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NOW CLOSED Read award winner Hollie McNish’s poem for the Dove Self-Esteem Project: write a verse addressed to your ‘younger self’ and you could win £250

(78 Posts)

MNHQ have commented on this thread.

AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 13-Nov-13 11:05:43

We've been asked by the team at the Dove Self-Esteem Project (DSEP) to share this poem all about how we see ourselves written by award-winning UK poet Hollie McNish.

You can also watch it here:

In case you don't 'know' Hollie she has a young child, lives with her partner, and creates thought provoking poetry to get us thinking about what is important in life. She started writing at the age of 5 before building up courage to do readings at the Poetry Café in London in her early twenties.

Since then, she's been performing around the UK and Europe and running educational poetry days and workshops. Her poetry is mostly straight forward rhyming and in spoken form, inspired a lot by UK hip hop and grime, sixties protest lyrics and everything around her.

Hollie says: "I can't stand living in a place where the first thing we are meant to think about each day is how we look. As if that's the most important thing in life, or the thing that brings us the most happiness."

Dove first came across Hollie's inspirational poem "Wow". This inspired them to get in touch with Hollie and she has now been commissioned to write some poems.

Dove says "Hollie has written two poems for Dove which inspire real women to see themselves in a more positive way. The poems are being shared to create discussion and debate around the insights behind them, and to encourage women to share their own feelings about beauty".

Read her poem called "Big Smacking Kiss" below, which Hollie wrote after a day with her daughter. She says, "I think kids are brilliant and cleverer than adults. They know what actually makes them happy without all the rubbish we are told. They also see their body in functional ways, not something to look at, which is how we are sold it."

Dove would like you to write your own verse and address it to your younger self what would you say if you had the opportunity?

"Big Smacking Kiss" by Hollie McNish

This isnt a fling,
This is every morning,
Half asleep and still yawning
I'm there
Face to face with the mirror
Imagining my skin tighter, lips bigger, bits thinner
Shaking my head at how tired I look
And pushing at eye bags like those are the proof
And theres no one else stood
It's just me
By myself
Wasting my minutes
When I could grab a cup of tea or a book I could finish
When I could find a new tune or run a warm bath
Phone up a friend or laugh at the sight
Of my baby now stood at my side
Smacking the mirror with kisses she's so proud of herself
And she doesn't waste time looking down on herself
But she learns and watched and copies me so well
And I fear for an age she'll start wasting that time
dissecting her skin or her lines or her knees and I plead
with her please dont grow up
Till I swap my cold morning stares
To welcome each day like my daughter greet hers
Press my lips to the glass for a big smacking kiss

Add your verses to this thread and you'll be entered into a prize draw where one winner, picked at random, will win £250 of high street gift vouchers!

For more information on the Dove Self-Esteem Project please visit or


Theimpossiblegirl Wed 13-Nov-13 14:12:42

Looking in the mirror
I wish I was thinner
Wiser- then I wouldn't care.

Theimpossiblegirl Wed 13-Nov-13 14:13:51

Not great but I thought I'd break the ice by lowering the bar a bit- love Hollie's poem.

vladthedisorganised Wed 13-Nov-13 14:40:17

"Oh, man, I'm fat"
The phrase slips out
As easily as the size six skirt slips on.
On your side of the mirror, you scowl
And fling on your baggiest sweater;
Your usual disguise.
Put on some makeup, sigh, and shuffle off,
Wishing someone had made you that bit taller.

"Oh man, I'm old"
The sort of phrase
I know that I use all too much these days.
On this side of the mirror, I squint
At crows' feet and grey hairs that have snuck in.
I fling on my baggy sweater;
It hides the spills and stains the baby left.
Should wear some makeup, but I shuffle off
Wishing I'd had another hour's sleep.

"That looks all right"
For there does come a time
When that reflection looking back might smile:
The face still holds expression (and can do
That cross-eyed thing that makes the baby laugh)
A shape that's not so bad, considering.
And most of all, your eye
For that red dress, reduced twice in the sale
"Not bad for twenty quid"
And satisfied, you can't resist a grin.
Believe me, that reflection does exist.

Ennistonblue Wed 13-Nov-13 16:03:25

Look at you, hiding.
Twenty years from now,
You will love your body.

Not as you imagine it -
starved, stretched, transformed.
This is not the body of your dreams.

This is the body of your life.
Twenty years, six lovers and two children later,
With hair on your upper lip,
With a belly that sags,
And breasts that droop,
You will love your body.

Nerfmother Wed 13-Nov-13 18:55:26

A word of advice
From (me as) your mother:
It’s a long, long time this side
Of everything you’ll do
And some scars can’t be covered
By that bloody horrible tattoo.
Stop thinking about everything
And start thinking about you
It’s not about the cool kids
It’s about the faithful few
Cigarettes and cider are just a thing
(It’s fun; you’re young
You give them up by twenty two)
But darling.
If I could march you back up town
And sit you by that bed
This time I would tell you
Say goodbye, daddy is still a long time dead.

