Spoken word and slam poetry have a long legacy of serving as a sounding board for social issues in general, and women’s issues in particular. Below are five of my favorite spoken word poems dealing with issues of body image, self-love (or sometimes, hate), and sizeism. I am so impressed by the honesty and bravery of all these amazing female poets!
(Trigger warning for eating disorders/body image)
1. Rachel Wiley—10 Honest Thoughts on Being Loved By a Skinny Boy
I say, ‘I am fat.’
He says ‘No, you are beautiful.’
I wonder why I cannot be both.
He kisses me
3. Sonya Renee—The Body is Not an Apology
Let it not be mountain when it is sand
Let it not be ocean when it is grass
Let it not be shaken, flattened, or raised in contrition
The body is not an apology
*Sonya Renee also founded an amazing body image movement titled after the poem
4. Lily Myers—Shrinking Women
“How can anyone have a relationship to food?” he asks, laughing, as I eat a black bean soup I chose for its lack of carbs
I want to say: we come from difference, Jonas,
You have been taught to grow out,
I have been taught to grow in
5. Megan Falley—Fat Girl
Fat girl unbutton her pants at dinner
Fat girl heard “Nothing tastes as good as being thin feels…”
Fat girl certain spicy crunchy tuna rolls taste better than being thin feels.