a poem highlighting the life of an eating disordered teen. autobiographical.
i’m seven years old, sitting on ms.k’s alphabet rug on the dirty classroom floor.
my hands cup the skin on my thighs, as i sit and wonder why the other girl’s don’t look like mine.
i’m almost ten, delicate ballet music plays as point shoes from the devil leap across the floor.
i look in the mirror, and take a deep breath, sucking in my leotarded stomach that isn’t as flat as it “should be.”
i’m eleven, pulling my soccer jersey from my chest, and wishing it would stay.
ignoring the ache in my ribs from a sports bra three sizes too small, an attempt to hide what i don’t want.
i’m twelve, watching as my friends get ready for winter formal.
i sit quietly on the bathroom counter, praying to the heavens that my dress would be the same size as theirs.
i’m thirteen, skipping meals and running before school, doubling up on sports practices, and staying up past my bed time to condition.
my doctor says i need to stop, and orders me to quit sports, but i’m still convinced that passing out means that my diet is working.
i’m fourteen now, telling my roommate i already ate, running till the room spins and my nose bleed.
i look at pictures of the girls i know, with their toned abs and flat stomachs, while sitting on the the bathroom floor chocking on my own fingers.
i’m a teenager, being told it’s normal to hate my body, that everyone feels like this.
i tell my friends how i feel, they tell me “your beautiful” and that “you should love yourself”
i stare in the mirror, pointing out my imperfections to a crowd of critics, harsh judgments full of hate flood my mind.
telling myself i’ll love my body after i lose 15 more pounds, and that i’ll only be beautiful then.
11 million other teens stare at their reflections at the end of the day, just like me, hoping to look like someone else.
we tell ourselves that the only way to be beautiful is for us to change, that only then we can be happy with ourselves.