Shrinking Women

I‘ve never really had any major issues with food or dieting. Except of an occassional look in the mirror followed by the thought „I‘m so fat“ or a few failed „I‘m never having M&M’s again” promises, food was never that much of a concern for me.
My family and friends have always encouraged me to express my views and valued my opinion. I have been raised with the values of mutual respect between male and female kind, and being human-KIND was always a priority.
In the times of despair, I have been comforted and supported by both men and women, and I would always make a conscious effort to not differentiate between the two. And yet – this poem still hits me.
“Shrinking women” is a reality for me, engrained so deeply in me that I never even considered talking about it out loud. My fear is that, it’s a reality for so many.
Still hesitantly hovering over that ‘Publish this post’ button, I’m not sure if I will not give in to the tendency of shrinking this time. But if you’re reading this – I probably didn’t.
I want to say: we come from difference, Jonas,
you have been taught to grow out,
I have been taught to grow in.
You learned from our father how to emit, how to produce, to roll each thought off your tongue with confidence, you used to lose your voice every other week from shouting so much.
I learned to absorb.
I took lessons from our mother in creating space around myself.
I learned to read the knots in her forehead while the guys went out for oysters,
and I never meant to replicate her, but spend enough time sitting across from someone and you pick up their habits- that’s why women in my family have been shrinking for decades.
Lily Myers, Shrinking Women
For the full poem, you can check:

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