Try Harder

Give Up

Imagine every day being told
Ten things you didn’t know you were missing
A thousand images being sold
Pictures of two strangers kissing

The covers of magazines fight
For your attention as the voice of the media
Telling you nothing is right
Saying you need to be skinnier

Six dollars eighty for a Women’s Weekly
Pages scream their statistics and data
Who knew bad body image sold so cheaply
The message they bring is try harder

Stop being so emotional, so needy, so soft
Stop wearing your heart on your sleeve
There’s a line in the sand that shouldn’t be crossed
That man in your life’s gonna leave

Think that what you are is enough?
Well honey you better think twice
All around you they’re calling your bluff
And you thought that these people were nice

You will never be enough for them
Where would you even start?
Telling you to “shorten that hem”
They fight for a place in your heart

You’ve had enough to eat today
Stuffed so full you could chuck
A gulp of air, some water sorbet
Don’t hurt yourself, good luck

– Lil Williams

[1] Give Up is a poem speaking to girls about the media and its impact on body image and behaviour. It’s an issue that is close to my heart and at the end I touch on anorexia, bulimia and self-harm. I wanted the ending to be abrupt and shocking to the reader so they can grasp how bad the messages being sent to young girls really are. I also experiment with an ABAB rhyming pattern to give the poem less of a sing-songy tone while still maintaining cohesion.

Written 12 March 2014

Sincerely, Lil

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