I used to think that emptiness equalled purity

That hunger was synonymous to beauty

That the only way I could ever be pretty

Was if made myself shrink.


I would remodel my body like a house;

My fingers would climb the staircase of ribs that ascended up

The sides of my torso and

Wrapped around my lungs.


An apple once again became the forbidden fruit

And I turned myself into Eve,

A frail body decorated with delicate flowers and beautiful leaves;

A biblical metaphor of purity one couldn’t possibly keep.


I took up new hobbies,

Like slicing my flesh and

Looking up the calories of menu items at restaurants I’d probably never go to,

Just in case.


My mind became a calculator;

I’d add sixty calories

Subtract thirty,

Divide by three and be left with ten;


Ten calories for breakfast,

And ten for lunch -

Eat the same thing as lunch for dinner

And only have three pieces of gum a day because five calories a stick is too much to risk.`    


Egg whites and

Tiny berries cut in halves;

Don’t eat the yolk and

Always cut your food into as many possible slices before you even think about eating it.


Chew thirty times and

Only swallow it if you can’t spit it out -

Fill yourself up with sparkling water;

You’re drinking bottled beauty, now.


Wear clothes that make you look larger so that people don’t get suspicious,

Hide weights in your bra at the doctor’s and

Start to only eat your food raw -

Turn your blood into flowers and the flowers into crowns


Tell me, am I pretty now?


Published by Jasmine Uitto