Why don’t you grow a pair? she said
Making a cupping action with both
Of her sweet, delicate little hands.
I rolled my eyes and turned away.
Because maybe I don’t want to,
I whispered underneath my breath.
Maybe I quite like the fact that I have skin
So fucking paper thin
That even quiet words can cut their way
Through to vital organs like
A heart, a soul, a brain.
Too thin to shin my way up to the top
Of that greasy pole you all seem keen
To reach the top so quick, it’s sick.
I’d rather crane my neck and watch,
But feel the world around with such
Intensity it sometimes hurts to breathe.
It hurts, that’s right, and I’ll never have
The balls you wish for me to grow
But I am blessed to have the words,
To feel the feels, and to connect
In ways that you can only wish to know.
I just watched Miss Americana on Netflix, and wow. Taylor Swift is a queen. I know that there are people reading this who will be rolling their eyes and saying that she is annoying and shallow and blah blah blah, but I like her and I’m old enough and ugly enough to stand by my own opinions.
I think that I like her so much because she can connect with us through her writing in a way that most people can only dream of. And I always imagine that pop stars are tough and hardened to any kind of stick they get from the internet, but I saw from the documentary that she isn’t like this. And it’s kind of her super power. Her soft side is what helps her connect with millions of us, because we’ve all felt vulnerable and we like to hear somebody who apparently has it all say that they feel vulnerable too.
I wrote this poem because towards the end of the film Taylor said “I want to keep my pen sharp, and my skin thin”. This made me stop and look up because I didn’t think successful people ever wanted thin skin. I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone say they want thin skin before. But as a writer, perhaps this is something that I should be hoping and praying that I have forever.
If you feel like you are battling to withstand the horrible crap that the world can throw at you, feel comforted in the knowledge that we all feel that way, whether you are an admin assistant, a lawyer, a toilet cleaner, a pop star, a politician or anyone else. We’re all human and we all feel that way sometimes. But also know that it is a beautiful thing to be able to feel so intensely. It means that you are able to connect with people in a magical way and that, my friend, is something to be proud of.