Monday, March 22, 2010

Being Belindas (a response to Pope's Rape of the Lock)

The mirror hangs before me
My long face stares back at me
a pointed chin
whose rounding I dread
A tiny forehead
gleaned from the thick mass
of black hair surrounding it.
At the black hair
now streaked with red
I oscillate between
fascination and nostalgia
The hair, mostly helter-skelter
sometimes, precise in a bun
A glazed eyeball
with its bit of plastic-glas lens
A newly pierced nose--
a shade too large
showing off that li'l bit of green
My ears trying to seek attention
with their multiple studs and rings
which I regard as pets
And a moody mouth.
but on the whole, a face
I can live with.
My skin the colour
of burnt caramel
a thin, supple body
I am unashamedly
in love with.

Bottles and vials lined
in an array on the slab beside me
the daily ritual
of cleansing, toning, conditioning
the creams and the perfumes
the chief kohl that lines my eyes
the earrings in their silver box
the cupboard with its
greater assortment of clothes
than i could ever wear
the occupational hazards
of being a young girl.

Oh Pope, and other misogynists!
We love being Belindas
and Belindas we shall remain
with our bottles and our vials
our bibles and our billet doux
and we rebel against rapes
of our locks and otherwise.
our bodies and their vagaries
and tricks we play with them
are ours.
And not playthings or objects
for your phallus
or that inglorious phallic symbol
your pen.

2 comments:

i e said...

Why do women depend on those vials at all? slave to them eh? Fail to see what is so empowering about those vials & what seems like glorified narcissism... (gob-smacked look)!!

shrutanne said...

OK, so you reiterate Pope!! whoever you may be.
well, I am not sayiing "be a slave to vials", nor am I saying I am a slave to vials.
But somewhere, we are. yes, at a level, all of us do love ourselves, we want to look nice, we want to care for ourselves too, it gives you a high to look nice and pretty. How will you love and care for others if you cannot accept and love yourself?? Somewhere, we need to accept this, we do not have to pander to vials, our lives are worth much, much more than that, BUT girls and women do not become "derogatory" bcos they want to look pretty and love themselves a li'l bit... a part and parcel of being a woman, and let it be so!! why not?? Empowerment does not mean becoming like "men". Empowerment does not mean pandering to beauty advertisements either, I entirely agree. don't get me wrong, tis hard to explain all my feminism in one post. But, wanting to look nice, loving who you are is NOT wrong. that's all I'm trying to say.