Former High Fashion Model and Former Dancer — How to Embrace Your Physical and Emotional Life

Below are a video and poem by former top high fashion model, star of Marc Jacobs and Dolce Gabanna Campaigns, Vogue, and Chanel runways, Esmeralda Seay- Reynolds, and former pro dancer, Shannon Cabbell, focusing on human emotions and their external expressions, or repressions.

As two actresses in the current age of “self-identity,” who previously worked in body-centric industries, that required the shutting down of emotions, Esmeralda Seay-Reynolds and Shannon Cabbell have been made hyper aware to the struggle of connection, both with oneself and with those around us, particularly in the current age of social media and political disconnect, which they express and challenge in this video and poem, which they hope can help start a dialogue toward awareness, and finding ways to thrive. Take a look!


We Are Animals

Esmeralda Seay-Reynolds & Shannon Cabbell

I dance for me,

I didn’t always.

I loved a boy who left me,

I loved a boy who never came.

I waited at my window, but you never came.

A thousand voices,

echoing,

in my body,

naked.

Seven,

fifteen,

sixteen-

scream for me.

Holy moves,

finger paints in primary colors,

inkblot patterns,

construction paper,

a ricochet of shards,

stained,

windows,

pain.

Covered in thick paint,

fold and open me.

Beat — Beat —

— Heart —

Butterfly,

paper thin,

origami girl,

scissor world.

Stained glass wings,

a cathedral of butterflies,

under glass,

desperate,

trapped.

My heart’s song- “pull me apart,”

my heart’s longing- “creatures of dark.”

Set me free.

Too young to know,

too old to ask,

too wise to love,

too wise to live alone,

I have a cat.

Shards of people,

embedded,

skin deep,

(girls who stared,

boys who loved

girls who laughed

boys who hurt

boys who stole).

I loved a world I left,

I loved a life that never was,

I loved a man who broke my head,

I loved a man who never drew breath.

A possession,

a sparkly rock,

a glittering object,

pretty and fake,

capturing hearts .

Sweet Sixteen,

teen dream,

beauty queen,

we were made to believe,

this was true.

The best days of your life, when I almost died.

Man-Made Myth,

Repeat the pattern,

Seek it,

let it destroy you.

Take me down.

I wanted you.

Take me down.

Never tell the truth.

Call all the lost, wandering souls,

trap the monsters,

use them for torture,

and disappear

(become a monster too).

My body was never mine, it was yours to break and use.

“The backs of your upper thighs need work,”

“Don’t lose more weight, your breasts are getting small,”

“You look disgusting! Those bones! Fucking ugly!”

Tell me I’m good now, mommy.

Cuts,

bruises,

bites,

butterflies,

I was fifty as a child.

You grabbed me there,

you touched me there,

you didn’t let go,

I stared at a screen and watched the image blur,

the next day, I straightened my hair, because I still wanted you to care,

and you knew-

“That’s what girls do.”

You didn’t call,

you didn’t write,

you didn’t care,

but the roses of orange and camillas of white you sent stay on my heart in Monaco.

Seventeen- so alone.

It seems a day, but so many lifes ago.

I thought you’d saved me,

I saw you through the window,

but, the stained glass drained,

I wanted to jump into the Seine.

I hope you still have my old poem,

I hope you think of me and what you should have done,

I hope you regret what you put in my head,

the things you did and things you never said,

I hope you’re happy,

truly,

I will always love you.

The game is over,

check mate.

We are animals,

black and white.

My lips are wings,

my breath is sky,

I didn’t know till now that I didn’t need to be allowed to fly.

Our bodies move,

declaring,

reclaiming.

Seven,

fifteen,

sixteen,

I’m so sorry,

I thought I was supposed to.

I am not the girl I was,

I was never the girl I should be,

I never got to be my age,

I have an obsession with the insane.

A body, taken,

robbed of firsts.

Ballerinas, without a voice,

we fly,

from black and white,

body,

mind,

we fly,

full of possibilities,

on red and purple sighs.

Left for dogs,

we sing our song.

We are a dream,

orange,

yellow,

blue,

green,

we are real.

We are animals,

howling,

breaking -

the rules.

We feel.

We need,

to be free,

now.