Society's Corset, Garrity Beales - Guest Blog/Poem

Just go and work out
Restrict what you eat
Beware diet cultures trap
It’s monetized and deep

It’s entrenched and accepted
You're fat, you're to blame
While thin equals healthy 
Blind assumptions the game

Yet too thin, eat a burger
Too heavy, you’re obscene
This focus on ‘healthy’
A marketing exec’s wet dream

Hypocrisy is rampant
Pseudoscience trumps facts
But why challenge presumptions 
There's no money in that

They say to go exercise 
It will help with depression
Yes, maybe it will
But it’ll take more than one session

Worry and sadness
We all feel at times
You're seeking attention 
With more sleep you'll be fine

Do yoga, be mindful
Seek endorphins and sunshine
Medication is dangerous
Don’t give Big Pharma a dime

There’s always a study
Disproving this or that
But if medication will help you
Why’s that considered a quack

People pass away from cancer
We say they fought hard
But addiction and suicide 
Their diseases, we discard

The legitimacy and strength
It takes to fight through
And if the illnesses win
Fear and ignorance tramples truth

That all health is valid
But we continue to subject
Our own biases and beliefs 
We hold in contempt

Mental health, our weight
Acceptable stigmatized stains

On our worth as a person

Mental health, our weight
Acceptable anchors of oppression

Mutually exclusive 
Or elements overlapping 
People’s opinions on value
Here’s my personal tongue lashing

It’s true that words hurt more
Than sticks and than stones
Their scars ever present 
Cut calories to atone

For the disrespect shown
To the societal constraint
Ever pervasive fat phobia
Coating the world with its paint

Of distorted, disproven
Bigoted decrees
And we lap it all up
Indoctrinated to agree

Been spoon fed since birth
That our worth’s dictated by size
Well fuck that misnomer
I’ve finally opened my eyes

I’m shattering the chains
I am fucking exhausted
Let me shout to the world
Let your ears be accosted

I’ve fought long and hard
For most of my life
To earn a seat at the table
To fit in, deemed right

I seek comfort in food
My varying wide paintbrush, my shield
To hide me, protect me
The mountain to which I yield

I took years to acknowledge 
My multiple mental cages
And now that I have
I’m shattering them in rages

Unwrapping each layer
Blasting bullshit learned
I’ve found my voice
I’m no longer concerned

About the weight that currently 
cushions my frame
There's beauty in the fact that 
We’re not all the same

I am more than my size
A diagnosis or shape
My flesh suit’s my badge
Of honor I’ve claimed

Every scar every roll
Every stretch mark and hair
You can judge all you want
I no longer care

I’ve battled through hell
I’ve earned all my stripes
My brain, it is different 
That’s my inherent plight

Would you judge a diabetic
Needing insulin to live
Or an asthmatic their inhaler
Prejudices hold us captive

No matter that depression 
Can be physically proven
With MRIs, well now
That shatters the illusion

That it's not something chemically
Off in the brain
It makes people uncomfortable
My invisible struggles and pain

So I'm taking back power
Of whom dictates the terms
On my contract of being
Living’s not something to earn

It's intrinsic and pure
Not a commodity for sale
I'm finally enlightened 
Society's corset has failed

To restrain and suppress me
Kept internally at war
I am who I am
Conceded deference no more

I embrace what I used to
Shy away and hide from
Anxiety, depression
Emotional-eating just some

Of the countless qualifiers
That make me, me
Along with kind, compassionate
Stubborn and bubbly

I’m worthy of respect
I’ll not make myself small
To fit into your preconceived
Box of control

And I’ve realized my strengths
Are etched in the sands 
Of my resilience against
All that life’s thrown and all its demands

I am raw, I am valid
I have fought hard to own

My worth as a person

To find more Garrity’s writings and poetry:

Facebook.Garrity Writes and Creates

Garrity Beales

Image taken by Artist Shannon Smith

Image taken by Artist Shannon Smith