Be, Not Be

But Being a Princess is Fine, 2016(2)
Image: “But Being a Princess is Fine” by JV Totañes, acrylic on canvas, 2016


I am

five feet tall, one hundred pounds, size zero frame, brown skin, with long straight black hair, lean arms, lean legs, small breasts, almond-shaped eyes, black eyes, long straight lashes, carved cheekbones, button nose, small hands, small feet.

It can be an advantage to be

five feet tall, one hundred pounds, size zero frame, brown skin, with long straight black hair, lean arms, lean legs, small breasts, almond-shaped eyes, black eyes, long straight lashes, carved cheekbones, button nose, small hands, small feet,

when random men open doors for you or give you discounts at Starbucks for no reason, except for being

five feet tall, one hundred pounds, size zero frame, brown skin, with long straight black hair, lean arms, lean legs, small breasts, almond-shaped eyes, black eyes, long straight lashes, carved cheekbones, button nose, small hands, small feet.

But it can be a disadvantage

  • when the white men in their Kenneth Cole suits and Kenneth Cole shoes at the Embarcadero leer at you in the rush lunch line at Harvest & Rowe as if you’re no threat to their cutting in line but a little more than a mail order bride they could order straight from an online catalogue OR 
  • when the man on BART slaps his hand against his crotch while making lewd kissing noises at you, attracting a train audience who doesn’t tell him to back off OR 
  • when the husky gentleman behind shades passes you on Market & Beale and tells you what he’d do to you as “it’s nothing your little pussy can’t handle,” as if your little body is supposed to carry the weight of his words OR 
  • when that white woman shoots you snooty looks as if your beauty compares nothing to her Barbie doll height OR 
  • when you speak your mind, you’re hated by the people who underestimate what being

five feet tall, one hundred pounds, size zero frame, brown skin, with long straight black hair, lean arms, lean legs, small breasts, almond-shaped eyes, black eyes, long straight lashes, carved cheekbones, button nose, small hands, small feet,

can be really capable of doing, as if you owe it to everyone to always

  • be nice
  • never complain
  • stay quiet
  • be accommodating.

Being

five feet tall, one hundred pounds, size zero frame, brown skin, with long straight black hair, lean arms, lean legs, small breasts, almond-shaped eyes, black eyes, long straight lashes, carved cheekbones, button nose, small hands, small feet –

love it
hate it
tired of it
could use a little bit more of it
would like to put it away sometime
hide
and just
not be.

Blog 38 Nobody is a Queen, acrylic on canvas, 2014
love it
hate it
tired of it
could use a little bit more of it
would like to put it away sometime
hide
and just
not be

Image: “Nobody Is a Queen” by JV Totañes, acrylic on canvas, 2014

 

Categories Creative NonfictionTags , , , ,

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