Girls by Vera Wahlquist

profile of a girl by Vera Wahlquist

profile of a girl by Vera Wahlquist

girls start ballet and piano when they start school because at this point their mother’s dreams are their own and they don’t know any better than to go along with it

girls are giggling while they watch the boys play sports when they are nine because that is just a thing that they do now, although nobody quite knows why

girls start practicing self-restraint when they turn ten because their mother reminds them not to eat more than a slice of pizza at their best friend’s birthday party and nudge them if they ask for another piece of pie

girls eat less when they turn twelve because wow, aren’t you getting big they all say but they are not impressed they are disgusted little girls are thin and petite and beautiful and you are not, they are saying

girls start looking in the mirror and marking each flaw with a red sharpie when they turn fourteen since that boy that won’t matter in three months talks about a model whose thighs are thinner than their wrists

girls mark their flaws with more permanent tools when they turn sixteen because it is no longer pretty to ignore thighs that move when they walk and it is no longer okay to feel safe within their own bodies and it is no longer a canvas made for bruises and scraped knees but for small red lines and angry burns

girls can count perfectly by the time they move out because they are not who they want to be and all the women in romantic comedies are tan and thin and white and they don’t like to eat in front of people and they like having scales in their houses

girls are created to feel insecure and want to improve and girls are manipulated to not be okay in their own skin because that is the money-maker of the century