as is [poem]

image

my femininity is a complex relationship
between expectations and exploration
you’ll see it early on in our friendship
my hairy armpits and unshaved legs
my bright coloured dresses
and a flower in my peach blossom hair
I read romance stories like they’re water
and I’m dying of thirst
but I’m not afraid to get my hands dirty
in the middle of something sweaty
and exhausting
these things aren’t for men or for women
we know that
but society makes us feel a certain way
about a woman’s body
like there’s only one right way to use it
I’m soft
sure
curves in places men find satisfying
but I’m human
my body’s hair and sweat and pain
are just like anybody else’s
I refuse to alter my appearance
for public consumption anymore
you could call this my little feminist stand
in my corner of America
if you decide to want this body
just remember
it comes as is

-poem by Larissa Lee
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