About two weeks ago now my friend asked me if I would write a post for her blog. She had had the idea to post an entry by a coursemate/friend for every day of the month of June and by the end it would be this massive, beautiful blend of varying writing styles and ideas. I was extremely lucky to have been asked to be one of them. Check out Shanley’s blog (and my post) here.
We were all given the prompt of beauty versus professionalism, or the frictions of modern day beauty. She wanted us to explore the fact that girls are expected to be ‘pretty’ all the time, and to think upon the conflicts of this and everyday, REAL life. With the ever-increasing presence of social media, and celebrity magazines analysing women’s bodies to the extreme and circling everything they think is wrong with them (seriously, why is this still a thing these days?!) the idea of using writing as a tool to combat this issue is one that really spoke out to me. If you really think about it, you are constantly bombarded with photos of what you SHOULD look like, and companies across the board are constantly selling you products to correct your so-called ‘flaws’. More and more is being done to counteract this horrifyingly negative message, but it is still a prominent problem in our society today.
Thus, my poem was born (and yes, I did say poem!). Anyone who knows me will have heard me say at one point or another “I don’t write poetry” so God only knows why I did for this project, but it seemed right. I’m actually pretty happy with the results, and I have received some terrific feedback from my lovely fellow writers/friends.
But yes since I’m actually pretty proud of my poem I thought I would post it here on my own blog. It is called Grow Unto Yourself and it addresses this problem of the expectations of women versus the virtues that should actually be encouraged. I hope you enjoy reading!
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Grow Unto Yourself
You’ve heard about the British Rose,
but what about a sunflower?
Why must we grow into something beautiful,
rather than something visibly joyous?
Does art inspire eternally,
or only fleetingly?
Art is not delicate,
nor is it pretty.
So why should I be?
Paint me sun yellow,
and capture only my warmth.
Remember the laugh lines and the goofy grin,
my details of a life well spent.
Give me your pretty,
I’ll turn it colourful.
How can you say beauty mellows,
if feelings still transpire
An admired appearance fogs with time,
a fondly-thought soul withers never.
I lived to evoke joy,
I lived for hope and for laughter
So don’t be afraid to be
a sunflower in a row of roses,
grow unto yourself,
and generations will notice.
– Stephanie Koetsier
[Note: Thank you so much for all the lovely comments about this poem. Again, I do not pretend to be a poet in the slightest, but everyone’s kind words really made me smile so thank you!]