Do you know what it’s like to view yourself as a sum of parts?

A sum of parts seen worthy,
only when occupying the mind of another with desire.

We fight for the rights over our bodies,
while fighting to be seen as more than just our bodies.

We stare at ourselves in the mirror,
Picking ourselves apart piece by piece… limb by limb.

Cursing God for not gifting us with that something,
that something we very well know only Photoshop can deliver.

It doesn’t matter that you tell us not to listen,
expecting self-acceptance is moot when our first given identity is open to public scrutiny.

How do we learn to accept ourselves,
when the key to our triumph lies in our biggest insecurities?

How do we learn to love ourselves,
when curiosity quickly fades to disgust as your eyes gaze at the ungovernable treasure trail growing down our tummies?

How do we learn to embrace ourselves,
when brief moments of permitted sexuality fade as quickly as the attention that feeds us?

How do we learn to appreciate ourselves,
when the female identity society has so eagerly thrust upon us is predicated upon the obligation to strive for a standardized beauty created by the fantasies of those it protects?

How do we develop a proper relationship with the food that nourishes our bodies,
when every bite we take becomes your silent weapon?

We speak of a world filled with opportunity,
and yet as women, the first opportunity we are given is the permission to turn you on.

Our innocence is sexy,
our naivety and docile nature is commodified as a form of erotica.

We mistake your hunger as praise,
and build our sexual-actualization on your empty greed.

Our new sexual confidence mistaken as promiscuity,
promiscuous women mistaken as unworthy… impure.

Yet, we watch you fuck your way through our allies,
and receive trophies for such exploits.

The risky thing is boys, the moment a woman recognizes the veil over her eyes,
her greatest burden becomes her greatest weapon.

Her sexuality no longer her prison,
but a silent force stronger than a fist full of Benjamins.

Photo by Kortney Dunsby.