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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


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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