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Faux Feminism

By Lauren (Lo) May

twitter feminists will scream
my brown eyes be beautiful
while labeling the grey and green “exotic”
love my “black girl afro” when it's plucked and fluffy
curls loose and luscious
but never condensed mass of shrunken strands KINKY
love my blackness when i am fairest and freckled
but when i am darkest
they love me only when i am lathered in oil and KINKY
twitter feminists CLAIM
to be adults who admire body hair
yet only love the hair that grows under thin and toned arms
never when the bush is shielded with fat fold
internet feminists will love the hair on my legs
but only when they are thin
praise thick thighs as long as my thick isn't accompanied
with cellulite and stretch marks
only love my stretch marks on thin skin
never rolls
twitter feminists love big breasts to death
or maybe just the fake ones
the ones who can afford to avoid gravity
twitter feminists will hashtag FREE THE NIPPLE
but its seems as if my nipples can only be free
if they are small and round
atop tiny breasts
never nipples that hang low
or nipples that are large and brown
i had to tell my nipples sorry
since they weren't invited to the free party

only pieces of me seem to be able to be liberated
as if the difference in my woman 
makes me less valuable

twitter feminists are experts at what i call
‘talking a good game”
but i'm ready to celebrate all women
since i've seen my girls pose nude in honor of body positivity
and shame women whose bodies don’t look like theirs in the same breath
seen women celebrate their carefree like it can only exist within the artsy girls
like the hood girls don't deserve to be carefree
like hood girls didn’t pioneer this carefree in the first place
i am aiming to make our space as intersectional as possible
by asking us to ask ourselves where our ideas of beauty came from anyway
it's really simple
feminism is for everybody
and i don't care to explain exactly who everybody is

i know that my existence is light
it’s like being both sunrise and sunset
armored with earth
i dare a twitter feminist tell me i don't belong
when i am the reason anything is

i am not afraid of anyone's freedom
there just needs to be room for mine
and hers
and yours
and hers too

Added: Tuesday, March 13, 2018  /  Used with permission.
Lauren May
Photo by Eric Kayanan.

Lauren (Lo) May is a writer, artist, host, human rights advocate, and french fry enthusiast who was born in DC, and raised in Maryland. An alumna of the award-winning DC Youth Slam Team, Lauren is part of Split This Rock’s Ushindi Performance Group and a Teaching Artist for Split This Rock Youth Programs. She traveled to South Africa as a part of a Sister Cities International Arts Program to perform and teach poetry. Her poetry speaks to personal struggles and triumph, mental health, social problems, and the celebration of life (and french fries). She has featured as a guest speaker at Maryland Coalition Against Sexual Assault’s 10th Annual Women of Color Network Conference, the National Conference on Health and Domestic Violence, and The White House United State of Women Summit. She has also featured as a performance artist at George Washington University, the University of Miami, Notre Dame of Maryland University, and many more.

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