by Erin Hanson
You are not your age,
Nor the size of clothes you wear,
You are not a weight,
Or the colour of your hair.
You are not your name,
Or the dimples in your cheeks,
You are all the books you read,
And all the words you speak,
You are your croaky morning voice,
And the smiles you try to hide,
You’re the sweetness in your laughter,
And every tear you’ve cried,
You’re the songs you sing so loudly,
When you know you’re all alone,
You’re the places that you’ve been to,
And the one that you call home,
You’re the things that you believe in,
And the people that you love,
You’re the photos in your bedroom,
And the future you dream of,
You’re made of so much beauty,
But it seems that you forgot,
When you decided that you were defined,
By all the things you’re not.
Erin Hanson (1995 – present) is a young Australian writer who gained recognition for her poems through social media. Her two books of poetry “Reverie” and “Voyage” were both published in the November of 2014. Hanson gained a huge following because of her use of simple words and contemporary style. Her themes touch on different subjects but mostly on self-acceptance and positivity.
The poem “Not” is about a timely issue teens are facing today. Based on the findings of “National Institute on Media and the Family”, 53% of 13-year-old American girls are unsatisfied with their appearance, and the number increases to 78% by the time they reach the age of 17.
The harmful influence of media women’s body-image also reached other parts of the world. More and more Asian and colored women have undergone surgery to achieve a Caucasian look. Cases of low self-esteem, poor body image, and eating disorder are highly attributed to the ideals of beauty constantly portrayed by media.
Bullying happens mostly to people who do not fit in to the majority of the socially conformed. The relation of bullying and suicide has become more apparent with the presence of social media.
However, it is not a newly-occurring issue. Throughout the ages, several important figures of history had expressed their thoughts on self acceptance.
“You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection” ― Gautama Buddha
“Wanting to be someone else is a waste of the person you are.” ― Marilyn Monroe
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