Schooled on Fat: What Teens Tell Us About Gender, Body Image, and Obesity

Poetry: I Want to Be Me


1. Waiting...    written by a tenth grade girl.

When I grow up I want to have two feet;
two feet with which I'll jump,
two feet that I might climb the highest mountain with.
I want to reach that mountain top and shout,
shout with a voice echoing the words which my soul cries out.

I want to have two functioning hands;
hands with which I'll write great stories,
hands with which I'll build bridges for society to cross 'fore
drowning in the abyss of egoism.

I want two eyes with which I'll see;
see things for what they truly are.

When I grow up I want to be wise;
I want to have the wisdom that it takes to conquer narcissism.
I want to conquer any narcissistic thought that may divert my
concentration from pressing matters;
I want wisdom to love myself without having any sense of being

When I grow up I don't want to have to worry about what people
think of me;
whether people like me or not.
I don't want to have to worry whether I'm fat or skinny,
or short or tall.

I don't want people to remember me for how beautiful I am;
although I am very beautfiul.
If I am to be remembered I want for my memory to be based upon
the beauty of my soul.
When I grow up I want to be me.

2. Poem about eating disorders and body image    written by a tenth grade boy.

Anorexia, bulimia,
refrain or you're insane
then you're fat
or heavy
or chunky
or plumpy
An ugly ol' rolly-polly
they may say

So, you grow new fears
And shed lots of tears.
Every choice is wrong
and the days grow long
Each tick and each tock
is its own little year
and you look in the mirror

Then jump, you might
from a great height
and fall to your doom
Was it too soon?

3. Voices 
  written by an eleventh grade boy.

Voices in my head            Voices
voices around me             Remind
Voices here & there
Remind me, don't blind

keep it as you want it        Keep
want me?                                      answers

Answer diligently
Answer politely
answer now

World will you accept       World
Earth you know me               Earth
Planet don't leave me              Planet

Heed me, direct there       Heed
& here, open everything         Here
as everything is.                        Everything

Come in
What now?
Will find that out


4. Scarred Society    written by a tenth grade girl.

Most people connect
the freckles on their skin
to become constellations of stars.

I try to connect my scars
only to find what nobody wants to see:
the lines of insecurity
that run down my back
and over my weight-exhausted shoulders.

They’re strong, scarred, and tired,
yet they’re beautiful
despite what you may think
because yes, I survived the fire.

But now the burn is in my blood,
and the singe is in my heart.

As each day passes me by
I put on my mask,
the mask that I have built
from iron and tears,
steel and fears.

Because I guess superman
was too hung over to save us,
and the ones who taught us to fly
also broke our wings.