Slam poem powerfully conveys pressure women feel to 'shrink' [Video]


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"Women in my family have been shrinking for decades," says Lily Myers as she recites her slam poem, "Shrinking Women." "We all learn it from each other."

Myers was awarded Best Love Poem at the 2013 College Unions Poetry Slam Invitational at Wesleyan University, where she passionately reflected on women's insecurities, their origins and how they often differ from those of men. 

The poem emphasizes the role of observational learning in the development of these insecurities, as girls pick up on the behaviors and feelings from their mothers, who learned them from their mothers, and so on. 

Here's an excerpt:

"Nights I hear [my mother] creep down to eat plain yogurt in the dark, a fugitive stealing calories to which she does not feel entitled, deciding how many bites is too many, how much space she deserves to occupy. Watching the struggle, I either mimic or hate her, and I don't want to do either anymore, but the burden of this house has followed me across the country. I asked five questions in genetics class today, and all of them started with the word 'sorry.'"

Check out the video: