YMCA - Why Not?
The F Word | YMCA WA

The ‘F’ Word

Words by Jess, 22 NSW

Illustration by AileenYou can find more of her work on Instagram @aileenetc

This article contains themes about sexual assault and violence which may be difficult to read or triggering to some readers. Readers in need can seek support from the following services.

1800RESPECT – 1800 737 732
Lifeline – 13 11 14
Men’s Referral Service – 1300 766 491

When you look in the mirror,

I wonder what you see.

Why do you breathe in so hard,

grab your skin and look displeased?

I hear you joke about wanting to be smaller,

and that you need to ‘quit the cake’.

But it doesn’t seem that funny,

to project on your body all this hate.

I wouldn’t dare say the ‘f word’

because it’s toxic and obscene.

But I hear you utter it under your breath

trying not to make a scene.

I see the pain you feel,

Each and every day.

I wish that I could hug you 

And love the doubts away.

Remember what we were told as kids,

About using the cover to judge the book.

You haven’t given yourself the same courtesy,

basing your value on how you look.

I want to scream at you to eat the bread,

and enjoy sugar in your tea.

Because life is short lived,

and spending it happy is how it should be.

Health is about balance

and whilst exercise is great,

if you’re exhausted, overwhelmed or busy,

It’s okay to take a break.

I wish you’d believe me that Victoria’s Secret,

is not that she’s a size 2.

But I can see it in your eyes,

they succeeded brainwashing you.

I’m mad at whoever told you,

you need to be the right weight on a scale.

That to be attractive you had to meet the vision,

of some magazine or male.

It’s as if you were born with it,

brainwashed to compare and compete?

Because beauty and a small waistline

is the ultimate feat.

I want you to block it out and see yourself,

the way that we all do.

Kind and smart and funny,

the only person that’s uniquely you.

But instead you wake up early,

you have no choice but to fit it in.

You run and skip your meals because,

to be more than a 0 would be the ultimate sin.

Is this the same for others? 

The story that my friend tells me

the image they see in the mirror,

tells them who they should be.

So I will never say the f word

because I’ve seen the damage it can do.

The cruel labels of society are lethal,

I watched them destroy you.

I hope that one day loving yourself,

Isn’t just a trend. 

And that maybe this body shaming 

Will finally come to an end.

Why Not?

Keep asking… Why Not?