There are a million pretty girls
climbing in the windows,
filling up billboards and tv screens like pretty kudzu.

There are a million other girls
marking and piercing, trying anything
to make themselves different from all the rest. 

Be pretty like THAT girl.
Be thin like that one.
Fit in, fold spindle and mutilate, and most of all keep smiling.

But,...what if you are never meant to fit in?
What if you are marked out by God, or life, or nature?
What if, Jehanne,
what if, Janis,
what if, Miss Brains, Miss Butch, Miss Misfit Toy,
you believe?
you belt it out?
you don't let them shame you or shrink you or stop you? 

What if you accepted that you were touched by God? 
Damn, you'd be different.
And, damn, wouldn't that be fine?

I have become fascinated with Brazilian model Mariana Mendes.

She was born with a birth mark, melanocytic nevus, on her face. 

At age six, her mother paid for laser treatment, but it didn't have much effect. Mariana says she's glad it didn't, and doesn't want any more treatment.

She's a model, an internet sensation, and fucking gorgeous. 

Rock on, Mariana! 


Gillena Cox said…
Every blossom is a flower divinely crafted, nice poem, nice ode

much love...
Fuck, Shay. This is the ONE poem the world needs to hear, above all the rest. I'm on my knees, wringing my hands, thanking you for writing it.

I'm "Miss Misfit Toy." Thanks for the shout-out. ;)
Kerry O'Connor said…
I hate that young people are coerced into such basic standards of beauty and fear otherness or plainness as some kind of modern day curse.
hedgewitch said…
There is something cruel in our genes that likes to make things suffer, especially other people. I often curse it, yet I also often wonder if we would have the great treasures that the 'misfits' give our world without it. It seems a high price to pay, and I would like to think that kindness, acceptance and love would give us gifts even richer. A fascinating story here, Shay, both the poem and its inspiration.
Anonymous said…
I often wonder from where the call comes that says, you, this side of the line, you, that side and you....leave the playground.Keen observation and props to the model for bucking the trend.
Timoteo said…
Wow...she's perfection, except for that mark. But without it, she would likely never have become known. The universe works in strange ways. In regards to the beginning of your poem, I'm leaving my windows open tonight.
Sanaa Rizvi said…
I absolutely agree!❤️ Beauty need not be stereotyped into making people believe stuff which they otherwise would not. We should brace ourselves the way God intended us to be! As always your words inspire me!❤️
I love the close-up of her in glasses.
Cloudia said…
I wish young Me had read your poem!
Anonymous said…
Love the challenge of the poem. What if? (believe in ourselves not what is being sold to us)
Sioux Roslawski said…
One, your poem should be emblazoned across billboards everywhere.

Two, is Mariana nudging Emmylou into the background?
Dani H said…
love your poem, Sis!

i hate the culture my granddaughter is dealing with in this age of "selfies" and social media. there were a couple of hard years, but at 19 she's forging her own path and doesn't let others opinions of her change how she feels about herself. i hope that continues.

Lynn said…
Lovely poetic tribute to her - she is gorgeous. I'm glad she embraces her beauty mark like that.
Sarah Russell said…
Perfect tribute to unusual beauty.
Sherry Blue Sky said…
Now, she is indeed beautiful. And strong. Yay! And your poem is perfect.
'Tis true, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. This was beautiful - la l a mosk
Susie Clevenger said…
"pretty kudzu" Oh I love that! Who the hell has the right to decide what makes someone beautiful?
Marian said…
If only your message could be absorbed and truly lived by all of us. Thanks for the introduction to Mariana! (runs off to learn more)