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An Optical Allure

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Floetry Fridays with Nicole

This week we look at a poem by Lucille Clifton called “homage to my hips”. It is a declaration of self-love and body positivity for women, in a society that can be sometimes be very judgmental and cruel. This poem supports the freedom to not allow women to be placed in a corner because their looks don’t fit the idealized perception of beauty. Clifton is taking control of her body and taking pride that she is a curvy woman, and there is an immense power in the stance she takes against those who think differently.

In a society that can seem somewhat very sexiest and misogynistic, a celebration of women from all cultures, ethnicity, colors, shapes and sizes is desperately needed. No one should feel like the way they look defines their talents, their personality, and their freedom to have a confidence that is untouchable. Clifton writes “these hips are mighty hips. /these hips are magic hips. / I have known them to put a spell on a man and spin him like a top!” which emphasizes the power of the individual, and the ability to seduce anyone with assertiveness.

Over the years with the heavy emergence of social media, many people have become ashamed and insecure of their bodies. This is in part due to the “picture-perfect” photos of celebrities and online figures that are airbrushed and photo-shopped, but praised and worshiped. It has become a society of false illusions and this is becoming more detrimental to the mindset of those who walk around believing they must look a certain way to appease people. It is why poems such as this are needed, because everyone should understand that beauty comes from within. It is not how big or small you are, but how you carry and appreciate yourself that will shine brighter than anything else. Regardless of how wide or small your body (or in this case, your hips) may be, carry them with grace and that will be the magic that will put a spell on anyone that comes in your path. Don’t be someone else’s mirage, be your own enchantment.

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