It is not my responsibility
to make your life better.
Do not make it so.
I will not remain emotionless
to allow you the room to feel —
I cry, too.
I get restless.
I get angry.
When I roll over, do not pull me back.
That says: I do not care that you wish to be alone,
I am lonely.
When I say I do not wish to talk,
do not question my maturity.
That says: when you do not operate
according to my standards
I will belittle you.
You are little.
You are so little.
I am tired —
and not the kind that makes me want to take
afternoon naps with you.
The kind that settles in my stomach
and makes me want to run.
I still need to make my life better
before I can help you.

Elka Tolhoek, “I am not little” (via elkayvonne)

I watched your daughter’s YouTube video.
Before it, an ad with a scantily clad woman
mascara gripped between perfectly manicured nails
with instructions about how to achieve
“bombshell status.”
You taught your daughter to love her body
in accordance with the desires of men
when you should’ve taught her that the love she has for herself
is between her and her only.
I will teach MY daughter that, some days,
she’ll wish she was more playdough than woman
so she could mould herself into the images
forced at us from every angle
because when we’re young,
we idolise our mums more than we idolise barbie
and it’s been a vicious cycle.
We’ve all tried to cut ourselves down to size.
We all have scars to prove it.
I will teach my daughter that she doesn’t need a metaphor to love her stretch marks,
that the markings of her skin
have no bearing on her existence.
It’s all in our heads.
And if our heads aren’t made up, hair styled, perfect complexion and pale skin
that is okay.
It is all okay.
And I hope she grows and takes up space,
that she will know that nobody is entitled to the landscape of her body,
that she doesn’t have to smile.
That she does not fear her emotions, or her bodily functions,
that she will come to terms with her reproductive cycle and the trials we face as women.
On top of all that,
she does not need to worry
about having enough booty to satisfy the man or the woman she chooses to lie with at night.
I hope your daughter knows
that there is more to life
than the junk she has in all the right places.
I hope she knows that she is not disappointing anybody.
I hope she truly loves herself.
I hope she learned it from you.

Elka Tolhoek, “An Open Letter To Meghan Trainor’s Mum” (via elkayvonne)