NaPoMo Day 5: Chasing Perfection / by Shanelle Gabriel

I miss the days
When I didn't have to be
Nipped
Tucked
Bleached
Stuffed
Smothered in stage make-up
Or rock blue-contacts
To be considered a
Black
Beautiful Woman.
This generation
Will never say
"I see me on TV"
Never be
Valued
Told how much they're worth
Without being told
How much of themselves
Needs to be fixed first
Pre-teens who won't go outside without a full face of paint
And two rakes called lashes
Over their eyes
Strategy-wise
It's an attack on self-esteem
When we're told we have to
Break nasal cavities
Inject substances that don't exist
Naturally
Before before we
Justify self-adoration
Chasing perfection
While surgeons
Magazines
Beauty creams
Tips and tricks
Make us minxes chasing a tail
We weren't genetically meant to have
You didn't "get it from ya mama"
You no longer look like your dad
I miss the days
Where if you didn't like your butt
It was ok
Cause you learned to love the legs
God gave
And you rocked
Mini skirts and short-shorts alllll day
Or if you didn't like your boobs
But you had theeeeee smooothest
Stomach,
You coulda owned stock
In crop and tube tops
I know you think I forgot
The new natural hair trend
"Oh Shanelle didn't you see,
All the Afros in Beyonce's shows
And Shea moisture products'
Popularity"
To that I laugh
And say "Yea I'd say sure
Except recently
I saw women trade their yaki
For a kinky weave
Cause their black hair ain't bla-asian enough
Their own kinks ain't full enough
Cause your Black
Ain't really good Black
Unless you look like a mixed child
In an ad by Old Navy or GAP
I just wish we could be
Comfy
Welcomed
Open arms
Our own skin
Rooted hair
But to get a job
Not be a threat
Be valued
We have to chase a perfection
That isn't really even there