Sunday, April 12, 2015

"For My Sister Who Thinks I’m Unhappy Because I, Like Her, Don’t Wear a Size 6": A Poem by Sandra C. Muñoz

Please, por favor
do not place my worth
on the size of my stomach.

Do not judge how happy I am
by the size of my jeans.

I am much, much more than
how much I weigh
how pretty I look on Saturday nights
how close I can push up my breasts to my chin.

I am not even remotely close
to your average
runway model, covergirl.

I do not eat yogurt, sprouts or Ex-Lax chocolates
on a regular basis.

I do not wake up
with a mascara brush in one hand
and a lipstick liner in the other.

I find pride in how little time
it takes me to apply the little
make-up I do use
and still not cause
any major traffic accidents.

Don’t get me wrong
this is not a poem
dogging my sisters
who spend hours
painting their beautiful selves.

But me
I am more than
my breasts
my thighs
my love handles
my calves
my lashes
my lips.

Yes, you can be happy
and not be a size 6 or 7 or 8 or 9 or…
Well, that’s really not any of
your damn business.

Yes, I do like what I see in the mirror,
And yes, I will have some more tacos.
And no, I don’t want to walk to the market.

do not judge
my value
my abilities
my intelligence
my sense of humor
my disposition
by how I look
by what I wear
by a number on a scale
by how long it will take you
to put your arms around me.

I know una mujer Hermosa
piel morena, full lips, silken hair
size 1
thin as hell
who starves herself
who covers her Chicana beauty
with layers and layers of Revlon make-up
who runs four miles every night
and then heads for her aerobic class.

I know una mujer
size 1
thin as hell
who hates herself.

Alright already
I mean
is enough ever enough?
Do you really think
one size fits all?

Heaven must be that place
that one place
where all women
love themselves
make-up free
hair-spray free
high-heel free
panty-hose free
girdle free
scale free
exercise free
acrylic free
silicon free
blue contact lens free
underwire free
hair bleach free
Jenny Craig free

heaven must be that place
that one place
where we are all free
free to be who we are
when we wake up in the morning
free to be who we were born to be.

Photo by Maritza Alvarez

Sandra C. Muñoz has an MFA in Creative Writing from Antioch University. She is the owner of the Law Offices of Sandra C. Muñoz located in East Los Angeles. For over 15 years, Sandra has worked on cases involving employment discrimination, harassment, and retaliation. She has been featured in the Daily Journal, written for the California Business Law magazine, and participated on various education panels. Her creative work is featured in the play Black Butterfly, Jaguar Girl, Piñata Woman and Other Superhero Girls, Like Me by Luis Alfaro. 


msedano said...

this makes me wish for multimedia because the poem demands to be read out loud! thanks Sandra and Olga.

jmu said...

Hey, wasn't this one of the poems she read at "Expresso Mi Cultura" long ago, before the Age of the Smart Phone as a Video Recorder? That night was an amazing night for spoken word. I could even enjoy "free verse" when those mujeres declamamndo their work. "Soy mujer de guerra..."