Dear me so many years ago
when I didn't know
the things that I know now.
When time was spent
in unrelenting doubt
and thoughts about
the ways that I was wrong
and badly made.

Such beautiful yet critical eyes
about my size
my hair, my skin,
my distorted vision.
The self derision, I remember still.

Dear me, with age you'll see
perfection isn't being thin
or blemish free
it comes from being comfortable
in your own skin.
It's from within
not some false idol in a magazine.
touched up and toned down

Dear me
Beauty is more than skin deep.
Believe me.
I am you.

iklboo Wed 13-Nov-13 19:53:31

DON'T listen to him, young me, close your ears
His insults are playing on all your worst fears
You're not fat or ugly or stupid or minging
There's nothing wrong with your or dancing or singing
You're not an embarrassment, you're not a disgrace
There's nothing wrong with your body or face
It's him who's inadequate, he's not really all that
He'll keep on treating you like a doormat
Finish it, dump him, show him the door
Tell him you won't take his crap anymore
Look in the mirror, believe what you see
You're a sexy young woman, take it from me
There's someone out there who is perfect for you
And it isn't him, so tell him you're through
DON'T listen to him, young me, get out while you can
Don't waste any more time on this sad little man
Look deep inside yourself, set yourself free
Your life will be better, take it from me

BlackberrySeason Wed 13-Nov-13 19:59:35

Sadly there is too much stress
On being in a stunning dress
And I think we are worth a lot
Whether we are hot or not

I look back at photos of a younger me and cringe
In my clumpy doc martens and wonky fringe.
I had spots, puppy fat, a moody sulky teen
Until in my 20s, then I began to preen.
I went on a diet and slapped on face cream.

My hair was shiny, my body slim.
I wore nice clothes and looked after my skin.
Then in my 30s, my looks fell apart.
I had kids, was knackered but now in my heart,
I accept who I am and know beauty doesn't last.
So you dear daughter, don't grow up too fast

Madlizzy Wed 13-Nov-13 20:57:43

You're not ugly, you're just pretty and lovely
Despite what they say to you at school.
Who are they to judge you anyway?
What business is it of theirs what you wear?
So that coat is second hand, big deal?
Lack of money is REAL

You're older now and you've got away
From someone who beat and scarred you
You're still beautiful, just a bit damaged
But you'll heal, you'll be better.
Don't give yourself away now though
You're worth so much more than that.

Love has found you, not just once but twice
With a gap inbetween the two.
All those babies, oh my body, what has it done to you?
I've got my stretch marks, my war wounds, my pride
This body is amazing in what it did, and does.
How it made all four children.

Forties, well hello to you, I am here!
Voluptuous, sexy, confident with style.
My body is mine, this is who I am and it's real.
Curves, wobbles, stripes, imperfections.
I hold my chin (or chins) high with great pride.
I am a success in my life, I am ME!

CrewElla Wed 13-Nov-13 21:03:12

You're smart, you're funny, you're kind
Don't be afraid to speak your mind
You deserve love & adoration
Not sarcasm & indignation
Believe in the goodness of man
You'll be supported if you take a stand
Be loyal, true, & strong
Celebrate life with a song

By 43, you will agree -
there's more to life, than Morrissey.

sharond101 Wed 13-Nov-13 21:55:44

Try to love not to hate
Who cares about your weight
Be you tall be you short
You can't be what you are not.
We all know it's true
That whatever you do
It's most important to be loved through and through.

dementedma Wed 13-Nov-13 22:15:52

Ah child, so proud of that tattoo
Music notes inked in glorious melody
On that slim taut middle.
How cool you look.
How pretty, with your low slung jeans
And a waterfall of midnight tumbled hair.

And you line your clear, hopeful eyes
And paint your nails
And the music notes sing your beauty and your youth across and up your slim taut middle.

Ah,child. Hold on, for this too shall pass
And the mirror will sharpen with harsh and truthful light.
And when the belly sags and stretches, the melody you dance to will soften and slow and fade…....

But may your heart still sing for you will be beautiful always

manfalou Wed 13-Nov-13 22:25:14

Life is gonna pass you by,
It's gonna go so fast,
And before you even have time to blink,
3 years will have come and passed.
And now stood right before you,
There not one but two mini Me's.
3 years ago you wouldn't have known
There'd be kids stood at your knees!

They both call you mummy,
And look up to you for support,
Now is the time to change your ways,
Its time to change your thoughts.
For when these kids grow tall,
and they're no longer at your knees
You can't go back and do it again,
Now matter how many times you say please.

Stop caring what others may or may not think,
Stop letting work get you down,
All your two little boys want to see
Is that frown turned upside down.
Who cares if theres pots in the sink all day?
Who cares if the lounge is a mess?
Who cares if the beds havnt been made today

Its time to get back to basics,
Its time to start letting go!
Its time to play with paints and glue
Its time you went a little slow.
For in another 3 years when you think back
And remember all these happy days
You'll be glad you changed your thoughts today,
You'll be glad you changed you ways.

