Your reflection

It’s in the school lunchroom
an insult catapulted across the room
nobody remembers what it was about, only the
first punch
crowded bunch urging counter punch
It’s in the school lunchroom when
boys learn how to be men
It’s in the classroom when you’re entombed by the consuming costumes of
femininity and masculinity
that you learn how to be an actor and
It’s in the dining room when you learn how to not eat
every meal an ordeal a gunshot to a surreal ideal
peddled by a culture our aesthetics that kneel before
synthetic
cosmetics
its currency anorexia its currency bulimia its currency
never
             being
                           good
                                       enough
constant rejection every time you sit at the dinner table
media images flashing
simplistic advocates of smaller dreams
convincing you to abdicate you throne and become dependent on growing inwards
fuck thinking, as long as you’re
shrinking
It’s in the dining room where girls learn how to be women and
it’s in the living room when children are adorned with
gender thorns
women as sex objects dreams wrecked
the special effects telling you to
forget about silly things like respect or intellect
the latest TV ad teaching girls from an early age
the sentence structure you’ll forever be
the object but never the subject
the latest TV ad teaching boys to have the emotional span of a saucepan

teaching domination
in the brawl in the catcall in the scrawling
waterfall down her face after you raised a

clenched

fist

and it’s in the bathroom when you stare into the mirror and debate
your reflection
you’re both nearer and further away at the same time
positives muddled, negatives clearer you debate
your reflection
stare straight and await the latest
collection of imperfections
look at that pale complexion you’re overweight you are
                                        humiliatingly
                                          nauseating
checkmate
you debate your reflection and you know it’s a debate you can never win you

do it anyway because
it doesn’t need a mirror to haunt you
only your own ideas

of perfection

 

Tim Lo Surdo
Tim Lo Surdo is a 23 year old social justice campaigner from Melbourne. In 2017, he founded Democracy in Colour – Australia’s first national racial justice advocacy organisation led by people of colour. Democracy in Colour campaigns on structural racism; holds leaders to account on the things they say and do on race; and strengthens the political voice of people of colour. Tim also works at United Voice as a senior organiser.

About Author

Tim Lo Surdo is a 23 year old social justice campaigner from Melbourne. In 2017, he founded Democracy in Colour – Australia’s first national racial justice advocacy organisation led by people of colour. Democracy in Colour campaigns on structural racism; holds leaders to account on the things they say and do on race; and strengthens the political voice of people of colour. Tim also works at United Voice as a senior organiser.

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