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© 2023 by inTune Pathways 

ABN 78 435 698 441

What Women Do

July 20, 2019

 

When I was a young girl,

Somebody told me that

Women made an ‘effort’ 

By wearing a full face of makeup.

That it showed 

Self respect and dignity.

That didn’t feel right to me

But I ignored how I felt

Because what would I know?

I plastered on so much makeup

My skin would itch

And nobody ever saw the me underneath.

My skin never breathed 

Or saw the light of day.

“Why do you wear so much makeup?”

People would ask.

“So you don’t see who I am”

I would think

But not say.

When I was a young adult,

I stopped wearing it.

Stopped buying it.

I learned to be comfortable 

With the world seeing me.

And then a culture erupted 

Of women being told 

They were vain

Or self consumed

Or in some manner

Less than

If they wore make up.

As a 39 year old woman

I slowly found the courage 

To tune into what I want

For myself.

To let go

Of the beauty and ‘being’ 

Standards

Set for me.

Mostly by other women.

Who were continuing

The abuse toward themselves

That society had started 

In our most impressionable years.

I cut off my long hair.

I rediscovered makeup.

And I enjoyed 

Experimenting

With colour

Texture

Art.

I defy the bullshit

That says 

Women can’t be..

People can’t be..

I love and appreciate and honour

My body.

The same body 

I abused

Trying to keep up

With that bullshit.

Trying to guess

Which box

I was to fit into that month.

My body has gifted me 

Children 

Life

Love

Freedom.

And the truest freedom

Of all

Is to be

Perfectly unconventional

Perfectly me.
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Kristy Forbes
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Artist: Jessica Durrant

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