You'll build yourself up,
They'll try to knock you down
Every time you smile,
They'll turn into a frown

They think they have you beaten
But you know that's not true
No matter how hard life gets
Your family loves you

You'll come through this stronger
Than you ever could believe
And when you look back on this time
You'll surely feel relieved

That you had friends who always cared
A family who showed love
These things will come together, a sign from up above
That you'll set the world on fire,
No one knows how but you,
Your life is yet unwritten, each chapter starts anew

Spirael Thu 14-Nov-13 11:29:58

There once was a young girl of eight,
Who thought coding computers was great!
Just forget what they say,
And do things your way,
Being geeky was always your fate!

skyeskyeskye Thu 14-Nov-13 14:01:25

you need to accept it, face it and love it
your body will never be thin
you will find a man who will love you regardless
of whether you're fat or thin
blonde or brunette, or red, or grey hair
it really doesn't matter, hair is just there
make up just covers a pretty face so let yourself be free
stand there, be proud and say This Is Just Me

mellicauli Thu 14-Nov-13 16:40:34

Be brave, be funny,
Save your money.

Invest your time
in improving your mind.

Ask yourself: do I need this grief?
See past the surface, look underneath.

Be happy, be sunny,
Save more money.

Seek and you'll find -
Love someone kind

And always say yes to pain relief
- and best not forget to floss your teeth.

flamingtoaster Thu 14-Nov-13 19:29:43

There are plenty more fish in the sea
So believe what your mother says.
And when the right fish comes along
You'll know in so many ways.

OldRoan Thu 14-Nov-13 19:36:45

Photos of friends, huddled in groups,
Smiling and laughing together,
Sun kissed faces from endless school holidays,
Tucked behind a book - one person blocked out.

Out of sight, out of mind,
Out of touch and out of line.
She's healthy and happy - a stranger to me now.
Hiding behind her book.
A habit from the past, when she seemed fat and alone.

Look back and smile,
At the life you once had,
Riches undiscovered, beauty unknown.
Look back and smile,
At the life you once had,
And laugh at the thought that you once felt alone.

She smiles for the camera, and laughs with her friends,
Always on the end of the line.
Mentally tucking herself behind a book,
To discover in the future,
When she will realise how good she looks now.

TheFabulousIdiot Thu 14-Nov-13 20:34:15

Have sex
Have young fumbling innocent safe sex.
Maybe not with Chris, the older boy after only one thing
Who's socks you wore for the week he was away
during your two week relationship because you thought that was what true love was all about.
Have sex with Trevor the floppy haired mysterious older student
Who dumped you for not having sex
But have the sex before he dumps you, not after.
Then dump him.
Have sex with Matthew.
It doesn't matter that his father controls his bank account
You judge to harshly, he is a nice boy and he's not done it before.
Have sex with Paddy and Dick but not at the same time.
Yes there will be a man called Dick.
Don't have sex with Mark, it's boring vanilla sex
But you won't know because you didn't have sex
With Chris and Trevor or Matthew and Paddy.

You won't get HIV, you are not ugly, you will never be this thin again.

IndiansInTheFuckerLobby Thu 14-Nov-13 21:03:29

Little one,don't cry over what others say,
Don't think you're ugly,
You're not, ok!
You will realise how pointless it is one day,
How wrong they were,
How they told you those things to keep you down,
To stop you from smiling and wearing your crown!
Wear your crown and be beautiful from the inside out.
Never run, never hide, that's not what life's about!

GetKnitted Thu 14-Nov-13 22:56:12

there was a young girl from hum hum
who worried so over her bum
it was really that big,
but who gives a fig
she'll make a great loverly mum


kateandme Fri 15-Nov-13 03:57:13

what happened to you wasnt your fault my young girl
instead of running away from loved ones you should have made your crys heard
for being alone is never a way to deal with things going on
they multiply when your alone theyll tell you your horrid,strange,wrong
but outsdie your closed door there will be a family sat waiting
theyll know something wrong and worried about the route your now taking
one thing happened and it tried to snathc your soul
but with loved one support you can get help to stay whole
you need love you need help you need support in life
to get through the hard time to face good times and strife
so dont ever be alone dont think its your fault when terrible things occur out of your control
your mum would have hugged you she would have mopped your tears as they threaten to make your fold
always seek out other my young self always reach out
dont beleive the thoughts when your at your darkest route
there is so much goodness to have in life my dear
the crap stuff happens and yes they bring fear
but if you lean on others and find the real kindness out there
youll always be armoured with support your always know others can care.

Scheriously Fri 15-Nov-13 04:56:38

You stood in the mirror, and wished the acne away
Then you'd be pretty.
But then it was your nose,
Slightly off, preventing your untold beauty
And not long after it was your cheeks,
Too plump and not a cheekbone in sight,
Followed by your teeth, not quite straight enough to be loved.

