I am Not a Woman by Maud Acheampong

Even if I peeled off my skin and revealed the porcelain white Skeleton that lives inside of me, I think my pelvic bone would give me away. I would’ve moved the mountain on my chest but the bones would be too smooth. Too delicate. My frame is not massive enough. They would call me “Skeleton girl” and then I’d have failed my mission. But still, I hate eating. The bread and rice always goes straight to my hips and I wouldn’t care about the weight if it would make me less woman to you but I eat rice with every meal because I am the mother’s child. My mother would call that skeleton “daughter” and tell it to eat without knowing that is the reason I go hungry instead. So, when I look at my body in the mirror, I do not say it’s beautiful, it is a body, it doesn’t have to be beautiful just working well enough, instead I say it’s mine. It’s mine. It’s mine. And my breasts are mine and my hips are mine and the woman they call me is not.

Maud Acheampong (they/them), is a 22 year old multidisciplinary performance artist based in Maryland. Their work explores the false dichotomies between what is beautiful and what is grotesque.

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