Yesterday I posted a poem by Christine Heppermann about the evolution of the dominance problem inherent in the inequity between men and women.
Today I’m posting one by her about the tragedy of the beauty myth, about how people can become conditioned — brain-washed — to pick themselves apart. Is there any more insidious oppression than the constant pursuit of perfection? What a curse to never be able to see one’s own value.
The Wicked Queen’s Legacy
It used to be just the one,
but now all mirrors chatter.
In fact, every reflective surface has opinions
on the shape of my nose, the size
of my chest, the hair I wash and brush
until it’s so shiny I can see myself
scribbling notes as each strand
I make sure to write them all down
when all I really want is to stop
at the market and flirt with the butcher,
ignoring his critical knives,
haggling, for once, over the cost of
some other poor creature’s thighs.
This poem has been posted here with the permission of the author.
Christine’s writing for children and young adults includes fiction, poetry, and narrative nonfiction. Her books include the highly acclaimed book of poetry, Poisoned Apples: Poems For You, My Pretty; the novel-in-verse Ask Me How I Got Here; the nonfiction City Chickens; and the Backyard Witch series (with Ron Koertge).
Christine has been working in the field of children’s publishing for more than twenty-five years. Her essays and reviews have appeared in The Horn Book Magazine, The Five Owls, and The Riverbank Review of Books for Young Readers. She has been a book reviewer for many newspapers; currently she writes the young adult roundup for the Chicago Tribune.
Christine lives in New York’s Hudson Valley with her two daughters, two cats, and one husband. Find her online at christineheppermann.com. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.