Looking Through Stained Glass

Notions of Beauty

Cover of Face Forward by Kevyn Aucoin

As an adolescent she’s told her looks are of a different class
Thus she finds herself staring hard in the looking glass
Not something she understands like ‘cute’ or ‘pretty’
Or even something as distinct like ‘siddity’
Just a tad too young to get the full meaning of erotic
But just old enough to know it’s not good to be exotic

Ferried every other Friday to the beautician’s chair
The only way to tame her long tightly woven hair
Suffers sleeping at night with a snug clothing pin
Shaping her nose so it’s straight and thin
Wooing her lips to sit just a tad inside
Knowing what they say about lips that are wide

Gone are the colorific beads that once adorned her hair
She’s older now and looks like that look cause stares
No batiks of blazing hues or other prints of ‘that’ fashion
More intents to belie the stereotypes of passion
Make sure her posture, like her diction is just so
Muddling through comparisons to a cookie we know

Walking ramrod straight without a rounded swerve
An attempt to camouflage of her natural curve
For decades she carefully toed that social standoff
Through the changing climes of wardrobe and coif
Never looking like ‘that’ was her personal pride
But conflicted as social and ethnic respect collide

But one perm too many turned it all about
Years of chemicals caused her hair to fall out
She tried extensions and other sorts of hair aids
She’s told leave it alone or more will fall out in spades
Her hair short and kinky, not since her childhood
She’s forced to face her definitions of what is good

Her childhood teachings, the well meant suggestions
Every single bit of it came into question
Resentful for feeling defensive of other’s disdain
Now that her looks no longer follow the ‘main’
Realizing she herself was once guilty of the same negation
That had nothing to do with her character or her education
It was a few years more to combine mentalities
Before she was comfortable with her new realities
Now she revels in her cultural prints and chains of jute
And she’s just as gregarious in her pinstripe suit
No longer concerned with how well she blended
Notions of beauty redefined, her spirit mended

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© 2005 Raivenne (All rights reserved)

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