Beautiful – Together We Rise Poetry Contest Entry

Author: R. Shanelle

Embarrassed to look at myself in the mirror
Because I’m more voluptuous than the average woman
Dark skin tone, high cheekbones, thick, and solid build
I’m four times the size of a model but I have looks that kill
The plus size section has clothes for a grandmother
Styles way too old for an early twenties superstar
Being taunted and poked from the kids in school
Yet the Holy Spirit whispers each morning “Beautiful”
My smile oozes beauty like molasses from a tree
My thighs though they rub together are from the old country Strong, muscular, yet soft, and feminine that cannot be restrained
Many have tried to tame them from Tommy Hilfiger to Vera Wang

My back has healed from being whipped into submission
To being hidden by Victoria’s Secret to being exposed as Baby Phat
I’m the answer to the old slave’s prayers I am Martin Luther King’s vision
From Walmart’s clothes to Louis Vitton underwear I am the phenomenal woman
That Maya Angelou spoke about and who RuPaul wanted to be
I am Beauty
Dru Hill wanted to snatch up, Jodeci couldn’t stop thinking about, the woman Luther kept singing and smiling to
Clothed in Jesus name I am the virtuous woman King Solomon was describing and couldn’t get enough of
With the rainbow as my dress and crown of salvation atop my head
Without it I am still Beautiful
I have been robbed of my silver spoon, my million-dollar t-shirt, and a stick figure.
Many models want to be me because I have a Man that loves me and He owns the moon and stars and everything therein
A crown and a mansion in heaven with no more sorrows to bare The world as my runway people stop and stare

Some mean mug, some congratulate, some hate, some say I wish I was her
Although I’m not what you want me to be I am still Beautiful
I cannot walk around without a bra but that’s ok cause beauty should be held up
When God created me He mixed man’s dreams, chocolate, with a touch of Himself
Deep inside I know who I am it took a real man to create a masterpiece like this
Nappy hair that’s soft to the touch and lips that will make a mute sing
Looking in the mirror I know why at the million-man march they shouted: “Let Freedom Ring!”
Exploring my skin, I see the struggles of my ancestors the hardships of living in the past
When I got saved I understood the victory shout “Free At Last!”
All women can relate to the rejection of being big and people being cruel
Shake the haters off my full figured sista and know that you are Beautiful!