Poem: ‘The Billboards Used to Mock Me’

by Yamini Krishnan 

I saw milky white skin,

Light blue, green, hazel eyes,

Poker straight, silky smooth hair,

Cascading down tapered shoulders,

I saw contoured jaws,

Collarbones so discernably protruding out,

Of skin free of marks, blemishes,

And any sign of struggle, anguish, and pain.

I wondered, where are the long hooked noses?

Where are the caramel, earthy brown complexions,

The braids, the frizz, the pimples?

Where are the eyes as black as the night sky,

The full lips, the softness and the curve of hips, and stomachs, and cheeks?

Where are the wide foreheads, the thighs,

As thick and as strong as tree trunks,

Where, I wondered, are the wrinkles by their eyes,

Born of mirth and laughter?

Or had these ‘models’,

Who we’re supposed to emulate and idolize,

Never felt joy?

The billboards used to mock,

Tease, and remind me of all things,

That I wasn’t  blessed with,

Then I realized, that the beauty,

Of the sky does not diminish,

That of the sea.

The beauty of another isn’t a reminder,

Of my own inadequacy,

But rather of my beauty,

The rare, unique beauty that I have to come to accept,

Embrace and love even.

The billboards still stand,

But they have no power over me,

Not anymore.”

[Read Related: ‘Silence’: A Poem Reflecting the Reactions of Global Tragedies]

Yamini Krishnan - HeadshotYamini is a sixteen-year-old, who specializes in writing, singing and overthinking. She enjoys reading and listening to music as well. You can follow her at @yaminizjm.

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