21st Century Girl

Art by Elyssa Chou
Writing by Eva Ingber
A compliment bit me the other day, and left me 
bleeding 
They said ‘she’s stunning’ 
Only, they weren’t talking about me

Mother says: beauty
isn’t mutually exclusive
I swear I agree, I swear 
I don’t need affirmations, I swear
            I don’t 
                        I don’t 
                                    I don’t 
                                                I don’t I don’t I 

care
about the inside, just like I was taught 
            just like 
                        I was taught 
                                    just like

I was taught  ‘you are special’
but the words are shrinking 
and I can’t seem to stop them
I am shrinking 
with them
away we go 
they go
I go

through her pictures at
2:34 AM and wonder 
if a picture’s worth a thousand words, why 
do I only see one?
            perfect hair perfect waist perfect teeth perfect skin 
                                    perfect perfect perfect perfect perfect omg ur perfect 
                                                omg ur perfect stop it omg ur perfect perfection i wish wait ur
            literally
                                                perfect
no wonder he left me for her:
my nose is kinda crooked 


Mother says: looks fade  
I swear I agree, I swear 
I know, I swear
I know 
            I know 
                        I know
                                    I know I know 
that my neck will crinkle like tissue paper 
and my jowls will melt and droop 
and d
            R
                        I
                                    p
with age

But do you think she eats everyday? (because I don’t)

Can you also 
see 
            your reflection 
                                    distorted 
                                                in her
                                                            shiny teeth? (do you like what you see?)
Mother says: being called doctor
is better than being called
		
                        pretty

                                    she is right she is right she is right is right is 
                                    she is right is she right is she right is she right