Happy new year, dear readers! I’ll refrain from the age-old cynic observation that we all have heard amidst cheers and fireworks that goes like, “Uh, yeah, whatever? 2010 sucked so 2011 is gonna suck too.” Shut your mouth, skeptical party poopers.
This year every month will be dedicated to several causes I passionately believe in as a teacher, blogger, student and feminist. I’ll also be taking in doodle submissions from readers on discerning topics. January is Body Positive Month on my blog and this means it’s all about you (I swear to God it’s not my fault if you can hear Ufone’s jingle when I said that) and your appearance. Many of you already know what BP implies but for those who haven’t heard of the term yet: Body Positivity is, in basic essence, accepting and appreciating yourself as you are. Regardless of your weight, skin tone, hair texture, features and even toe nails, Body Positivity advocates self-esteem and confidence by embracing yourself without cosmetically altering yourself. Why? Because you’re beautiful.
Without further ado, here is a poem I wrote for an adorable little girl, Zahra, in South Africa. Skin tones are often targeted with unnecessary criticism and, in many scenarios, bullying. I’ve been a victim of the anti-brown brigade which, ironically, is brown itself. I grew past it and here I am today. Here’s the poem with a few doodles dedicated to the beautiful, little Zahra.
Beautiful As You Are:
When I was four feet and five inches,
Kids at school would say,
“Hey Mehreen, buy yourself a paper bag!
Your face ruins our day!”
So if a girl is tall and pink,
But she’s rotten and she’s rude,
She’s not pretty in any way.
I’d rather have her boo’ed.
But that doesn’t matter,
Oh it doesn’t matter at all.
If someone treats you for your skin tone,
They’re not worth the fall.
You’re beautiful and you’re lovely,
Because you are you.
Aw, man, this rhymes too nicely.
Because it’s really true.
Your skin is just a cover,
Your skin is just some meat,
It doesn’t make you bitter
And it doesn’t make you sweet.
What makes you gorgeous and lovely,
Comes right out of here.
So now you know you’re perfect.
Oh, you’re beautiful, my dear.