Looking back you'll see all the ways you picked yourself apart,
When all that was ever there was all there was ever going to be.
You'll never miss the acne, god no, but that nose was from your Dad
And you'll notice it one day, standing vacant in the bathroom mirror
And then your cheeks
And your slightly wonky teeth, that are hidden under the same lop-sided smile that you remember,
Beaming from his face
And you'll realise, all the little features you hated are from him,
A final gift, a reminder he was really here, a reminder he still is
And that is what is truly beautiful.

Trumpton Fri 15-Nov-13 08:22:27

My body ,my workhorse.
Used to full potential and showing it.
Three babies grown and moving on.
My mother, wise woman, said
Be happy in your skin.
Looking back (will I turn to a pillar of salt?)
And reflecting on what would I tell my younger self?
Be strong , treat your body with respect,
it has to last you all your life.
Never say no to a new experience
Or to new friends.
Tell your children you love them
And tell yourself that you are worthy of love
So love yourself.

BarfaStewart Fri 15-Nov-13 10:07:18

If you don't eat today
then you'll be happy
you'll be able to make it through
If you don't eat today
you'll prove you have willpower
because noone else has a clue

If you don't eat today
you can have pasta tomorrow
you just need to make some room
If you don't eat today
nobody will see you
don't worry, you'll disappear soon

If you don't eat today
you'll lose all that blubber
the stuff you can see on your thighs
If you don't eat today
you'll get that bit paler
isn't it odd how time flies

But, if you don't eat today
your bones will soon crumble
your hair will soon fade and fall out
If you don't eat today
your teeth will loosen
and the voices inside will still shout

If you don't eat today
you won't eat tomorrow
and probably the day after that
If you don't eat today
you're wreaking your whole life
Believe me, you're loved
You're not fat.

mumsbe Fri 15-Nov-13 14:12:00

You are you and no one else
this is what i would tell myself
you are unique and this is good
No need to prove yourself like you think you should
dont change to fit in
this just lets the bullys win
so you are no good at maths
you will follow a different path
art will be a big part of your life
you will have to kids and be a wife
The body issues that bother you everyday
will be a distant memory and go away
enjoy your life. Live for today
Dont let anything get in your way

I want you to know, dear fifteen year old me,
Exactly what my lined eyes can see
The fear in your eyes, the cuts on your arms
You don't know who to trust, you believe the men's charms
I can see the fiery pain you're masking
I can see just what you're asking

I'll answer now, as I couldn't before
You are enough. You're even more.
You don't need to hide, little duckling
You're now a swan. And that means
Not faking, or being anyone's pawn.
It means you can be just what you are
Beautiful, clever, sensitive and pure.

And over time, these arm scars have faded
You're now joyous, strong, faithful - not beaten, not jaded.
I eventually found we are not to meant be hurt
Least of all by our own hand. We must put ourselves first.
So put down the knife and look outside of the bars.
And realise you can choose, the mud or the stars.

fifimcq Fri 15-Nov-13 16:56:00

If I could take a quantum leap,
And find myself talking to a younger me
How happy I would be

I'd smile and cuddle and comfort myself
That in life's trials I will cope
And stress the importance of having hope

My message would be very simple;
Looks will fade and extra weight creep in
But we will always be truly gorgeous within.

Babycarmen Fri 15-Nov-13 17:14:00

I wish I was thinner
Not that girl in the mirror
Her bum is too fat
Her arms flap like that
But who cares, her face is a winner


amaradnas Fri 15-Nov-13 17:23:23

One day you'll be older and greyer
but hey you can pay a
visit to a beauty shop
to buy a drop of miracle 'skin'
to rub in every layer

Your hair will shine
Your face will glow
Your age no-one will every know
But your beauty lies within
So face the world with a big grin!

mrsmonkeybutler79 Fri 15-Nov-13 17:38:10

It's strange how only a child can see
What's beautiful, funny, glorious in me
Even my friends, they judge each other
'Too sad, 'too vain', 'too self absorbed for another'

My son knows me through and through
Perhaps that's because its where he grew
In my eyes he can tell
If I'm content, or faking
If I'm ecstatic, or if I'm breaking
He sees past all else
And thats why, come what may
He'll be my focus
Not my lines and my grey.

Ruby6918 Sat 16-Nov-13 13:01:39

Try not to fret
You little pet
Too many a frown
Can bring you down

Get out and about
Laugh Scream and Shout
Discover what life is about!

