It started with CosmoGirl.
A wide-eyed teen idol staring blankly
from the glossy cover,
parted lips ready to tell me what it took to be a woman.
photoshopped images that told me
my body was not good enough.
Luckily, page 64 had a “fun new workout”
I could obsess over until the new issue hit the shelves.
The next step was Cosmopolitan.
I’ve noticed your models have not changed.
Adult women with hips as narrow as the girls
on the cover of your kid-friendly counterpart.
A doe-eyed cover girl convincing me I have to turn the page.
On either side of her manufactured waist,
bold letters remind me I am nothing.
In the center of the magazine,
past the ads for outfits you remind me I can not afford,
I find 136 ways to please a man.
There is not one mention of learning about
my own intentions.
Page 26 tells me I am not beautiful,
and the letters to the editor show no signs of
I’m sorry, but I cannot believe this.
As I stand in line at the grocery store I realize
that page 109 would tell me I can not cook this food
That the door through which I will throw myself,
bags in hand,
will lead to a home that is inadequate.
If only I’d had page 108 to remind me what a woman’s touch is.
I tell myself that I am doing just fine without your advice, but
I leave the store in a state of discontentment.
Please, tell your editors—