As part of the Learning Module on Inscribing Gender on the Body, I ask my online WST 101 students to challenge the unrealistic standard of beauty for women by writing homages to a part of themselves that they and/or others have criticized. In this season of celebration, why not start with yourself? (Poet Lucille Clifton's Homage to My Hips is the springboard text.) --Prof. McNair
Homage to All of Me
by Sharonda Hall
Homage to my eyes
For they see struggle and wash away the pain.
Homage to my ears
For they hear cries but still listen for the laughter of the innocent.
Homage to my nose
For smelling the flowers in the spring
I know better days will come
I just have to find the beauty through the rain.
Homage to my tongue
If it weren't for my losses, I would never know the taste of sweet victory.
Homage to my heart
For it feels pain, but still loves unconditionally as The One does above.
Homage to My Heart
by Brittany Weinstein
Though it is very sensitive
It will always care
Homage to my eyes
Though they have seen a past like mine
I realized that it will all get better over time
Homage to my anxiety
Though it is holding me back
It’s making me stronger day by day
Homage to my insecurities
Though I look in the mirror and see my flaws
I’m learning to love myself flaws and all
Homage to me
Though sometimes things get rough
No matter what I will always be enough
Homage to My Thighs
by Alexandra Fuentes
Oh how I used to despise my thighs
The curves and dents I used to analyze
In the mirror
In the windows
In my head
Thigh gaps were glamorized
They were all society seemed to idolize
Then one day I realized
These were MY actual thighs
No need to criticize or think otherwise
All I had to do was learn to love instead of despise
Homage to My Weak Strength
by Ena Vasquez
My past has shown me to hide most of my fears
My heart aches for lost love that don't know how much they have hurt me and left me broken
My strength is the one that makes me go thru the day and put on a happy face
The pain I have gone through has taught me to put up walls to some things and people
But my determination is my strength not to allow my past and present determine my future
If I am meant to be alone, at least I will be happy and strong
Homage to My Self
by Anna Varghese
Because they called me the ugly duckling and loathed my dark skin tone.
Because they told me I had to wear a dress and not be the sporty one.
Because they civilized me with hair products to try and tame my wild hair.
Because they said in the concrete jungle you must take much care.
Because they wanted to diet my size down and be a magical zero.
Because they feared I wouldn't find love and marry the social superhero.
Because I shouldn't be myself in all the uniqueness of my genes
Because I wouldn't then want to squeeze into the uncomfortable skinny jeans.
Because I had my grandfather's deep set eyes that enjoyed springtime showers.
Because I was never the one who enjoyed a bouquet of flowers.
Homage to my self—I am proud to be.
Homage to my self—this world cannot afford to see.
Homage to My Stretch Marks
by Sylvia Kowalska
I have little marks all over me
They came from a baby inside of me
At one time I thought they were ugly
But now I realize they make me, me
I am who I am because of these marks I have on me
Because God make me realize who I should be
Perfect is not perfect unless you see
The child I held inside of me
Homage to Imperfect Me
by Amanda Trimble
I used to only buy clothes that were baggy to make sure no one would look
I used to try to solve the problem by changing the way I cook
I used to really pay attention to how people stared
Then I realized it didn't matter and I glared
Everyone is different, everyone is unique
Who cares what people think, I guess they haven't reached their peak
To judge someone on how they appear
Makes you what? Nothing good my dear
I stand tall and proud of myself today
And no one’s opinions or whispers with affect my day