Takes chances on life
NO stepford wife
Bye Bye to worry and strife

Get on that plane
Head off to Spain
Because boredom will drive you insane

Don't work in a bank
Your brain will go blank
The bottom of the pile you will rank

Cut down on the wine
For a while you'll feel fine
But believe me you may cross that line

So off you go out
Lets hear you shout!
IM MEEE - and give it some clout

Ruby6918 Sat 16-Nov-13 14:07:12

Try not to fret
You little pet
Too many a frown
May get you down

Take chances on life
NO stepford wife
Bye Bye to worry and strife

Get on that plane
Head off to Spain
Because boredom will drive you insane

Don't work in a bank
Your brain will go blank
The bottom of the pile you will rank

Cut down on that wine
For a while you'll feel fine
But believe me you may cross that line

So off you go out!
Now lets hear you shout!
IM ME - and give it some clout

SaltySeaBird Sat 16-Nov-13 20:13:37

Don't put so much stock into the advice from others
Your passions and likes are not your mothers'
Choose a career that is defined and stable
You are clever and smart, willing and able
Make sure it is based on something you enjoy
Let nothing distract you, especially a boy!

Hopezibah Sat 16-Nov-13 23:16:37

A message to my younger self…
Don’t wish for riches or wisdom but only for health,
Don’t strive for more, but be happy with less.
Too many fools go chasing for wealth,
Better to be happy – be content with yourself.
Keep life simple,
don’t fret over pimples.
Although your weight may go up or down,
Don’t let it be the reason you smile or frown.

Punkatheart Sun 17-Nov-13 00:07:27

The boy you loved, but never loved you
Is now a friend and you love him differently
The punk you were still beats in your heart
There are still times when you are blue

You felt ugly then and despite many things
There is a part of you which will never be satisfied
But you will have adventures, my love
Fine days, strange people and passionate flings

Most of all, there is a child
Curly hair, manic, arms out
It will arrive, in time
But for now, be proud and wild.

DrankSangriaInThePark Sun 17-Nov-13 13:41:04

They wished you health and happiness
Adventures by the score
Everything your heart desired
And then a little more....

They had some advice to give
On the subject of "romance"
They knew that it was far away
But couldn't be left to chance

They did not want to patronise
They knew you weren't a fool
But before you flew to distant lands
They had to stress The Rules

They urged you to be sensible
They said to be secure
They urged a house, a job, a car
And never to be poor.

They said HE should be 30
A nice smile and twinkling eyes
No matter if he was foreign
Didn't care about his size

They said if he was Libran
You knew he'd make you cry
And must not be touched with bargepoles!
You must not even try

Before you went to bed with him
After a month or two....
They asked you for a phonecall
An email would not do

For decisions that momentous
Need all your friends' advice
Exact form of contraception
And position would be nice

They said that covered everything
But before they let you go
They said that friends were always there
And therefore you should know

That if you rang at 2am
Your second morning there
Pissed ridiculous on sangria
Already in despair

To say you were in love with a boy
Long hair and sleep with me eyes
A busker you'd found on the street
They would not be surprised

Of course he was a Libran
And barely 21
You hadn't used a condom
He'd already upped and gone

But then they did wish you adventure
And what are adventures for?
If they don't give you what you want
And then a little more.....

(PS It wasn't quite the second morning, but YKWIM.......) grin

AndHarry Sun 17-Nov-13 17:08:03

I wish I could go back
and tell you you are beautiful.
You were.
You probably are.
I wonder when you will know it?

AndHarry Sun 17-Nov-13 17:22:08

Good grief, these are making me cry. What lovely poems you lot.

mindlessmama Sun 17-Nov-13 19:59:00

Friends drift in and out of your life. Children grow up and move out.
But your body experiences your whole life with you, It deserves more then a prod and a clout.

The hair on your head, the scars on your knee from the time you climbed drunkenly up a tree. The niggly joint, a crick in the neck, the pain you feel when you poke to check.

But the body you have has served you fair, it deserves a bit of loving care. Your skin has sheltered you from day one and will follow you through till the day you are done.

ErrorError Mon 18-Nov-13 13:30:50

When I was a teenager,
My Mother said to me,
"Just do your best and be who you are",
But who did I want to be?

Bullied by the local boys,
I swamped myself in beige.
Wanting to be invisible,
I couldn't wait to age.

"When I'm grown I'll be fine,
happier and thinner.
It's going to be a challenge,
As I really love my dinner."

Now I want to hug that girl,
Stop her wishing her life away.
She'll never be a beauty queen,
but will be beautiful one day.

haikumad Mon 18-Nov-13 15:11:59

This is dedicated to all the fabulous women who find themselves in this position because of illness, circumstance & bad luck:

They used to call Auntie Freda posh

Now she’s lucky if she gets a wash

Dementia and a chemical cosh

Ensure they’ll soon have hands on her dosh

Lilpickle08 Tue 19-Nov-13 14:52:28

You're alright, you know, despite what he says
You're bright, you're funny and you care
But that's the problem
Caring too much about what people think
Who cares?
Because you're beautiful inside and out

And when he tells you you're lazy, ignore him
When he smashes the phone up with a hammer
Know that it isn't you, it's him
You're bright, you're funny and you care
And you're beautiful inside and out

Don't let him erode your self esteem like that
Your friends see you for you, eventually
Because it takes a while for them to see the real you
But they do and they know you're bright and funny
And beautiful, inside and out

And when he tells you to leave home, and go and don't come back
Hold your head up high, and try and leave
With some self esteem intact, if you can
If he hasn't taken it all away
And know, because I'm telling you, that you ARE special
And beautiful and bright and funny

And whilst you might struggle for a bit, you'll do alright in the end
Because you are a good person
But he's taken bits away from you, little by little
And left the scared bits. But know that things will get better
Eventually. The self esteem will come back
Little by little.

