Go Paint Your Nails

For International Women’s Day, here’s a poem I wrote about what it’s like growing up as a girl and as a young woman. I also recorded a spoken word techno version, which you can find on my YouTube channel or on Soundcloud.

Go Paint Your Nails.

Don’t cry you’ll spoil your pretty face
Not only irrelevant
But a denial of my inner reality
A subsuming of my feelings and needs,
My hurts
Beneath the gold standard
What will the neighbours think?
Must keep up appearances
Above all else

Girls should be seen
To look pretty
Not heard
To cry and protest
Not heard to
Stand up for justice
Sit on your hands
And shut up your heart
Don’t smudge your make up
Or break your manicured nails
Stay sweet
Or the boys won’t like you

Doc martens and nose pierced
Doesn’t look nice with that skirt
Get yourself something pretty
Not only irrelevant
But a denial of my inner reality
I decline
To subsume my passion, my self,
To shut my mouth
And look pretty
The boy doesn’t like me

More chance of pinning a tiger down
Than squeezing me into a dress
With a face like a porcelain doll
A nice pair of court shoes
Just sitting demurely
No chance, I cackle
As I stomp in my boots
Scruffy wild Woman in black
If the boys don’t like it
They can go
Paint their nails
I decline

© Janey Colbourne 2017


5 thoughts on “Go Paint Your Nails

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