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Beautiful

By K.F. Lim

The first time 
I actually believed I was beautiful
Was when,
at age 20

A trans friend of mine 
Surveyed my Asian eyes 
Looking accusatorially at my reflection
Staring at my protruding tummy
Stretching and poking at my skin
As I wondered out loud whether
I could wear a midriff baring top
Because I didn’t have “that typical skinny Asian schoolgirl figure”

And she whispered to me
Her eyes meeting mine in the mirror
"I would kill to have a body like yours.”

And I looked up at her tall, strong body
And her lovely, wispy ginger curls 
And with a Jolt of electric epiphany
I realized that 
Society had told her 
(The exact opposite of me)
What Society had told me 
(The exact opposite of her)

That we were both
The very definition of 
"unattractive" 

But maybe 
Perhaps
Could it be?
We actually had the power
To define ourselves 
…as beautiful 

And my heart broke
For the both of us
Bleeding invisibly under our skins 
Living our whole lives 
Being told to ignore
The glorious pleasure of
Our own beauties 

About this poet: K.F. Lim is a 25 year old Asian American lawyer who lives in Baltimore, MD.  She is originally from Virginia, and has as BA in English from The College of William and Mary.  When she is not in the courtroom, K.F. enjoys making jewelry, and blogging about social justice issues. 

Photo courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.Net

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