So when you look in the mirror, see what I see.
A beautiful young lady with her whole life ahead of her.
Stop cowering in the corner, sneaking looks in the mirror
and hating what you see. Because what you see, isn't what we see
You're bright and you're beautiful inside and out
And you need to know that.

Don't wait for him to tell you, you don't need his validation.
You know deep down, that you're beautiful
Inside and out.
So please start believing that, before it's too late.
Don't let him encroach on your self belief any more.
And know that you are loved.

And that you are beautiful inside and out.

CheeseTMouse Tue 19-Nov-13 15:04:33

Fiercely determined and striving so hard,
nothing is good enough, tears abound.
Yet the only person pressuring you is you.
Trust and believe and be sure in yourself -
you're clever and pretty and strident and strong.
Stop doubting yourself.
Start trusting yourself.
Be kinder to yourself.
Believe in yourself.
You will one day have a daughter who is bright and strong willed yet vulnerable and small.
So look after yourself.
The way you look after her.

majjsu Tue 19-Nov-13 16:52:12

Live life to the full
Don't ever be dull
Don't worry about looking a fright
Be vibrant and light
Have fun
Try not to look overdone
Enjoy every minute
Don't look back at the past
Just have a blast!

Mamafratelli Tue 19-Nov-13 22:04:04

They took a photo at school one day,
And all that I could see
Were double chins and negative things,
I threw that photo away.

My mother begged and pleaded
She wanted me to see,
The beautiful girl with wild red curls,
I threw that photo away.

My mother took those photos
And kept them hidden safe,
She put them in a wooden box,
I couldn't throw them away.

Many years passed
I had children myself,
Beautiful reflections of me.
I threw the photos away.

One day my mother took out the box
She asked me what do you see?
A beautiful girl with bright red curls,
At last I saw it was me.

Its hard to see an image
of someone you dont want to be
when mum is always telling me
that i should love me for me

Now i am older
and parents are not here to say
that being me is the only thing
that noone can take away

i wish that i had noticed
all the things that i see now
and hope that i can teach my children
not to wish away today

This kind of poem and other peoples verses are reminded me of the song one and only by chesney hawkes. my mother always used to play it and it has stuck with me. you are the best person to be you no matter what is different about you to anyone else. in the words of groove armada, if everybody looked the same we'd get tired of looking at each other :D

PurpleGirly Wed 20-Nov-13 19:21:13

I would tell myself to walk away
Believe my instincts
Not to fall in love with the intensity of your eyes
Or listen to your passionate sighs.
I would tell myself to run away
That the warmth and love and laughter
Would turn to pain
Cliched tears and torrential rain
Did all that mean nothing?
Those years of love and adventure.
Tracking through broken cities,
Nights under stars,
Endless lists of what we have done
And what is left to do.
A lifetime spent together, in love.
Fifteen years of loving. Gone astray.
I would tell myself to walk away.

glosgran Wed 20-Nov-13 19:44:32

My Perfect Partner

My perfect partner would be just like Dad;
A homely bloke, not a 'Jack-the-Lad',
He'd wake me up with a cup of tea
And forever and always be faithful to me.

He'd be up each day at the crack of dawn,
Grow organic veg and mow the lawn.
Much, much later, I would rise
To sit in his garden paradise.

My perfect man would love to cook -
His favourite gift? A recipe book.
He'd make a meal for me each day
He'd be so busy; he'd never stray.

Of course, he'd be handsome, tall and dark
He'd take our children to play in the park
He'd get up at night if the baby should cry
To feed and change him and keep him dry.

He would do the shopping; he'd iron and clean
He'd always be generous and never mean.
In winter he'd warm up my side of the bed,
And if I were tense, he'd massage my sore head.

He'd always remember to lift the seat
And keep the bathroom clean and neat.
Even while cleaning his teeth in haste
Not squeeze the middle of the tube of paste.

He'd never get fat but always stay lean
He'd love me and treat me just like a queen
Does he exist, or is it a 'con'?
Will I find this wonderful paragon?

Thistledew Thu 21-Nov-13 13:06:54

My thighs are like tree-trunks
Strong like the mighty oak and supple like willow
As they take me first across the finish line.

My shoulders are broad and my arms sinewed
To swim me strong across the cool clear lake
And to carry my family upon my back.

My lungs like the fish-wife’s bellows
Will suck deep gulps of air,
Breathing in life itself.

And yes, my bum does look big in this
But it will look ever smaller
As I power my bike past you up this hill.

My belly is big and round
As I carry my daughter
Who will grow up strong and wonderful,
Like me.

