(Photo by Alice Redfearn)

28/5/16 – 4:45pm

Why is it that the very thing that gives me life, gives me the blood to rush and the muscles to contract, is the thing I detest?

Why do I feel that the thing that allows me is merely a cage?

A cage I manipulate and taunt in disgust, frowning at the mirror as if that reflection isn’t the one thing I need be truly thankful for,

The one thing, the only thing, that will ever truly know me or control me or own me.


I know I don’t detest my body; I detest the society that made me believe my beauty is held within the parameters of my waist.

But I cant go shopping without shedding tears, and I dread opening my wardrobe as all I see is weapons. And still I stare at my plate in suspicious, choosing to place blame rather than accept myself,

Rather than accept the limbs that allow me. The skin that protects me. The details that embellish me.


5/6/16 – 10:26pm

I thought maybe if I view my body as a rainforest I would not wish to burn it down so easily.

For on the good days, I remind myself that I am not a temple,

I am not man made built as an image, as praise,

I am not created only as a gift for another.


I am a whole universe,

My birth was the big bang and my existence one of common miracle but no less miraculous, no less beautiful.

And so I shall try to see my body as a rainforest, vast natural beauty, a landscape.

A force of nature with things unexplored in each crevice of my body, a civilisation living in each shadow my skin creates onto itself.


I am an ecosystem in itself, a whole.

I cannot be burnt, I will only regrow.


26/6/16 – 11:38am

Each mark on my skin seeps with stories,

Written by me and myself only.


A scar on my knee; a child’s tale of a big slide, a small girl and a week of anti-biotics.


Flashes on my hips and thighs; like contours on a map, tracing how I have grown,

A time line of progress from a girl to a woman,

A mark of history.


Every embellishment on my skin, a project my body completed.

A medal of achievement,

A congratulatory sign of living.


17/7/16 – 8:26am

My lungs; they breathe

My eyes; they see (well enough)

My heart; it beats

It bleeds

My brain

My legs; They move forward


And so I’m good enough.


5/8/16 – 7:49pm

Flick back through your diary and try to find the date,

Place the X on the day your mind was penetrated and your subconscious gave over to the indoctrination.


For here I stand, in isolation,

The horror story setting, a hall of mirrors and eyes you see in your head,

And feel in the deep pit of your stomach, screaming, burning,

When the jeans don’t fit.


I flick back in desperation and try to find out when this became the end of the world,

When a size 10 digging in; material not meeting; gaping;

Became the taunting laugh of all those eyes, all those that met the mark,

Became the stamp; welded into my skin, of rejection from the haven of beauty.


I wonder when I let it get to me.

I wonder when my self-esteem collapsed under the pressure of front page thigh gaps, advert abs and beautiful, break-able arms.

My mind of minds still tries,

It repeats in the background that I shall still love my small boobs for they need no support but will one day be substance for a child,

And yes, though my eyes may not be symmetrical, they are the eyes of my mother.

But, I wonder when  did the world force me to push this aside-






I stand in the hall of mirrors wondering when my mind fell for all I condemn and dragged me down with it, collapsing to the floor as vanity sizing becomes a fatality.

By Lucy Harbron