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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.

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Taken on September 29, 2009