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I am told to be grateful

Of the attention I receive

Lustful glances, flirty compliments

How much happier could a woman be?

It does feel nice, I’ll admit

To be able to capture their eyes

To know I’m regarded as pretty

I’m something to be won, a prize

But it’s all shallow, meaningless

A surface-level appreciation

That will never truly satisfy me..

What a heartbreaking situation

To feel discomfort choking me

As I bask in their endless praises

Dread pooling in my stomach

While I blush at their intrusive gazes

Because I remember the little girl

Who was nerdy and awkward and ugly

Who didn’t know how to dress, how to act

With a huge nose and eyes that were buggy

Who was innocent and immature

And fell in love with her books

Would spend hours curled up with them

While others teased her for her looks

She was sweet, loving, and kind

Even to those she disgusted

Was so desperate to make friends

That in cruel people, she trusted

I still have so much of her in me

I’m the same awkward little nerd

But while it was laughable then

Now it’s attractive-

-but that’s just absurd.

Because on the inside I’m the same

As the little girl I once was

Who didn’t know how to dress

And was embarrassing in conversation

Who had overlarge facial features

And was way too innocent for her age

Who little girls laughed and scoffed at

And little boys pretended to ask out

Who was the “hairy and geeky Indian girl”

That just wasn’t cool enough, popular enough-

-except now, I’m pretty.

That’s the only thing that changed, really.

Now I dress acceptably

And follow social norms

And am mature enough for people my age

And know how to talk

And know how to act

And know how to do my makeup

And know how to style my hair

And so now

They like me.

Now my personality is worth something

Now I’m worth flirting with

Now I get asked for my snap

Asked out on dates

Given the up-and-down looks

Now I’m worth smiling at

Now I’m worth talking to

But it doesn’t mean shit

Because they fawn over my pretty layers

But have never bothered to peel them back

And truly appreciate me.

I’m a sophomore industrial engineer at TAMU and an aspiring author! I love working with people and making friends and connections, and I’m really excited to be a part of this organization. :)
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