Chasing Beauty

Written by Alma Claire

have you ever wandered through an art gallery

and gazed at the women on the walls,

the way their shapes ebb and flow 

and their breasts rise and fall,

the way their curves fill or sap

as the centuries crawl.


do you look at the signatures down in the corner?

matisse and picasso and a hundred male eyes

rubenesque bodies with fleshy rolls

then the Gibson Girl and a sudden goodbye 

to the voluptuous ‘fertile goddess’ archetype;

hello straight flappers and eating disorder rise.


have you wondered how ‘beauty’ can change so fast;

too fluid for any one body type to last;

there was pin up and playboy and tiny waists,

hourglass marilyn with her plump glowing face,

but soon it’s twiggy with stick legs and flat chest,

then ‘strong and sexy’ like cindy and naomi is best.

‘nothing tastes as good as skinny feels’ 

-heroin chic is the new ideal-

bikini bridge and thigh gap

now not too skinny but not too fat;

lets be goldilocks and get it ‘just right’


all of my grandmothers and the grandmothers before them

have been chasing a body that is most appealing to men;

corsets and diets and little girls growing up

learning that their bodies are code for ‘not enough’.


but what if a body was just a body,

not a currency to buy our worth –

what if we stopped chasing ‘beauty’

and found it has been here all along 

just by living and breathing and singing our wild human song 

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