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my mother tells me that i should be ashamed
for dipping my baby carrots in salad dressing,
that my food doesn't need the salt i sprinkle on it.

my afternoon tea doesn't need any sugar, skip
the lemonade and drink the water instead.

do you really need that?

her sharp tone echoes like military orders in the face of combat.

she tells me that at my age, her jean size was half of mine
and i resist the urge to tell her that maybe that means she
had half the character i do.

shopping with her, she butts heads with a body-image complex,
telling me to quit fooling myself and pick the next size up.
i shock her time and time again when i cram my corners into
every article of clothing i selected on my own.

how will you ever get married?

& i wish i could tell her how boys have seen me naked
in the emotional sense of the word, how they have found
truth and honor ready to burst from my so-called "fat rolls."

she will never know that i am a garden with an unlocked gate
and that each of my visitors plants a flower before leaving.

i invite people in with the gleam in my eyes
and the way i bend language, so mother:

i am sorry that the width of my gut is not to your liking.
my suitcase of memories may be overweight in your eyes,
but within me lies every story i have ever been told.

i am holding every DNA strand that has ever coincided with mine.
it's as if i'm bearing the child of my own set of paradigms and you
are the poet not ready to write an apology.

it's okay, i'll do it for the both of us:

i am sorry for treating my body like a canvas meant to shed its paint.
i have learned to love my ink stains.
irrelevant, but i was eating the aforementioned baby carrots when i wrote this
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Daily Deviation

Given 2013-09-18
146 pounds by ~learningtobefree puts a refreshing spin on the criticism we've all heard at least once in our lives. ( Featured by Nichrysalis )
:icongrowinluvhandles:
growinluvhandles Featured By Owner Aug 28, 2014  Student Writer
A powerful piece of writing!  If only people were not so cruel and judgmental!
Reply
:icongrowinluvhandles:
growinluvhandles Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2014  Student Writer
You are such a great writer!  What wonderful expression!

Sorry that you are treated so badly by someone who loves you.
Reply
:iconagonizingswordfish:
AgonizingSwordfish Featured By Owner May 11, 2014  Hobbyist Photographer
Gorgeous writing :)
Reply
:iconlearningtobefree:
learningtobefree Featured By Owner May 11, 2014  Student Writer
thank you
Reply
:iconwolfgang627:
Wolfgang627 Featured By Owner Mar 22, 2014  Student General Artist
beautiful
Reply
:iconflummo:
flummo Featured By Owner Feb 26, 2014  Student Writer
"she will never know that i am a garden with an unlocked gate
and that each of my visitors plants a flower before leaving."

and that last pair of lines oh. :heart: Congratulations on the DD.
Reply
:iconlearningtobefree:
learningtobefree Featured By Owner Feb 26, 2014  Student Writer
Thanks!
Reply
:icontommyboywood:
tommyboywood Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
carrots be good, ya
Reply
:iconmuscularteeth:
muscularteeth Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2014
it's very diifficult having a mother who's insecure with her body image, and you capture that conflict so well. i do feel the "...half the character i do..." line seems a bit misguided in its intent and skews the message of body positivity, but i also understand the emotion behind it. this is a strong poem because of its layered complexity; the struggle is palpanle
Reply
:iconlearningtobefree:
learningtobefree Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2014  Student Writer
thanks so much!
Reply
:iconmuscularteeth:
muscularteeth Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2014
no problem :)
Reply
:iconmuscularteeth:
muscularteeth Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2014
*palpable, oops.
Reply
:iconvanelopes-corner:
Vanelopes-corner Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
I struggle with this, mostly with myself instead of my mother. Awesome poem.
Reply
:iconlearningtobefree:
learningtobefree Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2014  Student Writer
thanks so much!
Reply
:iconvanelopes-corner:
Vanelopes-corner Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
You are very welcome
Reply
:iconweirdandlovely:
WeirdAndLovely Featured By Owner Dec 28, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I absolutely LOVE this. 
Reply
:iconlearningtobefree:
learningtobefree Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2013  Student Writer
thanks!
Reply
:iconweirdandlovely:
WeirdAndLovely Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
You're wonderfully welcome. :)
Reply
:iconassureastheskyisblue:
I don't know how to do things in pounds, but I weigh 80kg. My mum and my grandmother spend half their time telling me I eat too much and too bad, and the other half telling me I'm stupid for thinking I'm fat. They don't see my stomach bulge and contort when I sit. This spoke buckets to me, and it's incredible. I'm still learning to accept that I'm quite a lot bigger than other girls my age - flat chested girls with less curves than a pine tree trunk. I hate shopping because everything is designed for supermodel-thin girls, and anything that might fit looks horrific. But I'm getting there.

