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Friday, July 14, 2017


Each semester, after we examine how beauty norms are used to maintain women's subordinate status, I ask my WST 101 students to confront the standard of beauty personally by writing homages to the part of their bodies that they are most conflicted about for whatever reason. The results are always cathartic for the writers and readers. Lucille Clifton's Homage to My Hips is the springboard text. The following are some of the best responses. --Prof. McNair

Homage to My Curves by Isabella Kapps

Homage to my curves
round and proud 
my hips go out 
my waist comes in 
Homage to my bullies
Those who now workout for what I got
Those who made jokes and now comment "bod goals"
Those who retweet girls with bodies like me
Those who now preach body positivity
Homage to the boys
Those who told me I was too fat
Those who never took a second glance
Those who now like every picture 
Those who message me asking for a second chance 
Homage to me 
The girl who never gave in 
The girl with muscle, fat and everything in between 
The girl who loves being me 
Homage to my curves 
That I will forever wear proud 
That I will never try to lose 
Homage to my forever curves

Homage to My Lips and Skin by Ciarah Cange

Homage to my lips
For the words they speak
For the beauty they keep
For the truths they reveal
They are what create the thundering noise of my character
Homage to my eyes
For the charm they put within me
For everything they foresee
For they construct realities they can perceive
They are the sun that brings light to every crevice of my world
Homage to my thighs
For the curvature they provide
For the opportunity of nurturing they identify
For the stride in my walk that they create
They are the horizon, where the earth and the sky collide
Homage to my skin
For the melanin within
For the history it breeds
For the magic it feeds me
It is the rain which continuously nurtures life
Homage to me
For my lips are the thunder
For my eyes are the sun 
For my thighs are the horizon
For my skin is the rain
Homage to Me
Because I am nature
Because I am creation
Because I am life
Because I'm me


Homage to My Rolls by Kaylin Stark

You shine when I bend over
You gleam when I twist
You laugh with me
And you cry with me
You are always by my side

I hate you,
But I accept you
Because you give me hips,
You fill up my bra,
And give me shape

No matter how many miles I run,
No matter how many crunches I do
You will always be there
You make me, me
And I am not ashamed of you, and I will eat the extra cookie

Homage to My Skin by Shannon Murphy

Birthmarks, freckles, moles,
Scars, stretch marks, bruises
Mapped on miles of flesh.
This is my skin.
It’s thick and worn in
But toughened up.
A journal of my past,
This is my skin.
Covered in games of
Mirroring the night sky,
This is my skin.
constellations can be found here;
neither Orion, nor Aries
but creations of my own.
This is my skin.
Begged to see bare,
Begged to touch bare,
This is my skin.
It can be tugged and soothed,
Shaven, torn, or burnt
But it remains.
This is my skin.

Homage to My EX by Rachel Pugatch

I know I'm not perfect, but it didn't take a lot
The names you called me seemed to hit a spot
The thought of what you did to me still makes me cringe
What you did hurt every square inch
Bad things happen; I know it's not just me
But what you did helped set me free
It will never be forgotten--a piece of me is yours
You are put away in my mind behind many shut doors
I don't love you anymore and for that I am grateful
I deserve more than someone so hateful

Homage to Me by Jenna Zielinski

Every little inch of me 
The strength my body and mind gives me 
To keep going 
Homage to my legs 
Sculpted, steady, and sexy 
They keep me grounded 
They allow me to accomplish great feats 
Balance, leap, kick, and more 
Traveling across the floor 
They're long long long
Going on for miles 
Even though I am barely 5 foot 2. 
Homage to my blonde hair
That gives me both beauty and brains
Allowing me to have the most fun
Looks can be deceiving 
I like to prove them wrong
All this blonde ambition has brought me far. 
Homage to my stomach 
Flat and chiseled 
I worked hard for it, knowing that I am strong enough 
Even if you say I am not enough
Curves like an hour glass 
Making me a woman and sexy 
But still considered and being told I am too skinny 
Thus, making me not the ideal woman. 
Homage to me 
My body and my mind 
And everything else that makes me 

Homage to my Legs by Mary Stankard

stronger than you may suspect,
these legs are a support system
and carry me to bed every night.
they happen to live a private life,
most comfortable in the company
of a small few. an introverted pair.
what once were lively legs are
now too timid, unable to recognize
the beauty in their dimpled body.
but in due time... they'll finally see:
everyone deserves to dance some.

Homage to My Red Hair by Danielle Roberts

Homage to my red hair
What always made me pop out
I always asked why others would stare
I don’t know why I had so many doubts

Homage to my red hair
No longer do I have to be insecure
I am older now, and there is no need to compare
I feel proud, happy, and even more mature

Homage to my red hair
For making me who I am
Because why do I want a hair color most people share?
Having red hair is like earning a grand slam  

Homage to my red hair
Now, I am strong as can be
I am one of a kind--- some call my hair color rare
As simple as hair is, mine allows be to spread my wings and be free

Homage to My Sisters by Amanda Dominguez

growing up  surrounded by sisters
the world was ours to take
no dieting or painting my face
just freedom inside our front door
entering the world to see
that men would try to claim my body
to make me into who they want me to be
made me only think of my sisters more
beauty is for us to decide
ours flaws shouldn't be something we're forced to hide

Homage to My Failures by Qihong Ye

Homage to my failures
For they mean that I tried
Despite the pain and afflictions
Or the many times I cried

Homage to my failures
For they help me understand
The extent of my limits and
How much I can withstand

Homage to my failures
For they guide me to success
By forgiving all my weakness
To focus on the strength I possess

Homage to my failures
For the things they represent
Next time to succeed
I’ll give 110%

1 comment:

  1. It's hard to believe that this is the first time many of these students have written a poem!