looked beautiful,
and my mom told me it was true,
and when i was five years old,
that's all that mattered.
as i got a little older,
there were things people said that i would keep with me, preventing me from looking a certain way.
when i was 7 years old, kanita withrow, a girl who rode my bus,
told me she thought i was a boy when i had my hair tied back
so, i cut the hair i was practically sitting on, off in a bob right below my ears
and didn't grow it out again until i was in the 7th grade,
when i got contacts.
with my new found esteem with my new glasses-less look,
i again, cut my hair short, in the 8th grade.
my uncle stacy stephens called me a "fucking dyke."
he didn't tease me for long after, because he drown in a river a few weeks after that.
three girls cornered me in school, shortly after his funeral
and asked me why i didn't wear make up.
"we all wear makeup" they said.
"see how we look?"
and i wanted to be pretty
so i bought a tube of brown lipstick
and started to wear it every day
but when they told me i looked like a clown,
i swore off lipstick and threw my brown tube away.
it feels silly to me now, to be bothered by what a 7 year old says about my hair
and to take the make up advice of a group of mean 13 year olds,
or to be bothered by what small minded men have to say
so now i have red lipstick on
and my hair up in braids
and i think i look beautiful,
and josh told me it was true,
and at 23 years old,
that's all that matters.