During Sexual Assault Awareness Month, “Not for Ourselves Alone” is running a special series called 30 Days of Bodyshaming, designed to give a voice to the many different experiences of girls and women. This series will feature guest posts by professors, writers, a cartoonist, young girls, and mothers. Gut wrenching and honest, these stories are presented in an attempt to bring about a deeper understanding of the plight of girls and women as we make our way in world that, for us, is hostile at its best and violent at its worst.
This poem was inspired by a quote from a 17th century homemaker’s journal after she bathed for the first time “all over” in a “showerbox.” She said,
I bore it well, after not having been wet all over in twenty-four years.
Her simple comment made me think about the fact that women spend about 7 billion dollars a year on makeup, perfumes and products to clean our bodies. It’s a filthy business.
by Juliet Bond
Stink when you have to
Fish oiled fingertips
Or musk- crammed fissures
Recline in socks that barely hide your fungussed-feet
And blink as flakes of wax wisp from your ears
Warm with life that murmurs forth in waves of muck
Burgeoning blisters of ulcers
Microorganisms upon your skin
Make colonies and picnic
In the yellow scabs behind the rose of your ears
Instead of warfare with soap, briny and burning
End your prudish parade
And join the filthy merrymaking
Juliet C. Bond is a writer and Development Coordinator at Literature for All of Us. Her first book, “Sam’s Sister,” was published in 2005, and has sold over 50,000 copies. She went on to collaborate with Newberry winner Joyce Sidman to publish the stage adaptation of “This is Just to Say.” Juliet’s shorter works can be found in “The Prairie Wind,” at storystudiochicago.com and citymusecountrymuse.com. Juliet serves as the Welcome Coordinator for The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators in Illinois, and has had the pleasure of working under the tutelage of award winning authors including; Jane Yolen, Jane Hamilton, Laurie Lawlor and Audrey Niffinegger. Her new book, co-authored with the amazing Carrie Goldman, is called “Jazzy’s Quest: Amazing and Adopted” and is due out later this summer.