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Pretty by Tilly Aldridge, North Hertfordshire College

February 2022

You have to be pretty they told me

But pretty is a lie

The pretty they told me I needed to be

Made me almost die.

It ate me up inside out

It shattered all my dreams

My world began to darken

The tears now fell in streams.

My meals became less frequent

My stomach an empty pit

I cared no longer for my health

I knew that this was it.

My body became my worth

A trophy to display

Attracting people with my looks

Hoping they would stay.

The light in my eyes faded

It became a dim glow

I was slowly dying

But they didn’t seem to know.

I craved their attention

Their compliments and praise

I knew it was the only thing

To get me through the days.

My mind was distorted

All twisted and decayed

My vision warped and broken

I had been betrayed.

They broke me into pieces

I crumbled to the floor

In that moment I realised

I was worth much more.

More than pretty, more than looks

I’m everything in between

For the things that make me pretty

Cannot ever be seen.

My looks aren’t worth a penny

They don’t prove a thing

For pretty is found on the inside

Always from within.

They told me to be pretty

But that was just a lie

For pretty is within me

Until the day I die.