At Least I Have the Right to Vote

They keep telling me that women are equal,

but I have a hard time believing it.

How can women be equal when the streets are full of walking skeletons;

girls as young as 14 with gaunt faces,

skin pulled so tight I fear bones might pierce

through the purple, gossamer veil

which so delicately clings to their cheeks.

Twiggy thighs that can barely stand a gust of wind.

Razor kisses up and down both arms.

Thinning hair, almost as lifeless as the bulging eyes

ready to pop out of their sockets.

Frail and dizzy with a visible spine,

she says no to the pizza

even though she hasn’t eaten in days.

You see, nothing tastes as good as skinny feels.

That’s what we’re taught.

It’s everywhere.

For 19 years I thought I was nothing more

than a pretty face.

On my knees, bent over the toilet

fingers in my mouth, coercing the ugliness to go.

I wish I could say I did it for myself.

But I did it for that boy who said “just friends”

after I realized I loved him.

I did it for the boy who picked her over me.

I did it for every boy, everywhere.

And that to me is the saddest part.

An infliction, a disease which unraveled every corner of my life

was not even mine.

How depressing it is to know that I

ruined so much of myself for

those who care so little.

So do not throw women’s equality in my face.

You have no right.

Not when girls are starving and binging and purging

and bleeding themselves dry to conform to a man’s idea of beautiful.

You think the right to vote is equality?

Tell that to the girl in the bathroom who

looks down when she washes her hands

because she can’t stand her reflection.

Tell that to the girl in the emergency room

who fainted twice today

because all she ate was water.

Or maybe you should tell that to the family of the girl

who swallowed 130 pills

because she weighed 135 pounds.

By Sophia Grey, Contributor

Featured Image from “Girl, Interrupted” (1999)

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