Long story short; amazing writing, you're beautiful, and impossibly inspiring.
Reply
:iconcamelopardalisinblue:
camelopardalisinblue Featured By Owner Dec 28, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I'm gonna let you in on a secret, honey...

most of us have stomachs that bulge and contort when we sit. Yes, even the so-called skinny girls/ladies. I learnt off one of the people I love, whose body I wished for.

We are indoctrinated into this world where the impossible is passed off as the ideal, and even when we know it with every fibre of our being, we still want so badly for that impossible to include our body. Women (and men) are beautiful in all shapes and sizes, and no number will ever be able to measure that.

(PS, I love the line "flat chested girls with less curves than a pine tree trunk". I'd like permission to use it in a poem perhaps - no guarantee I will, it just spoke to me.) :)
Reply
:iconassureastheskyisblue:
I know - that's what the logical part of my head says too! It's my social-rules part that yells things.

Haha, I was trying to think of something with almost no curves and all that was coming to mind was round, lovely things. It was something that randomly popped up - so feel free to use it as much as you like :3
Reply
:iconcamelopardalisinblue:
camelopardalisinblue Featured By Owner Dec 28, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
The logical part of my head is much smaller than the rest of my head, it doesn't have room to know most of these things. :giggle: I have the most trouble with the "applies to me as well as everyone else" section!
Reply
:iconassureastheskyisblue:
Haha, yes - the "I can make everyone else but myself feel good about themselves." That part is always super shy for some reason, and hates yelling, unlike the rest of my brain! :D
Reply
:iconcamelopardalisinblue:
camelopardalisinblue Featured By Owner Dec 31, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Yes, I think that's common. Rude of our brains, really, when you think about it... :p
Reply
:iconassureastheskyisblue:
assureastheskyisblue Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2014
All brains are rude :P
Reply
:iconcamelopardalisinblue:
camelopardalisinblue Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Indeed, we should fire them. :D
Reply
:iconlearningtobefree:
learningtobefree Featured By Owner Dec 28, 2013  Student Writer
i struggled with body image issues a lot today. i understand exactly where you're coming from and this comment couldn't have come at a better time. i'm so honored that you appreciated my poem; never stop being who you are :heart: 
Reply
:iconassureastheskyisblue:
Then I'm glad I don't sleep until unholy hours of the morning and I posted it when you needed it most. I think I appreciated your honesty about yourself more than anything - I think a lot of people try to.. not lie, but they aren't honest, either. Never stop appreciating yourself, either :heart:
Reply
:iconlpddpl1980:
lpddpl1980 Featured By Owner Oct 18, 2013
Amazing
Reply
:iconarivess:
arivess Featured By Owner Oct 13, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I usually don't like poetry, but I have to say, that was beautiful and touching, and very reminescent of my mother and grandmother. They're always going around calling me fat, and telling me I am way too temperamental and stubborn, and how will I ever get a man. :\ And I know what you and some of the commenters mean - I am not fat at all, and fairly pretty, and I would never become placid for anyone else's sake. But, it still hurts to hear the words from people close to you. Thank you for this poem.
Reply
:iconlearningtobefree:
learningtobefree Featured By Owner Oct 13, 2013  Student Writer
thank you for reading and enjoying.
Reply
:iconsammur-amat:
Sammur-amat Featured By Owner Oct 4, 2013   General Artist
powerful and present
congratulations on both the DLD and DD, dearling :tighthug: :heart:
Reply
:iconlearningtobefree:
learningtobefree Featured By Owner Oct 4, 2013  Student Writer
thank you thank you!!!
Reply
:icondoqzilla:
doqzilla Featured By Owner Oct 3, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Oh my goodness, this is gorgeous! You deserve a watch. <3 
I love poetry, and I'd love to read more from you. ;v;
Reply
:iconlearningtobefree:
learningtobefree Featured By Owner Oct 4, 2013  Student Writer
thank you very much, dear :heart:
Reply
:icondoqzilla:
doqzilla Featured By Owner Oct 5, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Of course!
Reply
:iconjust-get-over-it:
just-get-over-it Featured By Owner Oct 1, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
I don't know how old you are, but if a fourteen-year-old (me) that gets called pretty can weigh 148 pounds with a 130-pound mother then you are not fat either. Lets love our ink stains :)
Reply
:iconlearningtobefree:
learningtobefree Featured By Owner Oct 2, 2013  Student Writer
:heart: :heart:
Reply
:iconthefantasim:
thefantasim Featured By Owner Oct 1, 2013   Digital Artist
