I remember the day I came home in fifth grade
and insisted that my mother
teach me how to shave my legs
She tried to talk me out of it
but I was young and fiercely adamant,
so she sighed and relented,
and I shaved my legs and pits for fifteen years
hating every single stroke
and every bump of angry razor burn
I earned with my demand

What I never told her
was the truth about why
I wanted to be allowed this next step of “womanhood”
when she asked, I replied,
“all the other girls are doing it”
(which was a lie, it was only a few)
The truth is this:
a friend of mine told me after school
that during recess, a few classmates
had been laughing at me
pointing at my dark haired hairy legs
while I sat in peaceful bliss on a jungle gym
at a mere eleven years old.

So I, young and confused and ashamed,
took on a lifelong beauty regimen I hated
until I learned the truth
about why women shave their legs-
greedy men in the early 1900s wanted to sell more fucking razors
so they marketed female hair as unhygienic or undesirable
and this lie persists a hundred years later

Beauty regimens should be a choice
not a requirement of society
Do what you want with your body
and stop letting dead old white men
dictate your one precious life

the true beauty of white

I like the color white
not the innocence of white flowers or angels
not the brilliance of wedding dresses or crisp fresh snow

No, I prefer deadly shades of white
bright light that painfully blinds you
white hot rage that fills you up from the inside out
the murderous white of waterfalls and whirlpools
the fur of a polar bear stained with a recent catch
the wall of an impenetrable snowstorm
the dead eyes of a deep sea fish
a familiar flash of white in the corner of your eye
shaped like the whisper of a ghost
I like white that’s beautiful because it’s terrifying
the kind that could caress you one moment
and kill you the next
the kind that reminds us how alive we are