CMOTDibbler Thu 21-Nov-13 20:33:27

what they mock now,
someone will love.
what you hate now,
someday you'll flaunt.
what seems a tragedy now,
will be as nothing then
burst out of that world
and into the universe
Find yourself
and embrace it with joy

sosadforhim Fri 22-Nov-13 12:17:59

I was at a friends this week and we looked through her old box of photos. I was never one to take photos but she had lots of me growing up - school, holidays, pubs, weddings, the lot. It was wonderful to see them and I really was amazed at how we all looked. Glowing and youthful and quite pretty. Felt sad that I've never been happy with how I looked. I remember keeping a diary and my new years resolutions were (and are) always the same.

I've not written a poem since school so it's not very good, but here goes:

I came across a box of memories
Faded photos from my past
I paused as dread set in
I was never thin
Frizzy hair, dodgy skin and a massive ass

So I opened this little box of memories
And I’ll tell you I had quite a shock
To see this lovely, vibrant school girl
and quite attractive
What was with the mental block?

I found an old diary, 1994 – New Year
Resolutions so familiar
They’ve been the same for 20 bloody year!
Lose weight, eat less , look great

20 wasted years have gone by
Striving for perfection
When all along I looked alright
It’s time for resurrection!

So dear girl, be happy with what you’ve got
For what you’ve got’s a lot
Don’t waste time on the superficial
Enjoy yourself, life’s short!

IncaAztec Fri 22-Nov-13 21:04:51

Dear ME.
Thin, grin
Slim, win
But you feel grim

Inside, cope
Never, no, nope
Think so bad of yourself again.

custardo Fri 22-Nov-13 21:15:49

Der Schrei der Natur

I sensed an infinite scream
I painted this picture
I had tried to apply eyeliner again

AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Sat 23-Nov-13 10:10:55

You guys are amazing!
This thread will be closing early next week so please do have a read of the poems and if you are inspired please add your own too.

CheeseStrawWars Sat 23-Nov-13 10:54:10

They will always disapprove
But things will improve
When you move

ReluctantBeing Sat 23-Nov-13 14:30:11

Cherish each time a smile comes your way;
Don't cringe and tut when Mum grabs you to say
How young your hands look, supple and smooth.
When the music starts, get into the groove
Because sidelines are for extras and those who should hide,
And you'll regret being there with the passing of time.

ReluctantBeing Sat 23-Nov-13 14:32:42

Cherish each time a smile comes your way;
Don't cringe and tut when Mum grabs you to say
How young your hands look, so supple and smooth.
When any music starts, get into the groove,
Because sidelines are there for extras and those who hide,
And you'll regret being there with the passing of time.

Trickle Sat 23-Nov-13 19:31:17

I'm sorry
I'm sorry for all the blame
all the pain
all the shame I threw at you
the way I maimed and hated
and despised

I'm sorry
I'm sorry for all the years we lost
at nothing
at such cost

I'm sorry
I'm sorry you had to loose one child
to learn how to live
how to love the person within
I can't change a thing
that black dog
he always seemed to win

Please remember
remember you are strong
the scars will fade
though they will never go away
and it's never been too long
to start waving
not drowning

Sunny2013 Sat 23-Nov-13 19:50:25

Life WILL be good
Please don't worry
BUT it could be even better
If only you would plan
And for that you definately CAN!!

For I am living your life you see
I am you ... really, albeit way ahead of you.
I have the hindsight you sadly don't have
So please read this and remember and you wont go wrong.

Listen to me when I tell you this, as then it will come true.
In a few years from now, the most BEAUTIFUL home you will see
BUT you will want to be stubborn, MEASLY and not offer the last
£500.00 yes I said only £500.00.
BUT give this and you will house proud and set up for life say "NO" and believe ME you will regret it for the rest of your life.

In the future will come an amazing invention where you can log on to a famous invention called a computer type in your post code and for all to see will be the price of your home every time it sells , and each time its so much more than before.

When you turned down for your dream job for the sake of true love well this time you will hopefully have foresight.
Your life will be fun, though very challenging at times but overall you will have a happy life.

You will be advised " DON'T" WASTE your money, open loads of different Building Society Accounts to save some money and in the future you will get extra windfall payouts from all these accounts .... DON'T poo poo the idea but please do listen to (ME) one who truly cares....

Please treasure, telephone and fly to visit your Grandparents every time you can, tell them you love them dearly, every moment you can, for one day will come a very sad day when they are no longer around for you to fly to visit them to chat and stay and you will give anything to go back in time to have these times all over again.

And in the very long away future when you are married with 3 wonderful young children, your beloved and much missed Grandmother will appear to you in a dream WARNING you that you will die if you fail to wear your car's seatbelt !!! She will repeat herself to wear your seatbelt or dead you will be and please make sure you do remember this dream otherwise you will never see your youngest child's 1st birthday. If there is only one thing that you remember from this whole verse is this ... YOU WILL DIE IF YOU DONT ....