I absolutely love this. It's so sweet in so many ways, and I can just imagine how many of us women can relate. Not necessarily about being over weight (and, sweetie, I've worked in retail to make extra money for many years, 146 lbs. is the size of the average American woman), but about anything that our mothers see as being negative in her eyes.  I don't have a daughter, but a wonderful son who married a wonderful women who calls me her other mom because I make her feel good about herself.  And that makes me happy. 
Reply
:iconvmenfangirl:
VMenFangirl Featured By Owner Sep 30, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
This is really powerfull and deep, i love it :iconwuvplz: bravo! :iconclappingplz::iconbravoplz::iconclappingplz:
Reply
:iconlearningtobefree:
learningtobefree Featured By Owner Oct 1, 2013  Student Writer
thank you :heart:
Reply
:iconintricately-ordinary:
intricately-ordinary Featured By Owner Sep 30, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
that last stanza is superb
Reply
:iconlearningtobefree:
learningtobefree Featured By Owner Sep 30, 2013  Student Writer
thank you, thank you :heart:
Reply
:iconlettingshardsgo:
lettingshardsgo Featured By Owner Sep 30, 2013
Are you sure it's your mother and not you who has the skewed body image? I mean, trying to cure an overweight person and being called delusional... wow. When I was a child, we called fat unhealthy. Looks like the world slipped further down over the years.
I don't know your height and your dry mass (weight alone doesn't mean much if a person has a lot of muscle), but if you have fat rolls, you are fat. And being fat is unattractive, nothing to be proud of and suggests that you are weak-willed and prone to satisfy your lowest animal instincts. Such people don't have that much of a "character". It's hard to imagine truth and honor stemming from somebody who finds it a challenge to do such a simple thing as eat less. Some people out there die for their country, or starve to feed their children, or whatnot, and call that "honor", and here we have a honorable drama over carrots.
Sorry to slam reality into your face like this, but the poem and the comments give me an impression that first world lives now on another planet or something. Oh well, your are most likely to be angry at me now, although it's yourself you should be angry at. Because deep down you're ashamed of yourself, you know the truth, deep down in your psyche the illusions you calm yourself with don't work. That's why you wrote this piece at all: if you were truly happy with your fat, it wouldn't bother you in any way, no matter what anybody says.
"Love yourself" is a way to degradation. A step down evolutionary ladder. Pigs love themselves. Humans should evolve and improve.
Reply
:iconmoe-princess-7:
moe-princess-7 Featured By Owner Oct 2, 2013  Hobbyist Artist
Lettinghardsgo: I apologize for being frank, but as an 18 year old weighing 160 pounds and proud, I am eating more healthily than I have in my entire life. This poem conveys emotionally and realistically what society thinks that each person should look like/ weigh. Having a skewed point of view is quite normal. Having character, however, has nothing to do with your food choices. I do not see how food choices and character has any link; how easily you have made judgments! Why pick a fight when there is no battle? It's obvious to see, for anyone who truly looks, that weight/ food choices do not make who you are. Character is much more important, and to the people who matter, they think that you are perfect the way you are. You said: "If you were truly happy with your fat, it wouldn't bother you in any way, no matter what anybody says." That is completely untrue!  Words are hurtful, even if you try to shrug them off! When close family members/ friends say hurtful things, it will still hurt, regardless of your own security. I sincerely hope that you rethink your words; they can be hurtful. Even if you are trying to help, pointing out someone's flaws does not empower them. It grinds them down into the dust. Again, I have friends who are considered "fat", and who have more character than I could ever hope to have. I really hope that you can look further into a person than their looks; for looks are often shallow, and deep inside is a person of worth more than gold. LEARNINGTOBEFREE: Thank you for writing something I can so easily relate to, because of the assumptions that people make about me. Insecurity doesn't mean that you are "fat", it just means that we all have skewed body images. Thank you again for writing such a brilliant piece. It reminded me of my own mother, and was real to me in a way that words can't describe.
Reply
:iconlearningtobefree:
learningtobefree Featured By Owner Oct 2, 2013  Student Writer
it's quite an honor, to say the least, that i evoked all of that in you. stay beautiful, love :heart:
Reply
:iconmoe-princess-7:
moe-princess-7 Featured By Owner Oct 2, 2013  Hobbyist Artist
Thank you :) You too! <3
Reply
:iconsurrealcachinnation:
SurrealCachinnation Featured By Owner Sep 26, 2013   Writer
Beautiful piece.  :clap:

And good for you, knowing you're beautiful and not to listen to that kind of criticism.
Reply
:iconlearningtobefree:
learningtobefree Featured By Owner Sep 27, 2013  Student Writer
thank you, thank you
Reply
:iconqwibes:
qwibes Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2013   Writer
Amazing :love:
Reply
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