I wrote the poem titled ‘Superficial’ two years ago.
I remember feeling both hurt and angry, but mostly just plain tired of being made to feel as though I continually failed to reach the arbitrary standards expected of me by certain people.
This weekend, I have realised it is still far too relevant. It’s still just as true as when I wrote it.
You know, that’s just rubbish. It was rubbish then, and it’s rubbish now.
In fact, the only thing that has changed is how much I care — or actually don’t — about whether publishing it will confront the people who inspired it, and how they might respond to being called out.
The thing is, they should be called out. Their comfortable, conformist jusdgment is not okay. They don’t get to decide who is “worthy”. Their ideas of what is “acceptable” or “normal” are as subjective and as anyone else’s.
I am who I am.
I matter, and so do my feelings.
I am enough.
And I deserve to be treated with respect, whether they like me or not..
Too bright, too individual, too funky,
Too wild, too unafraid, too chunky,
Too short, too loud, too bold, too dyed—
When will you ever look inside?
It’s so easy to label something as sin
Ignoring the gems concealed within—
Love, passion, talent, loyalty, art.
Yet you say God looks at each person’s heart
For faith, service, and integrity:
Why can’t you look that way at me?
©2018 Joanne Van Leerdam
I saw you looking at my ears
And all my pretty piercings there;
Your distaste was almost palpable
And I still don’t eally care