And please, please, please young version of me .... please do me a huge favour as only you can ... Please hug our Grandmother and thank her from me ... for loving us enough to appear in a dream back to me. xxxxxxxxxxx

Sunny2013 Sat 23-Nov-13 20:03:21

I love this , it has made me smile ..... and at the moment i need to do that .... I wonder if he exisits :-) x

Sunny2013 Sat 23-Nov-13 20:09:29

The above comment .... I love this , it has made me smile ..... and at the moment i need to do that .... I wonder if he exisits :-) x

was in reply to Glosgran's lovely poem My Perfect Man ... I thought it would pop up with her poem ... sorry xxx

katiewalters Sun 24-Nov-13 09:55:09

Go for what you want in life, don't worry what others think.
If you put your mind to it, you won't sink.
Think about yourself for once, you do a lot for others,
And you made the right choice becoming a mother.
Settling down is a good thing, you met a keeper,
Dave's love for you from the start couldn't be deeper.
Be careful who you trust, as a friend isn't who she seems,
You will have 2 amazing children who be your everything

ataraxia Sun 24-Nov-13 11:06:55

A smile makes your pale face shine
Your hair will calm in time
Don't worry what the others say
They're thinking of their own decline

So walk away, you're stronger for it
Walk away, you'll see it through
You can say no, you can forget it
You will move on, smiling too

DearDinah Sun 24-Nov-13 11:19:23

Yes I know they laugh at you, I remember
And I know you've grown a fringe to hide
But just take a look now, look in the mirror
You are strong & beautiful & you survived

DurhamDurham Sun 24-Nov-13 17:45:22

Stop it, stop it!
Being sick won't work.
You make yourself ill and still hate yourself
Stop it, stop it!
Being skinny isn't all there is
You'll grow up and learn to love yourself.

I'm rubbish at poetry but hope you get the sentiment behind it smile

deedee23 Mon 25-Nov-13 05:06:36

Think about what you want.
Not what Sarah or Elizabeth or Chloe wants.

These people whose every movements and thoughts you care about now
Won’t matter in the future.
The only person that will matter is you.

Treat everyone with respect, as I said those people won’t matter,
But the most important thing for you in those dark moments will be how you treated them.
Those people will go but your memories won’t.

Try to learn some self control, drink and drugs will only temporarily dull the pain of your survival.
You are never going to be the prettiest, most beautiful person.
Just accept that now. But your life is fantastic.
Accept what you have and accept yourself.
Accept you are not perfect, accept your faults and the faults of others.

Oh and stop worrying about your nails, do you have any idea how small a part of you that is?
Boys do not notice nails.
Read a few more books instead.

And remember, poems don’t have to rhyme
Like life, which as I have said isn’t perfect sometimes
Poetry is life, let it shoot with the breeze
Write and life your life with ease, not on your knees girl.

mum2eci Mon 25-Nov-13 11:22:49

Magazines and tv tell us how we should be!
We're all individuals and i'm happy being me :-)

sosadforhim Mon 25-Nov-13 15:44:44

I've updated to change a verse that wasn't very good:

I came across a box of memories
Faded photos from my past
I paused as dread set in
I was never thin
Frizzy hair, dodgy skin and a massive ass

So I opened this little box of memories
And I’ll tell you I had quite a shock
To see this lovely, vibrant school girl
and quite attractive
What was with the mental block?

There’s a diary tucked inside this box
from 1994
Resolutions didn’t shock me
I’d seen them many times before
Lose weight, look great, exercise more

20 wasted years have gone by
Striving for perfection
When all along I looked alright
It’s time for resurrection!

So dear girl, be happy with what you’ve got
For what you’ve got’s a lot
Don’t waste time on the superficial
Enjoy yourself, life’s short!

hydra234 Mon 25-Nov-13 15:46:27

So here it is,
This is the fact,
You are not ugly,
you are not fat.
People dont care,
About what you are wearing
Its whats inside you should be sharing.
That make up really isnt needed
and your Dads advice is to be heeded.
Go out and give them
All you've got
Grab it now
Grab the lot!
This is my message from me to you,
And stop flirting with the bloke from number 22.

He WILL break your heart!!!

hydra234 Mon 25-Nov-13 16:01:10

these are lovely! If only we could really do this!

KatherinaMinola Mon 25-Nov-13 16:57:06

In twenty years you'll have more sense
More confidence
More taste in men
- But then again

Your skin will not then look as fresh
Nor luminesce
Nor will your hair
- So get out there.

AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 26-Nov-13 08:25:17

hello - am sadly closing off this thread now but have to say how inspiring and amazing all these poems are. The team at Dove say

"Wow. We've been amazed and touched by everyone's entries here, so many have brought tears to our eyes. We love that Hollie's poems have inspired you all to be so creative and share your feelings so openly. From the whole team at the Dove Self-Esteem Project (DSEP), thank you."

AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 26-Nov-13 09:30:50

The winner...selected at random is amaradnas - well done!

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