Cathleen D. Cleope
Girls Wear Skirts
Stop wearing shirts two sizes too big, they said.
Stop wearing basketball shorts, they said.
They're meant for boys, they said.
Don't cut your hair too short, they said.
Don't do that.
Act like a girl.
Okay, I said.
So, here I am, with a haircut enough to make me look like a boy
With a stance fit for a tomboy
But at least I'm wearing a dress.
But tell me, does a dress, or make up, or a matte lipstick, or a skirt make you look like the lady the society wants us to be?
Or does wearing shorts, pink crop tops, shoes with heels that might impale you
Your long, shining hair crowning your pretty head.
Does that identify you as the woman based on the concept the people dictated?
Our mamas once told us, when our heads were still filled with dragons, and castles, and prince charmings
"My child, once you grow up, you will be as beautiful as a flower
You will be as graceful as your favorite ballet dancer
You will be as fiery as a bright, burning fire"
And our mamas will brush our long hair, while we dreamed
Of having hair as long as Rapunzel's
Because ours weren't long enough
And we'll dream
Of having our prince charming rescue us from the evil witch
For she was a scary thing
And we hate scary things
And bad, evil things
And things that go along with our plans
But later, when the idea of dragons, and castles, and prince charmings fades away along with the excitement that it brings
Scary things are not to be hated.
The silent, scrutinizing look of many eyes
Judging the way you look in your tee shirt
The way those baggy pants hide the girl inside you
And the hushed whispers from those people who knew nothing but to kill with their words
Are the ones to be hated.
Let me tell you something, girl
You are a beautiful, loving girl
With strength that doesn't rely on her fists and imposing built.
And your strength lies in the way you think and decide
Your strength lies in the way your hands wash their clothes, the way you carry your child, or the groceries
Your strength lies in the way your heart beats and loves and lives
Your strength lies in here, here, and in here.
Cut your hair short if that's what will make you feel beautiful
Wear what you want to wear, as long as you feel comfortable in your own skin
Besides, wearing tee shirts and trousers doesn't make you less a queen.
And when those people look at you with the same, judging eyes
Hold your head up high
But be careful with that crown, it might slide down
And then, smile at them sweetly
Let them know that you are beautiful even in men's clothes
Let them know
That queens do not just wear skirts
They wear armors for battles, too.