Beauty Is Not Required

-Cora Thornton-Silver

For me beauty is not required

Because our society is wired

To think that women’s bodies are a measure of their worth

In reality, intelligence, humor and self-awareness are key

For me beauty is not required

Because our society is wired

To believe beauty only exists in the pages of Victoria’s Secret catalogue

For me beauty is not required

Because our society is wired

To inhale advertisements and post liminal images on Instagram

Of innovative ways for housewives to bake

Food that girls are not allowed to eat

For me beauty is not required

Because our society is wired

To look at our waistlines

And measure them daily

For me beauty is not required

Because our society is wired

To hate ourselves

And criticize the subtle marks that line a curvy woman’s thighs

As long as I don’t prioritize beauty

Make up doesn’t burn holes in my Margiela wallet

And curling irons don’t create fire hazards in my bathroom

For me beauty is not required

Because our society is wired

For consumption of a conformist culture

Which slathers its lips in a red substance

That was tested on animals before falling into its mirror cabinets

Women carry the burden of beauty on their shoulders

So that they bend over like hermits

And have back surgeries to straighten their spines

Because our society is wired

To be straight, white and age 16–35

For me beauty is not required

Because our society is wired

To want excess

Crave it

Dream of it

And have children draw it in their kindergarten classroom.

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