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Moments from Stagetime & Wine: An Apology Letter to My Body

An Apology Letter to My Body

Dear body,

I am sorry

For once hating your small Asian eyes

And your mildly yellow skin color

because everyone around you, was white

I should have been proud of my own heritage

 

I know that mom taught you beauty

is defined by society

There is a certain way

Of how we, as women, should behave

And to conform is the only way

I am sorry,

that I believed her​,

for so many years

I looked at you

And saw nothing but flaws

 

I am sorry,

that I didn’t know how to nourish you

for starving you on

gave you half an apple a day

I am sorry,

that I put you through

eating disorder for so many years

for feeling guilty to eat

and for being scared not to eat

see,

My mom ate from a plate

that was as small as your palms were

the more she shrank

the prouder she became

so I thought

that’s what a woman should be like

I learned, to see a woman’s

through her eyes

 

I apologize,

for letting the numbers on the scale

to define your worth

and that I started to lie about your weight

before having your period

I thought a size zero was the only definition

of beauty

The only way to exist

as a woman

 

I am sorry,

That I tried to make you look attractive

Before even understanding the reasons why

A short skirt and lip gloss

was the only way to attract boys at age nine

I am Sorry,

That you have been sexualized long before

understanding what being a female really means

You, are a human being

Blood and flesh

You are not born to please

Sorry,

That I compared you

with the models on front page magazines

And blamed you

for not looking like them

You should know

There is not a standard for beauty

You, can just be you

I am sorry,

That I always wanted to change you

didn’t appreciate you

didn’t want to live inside of you

 

I am sorry, that I unlearned all this too late

that I never thanked you,

for being here for me

all this time

even when I tried to hurt you

You, always took your time

To forgive me

and you never stopped holding me up

 

You, are my body

Not someone else’s property defined

by the norms of society

you, are my body

You are sacred

You are enough

And from now on

I am going to love you

 

Sincerely,

Vanessa

 

 

A note from the poet: I find it very hard to put the story behind the poem into words. But in a way, this is also a letter  I wish the teenage me could have grabbed a chance to read, and a letter to all the amazing women out there.

As women, we face the problem of body image all the time. Sexism, the objectification of women’s body and patriarchal norms of society seem to be transparent in our daily life yet sinking deep into our conscious minds.

I wrote the poem simply because I’d like to remind whoever is reading/listening to the poem that it’s okay to be different, awkward or whatever it is that they want to be. Society seems to have a tendency to attach values on all things and all people. I’d just like the ones reading / listening to my poem to know that they are all unique and valuable, no matter what others say.

Vanessa is originally from Chicago, studying Chinese here and tracing her roots, exploring the country her parents speak so highly about. Being in Taiwan has been a bliss. She am grateful for both the eastern and western sides of culture I have in her.
Vanessa has a profound passion for literature and spoken word poetry. It’s a way for her to understand the world and express myself creatively.

And she hope Taiwan continues to bring me more joy and adventures!