Beautiful Body

Sometimes
When I am feeling disconnected from a crowd of people I’m standing in front of
When they are staring at me but nothing about the interaction feels of love or understanding
Not fun or joy
I ask them to repeat after me
“I am beautiful”
And some are more reluctant than others

I am beautiful should be a given
Should be a place we begin from
A foundation we are born into
but sometimes messages get delivered like the post
From a stranger always having a bad day

A body should not beg for acceptance

We walk around in these bodies
These protective suits for our tender souls
We walk around looking like tattered undelivered apology notes
My flesh is exactly as I need it to be to keep my spirit intact
Shiny
But I have been roaming these streets thinking I understood the concept of beauty as it relates to me
Thinking
I am beautiful If only I was less or more
Thinking
If I weighed less these shallow fools would want to know me
I’ve been hiding behind clothes trying to camouflage
When myself and comfortable is all I’ve ever wanted to be
But sometimes
Comfortable is as lasting as a love I lost long ago

She said
“You have a beautiful body”

I could not comprehend the words
It was the first time in my entire life I had ever heard these words placed together and directed at me
When im confused I take big ideas and break them into smaller pieces
Make them tiny enough to fit my world into

You have a beautiful body

YOU
Meaning me
Meaning Natalie Patterson
Daughter of joe frank and lynne
Meaning mid west American black girl
With skin and eyes light enough to confuse her own kind
Meaning my own kind don’t recognize me

You have a beautiful body

HAVE implies ownership
meaning I natalie Patterson own something I never paid for
meaning somethings are free
meaning I didn’t earn it so I don’t know the value of it
Might abuse or take it for granted

You have a beautiful body

A meaning one
Meaning I natalie Patterson own a single thing
One irreplaceable thing that does indeed die

You have a beautiful body

BEAUTIFUL meaning pleasing or satisfying
Meaning I am appealing and desirable
Didn’t know that
Have always been pretty with a “but If you only” attached
Never been just beautiful
Stated as fact

You have a beautiful body

BODY meaning physical structure
A place the spirit is held in
And i have never held even my lovers long enough to be good at it

You have a beautiful body

I will repeat these words until I am no longer reluctant
Until these words are a given
Until they are no longer foreign in my mouth
I will repeat these words
I have a beautiful body
I have a beautiful body
I have a beautiful body

Until ownership becomes a privilege
Until this skin becomes a perfect home
Weathered and worn over time
A perfect home
Whose walls I know well
Whose stair case
And old floors creak my favorite song
I am my own favorite song that I am just now learning all the words to
But I wanna sing you
Sing you til the song sticks

I have a beautiful body period.

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68 thoughts on “Beautiful Body

  1. Found this from the Soul Pancake episode. It’s beautiful. And I while listening to you recite it, I found myself crying. You are a beautiful poet and I wanted to tell you that.

      • I too found this because of the Soul Pancake video. I don’t care what shape, size, color or creed you come from…I don’t know how you have read my mind and can write/speak the words that every woman thinks about herself and feels like no other woman understands…you have a beautiful body, I have a beautiful body and I’m just now allowing myself to say that because of your words. Thank you!

  2. Thank you for helping me to reevaluate my own perceived image. Next time my husband tells me I am sexy and beautiful, I will thank him and believe him.
    You have a beautiful body, and a beautiful soul, too.

  3. Found you on soulpancake and darling as well, and I wanted to tell you how much this poem was a gift to me. And you looked so beautiful and alive as you recited it- like you were doing exactly what you were meant to be. You are lovely, and your words are lovely. Thank you so much! 🙂

  4. You left me speechless and crying for the way I have treated my body these past few years. Thank you for this. It means the world to me and watching you speak this poem(on soulpancake) makes it and you all the more beautiful. Thank you.

  5. I also found you through my subscription to Soulpancake. Your words are so inspiring I just had to come find your site and let you know that you moved me. My own mother thinks she’s overweight and ugly. I try to tell her she’s wrong but she just thinks I’m being polite. The way you read that poem with so much emotion I couldn’t help but feel it. You DO have a beautiful body and a beautiful soul. Thank you for sharing your poetry with the world.

  6. Thank you for the exact words I needed to hear. I found myself in tears by the end, so I just printed it out, and am going to stick a copy somewhere where I’ll see it daily. I truly appreciate this poem, and you for sharing your beautiful gift. ❤

  7. Natalie, you and this poem are wonderful! I also found you through my subscription to Soulpancake. Listening to you was sooo amazing and sensitive, Best wishes 🙂

  8. Thank you for this poem! I saw it on Soulpancake and I already pinned it on my wall. This poem is so powerful and helps my self-esteem 😉 ❤

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  11. I first watched you on soulpancake when i was getting ready to go out i coluldnt let myself cry because i had already done my make up. the next day i went back, rewatched you and cried and ceied. thank you so much you have given me a gift. xxx

  12. I absolutely love this so much. It has touched me so much. I’ve been watching the video you were in everyday. It gives me chills hearing you saying it! Thank you so much for that!

  13. Thank you. I’ve never known what it feels like to own that sentiment ~ that I might have a beautiful anything! Hearing you read those words made me weep…taking them in and knowing that THIS is what I want my sweet little girl to grow up knowing as surely as she knows her name…as certainly as she knows her momma loves her. So I will (with your permission) print this…and post it everywhere…I will chant these words until I know them as unequivocally as I know that I will love my sweet little girl for always. And when I have taken them in…and understand their full power…I know that, like you, I will become a force of nature ~ strong and powerful and beautiful.

  14. like a lot of people i found this on soulpancake and oh my goodness i was overwhelmed with feelings! i am currently only 13 and i have been struggling with body issues and i read this over and over and somehow i felt better about myself! why should i care about what other people think of me because i know how beautiful i am! i am amazing and true to myself and i wont let anyone cloud my better judgement!!!!! thank you so so so so so much for writing this it has literally made my life!

  15. This is an exquisite poem. I have shared it with my eight year old daughter and some forty and fifty something friends. Watching you deliver it was extremely powerful. Thank you for putting these words into the world.

  16. I am really happy Soul Pancake featured this poem. As a teenager, this really was inspiring and made me feel the bomb. I would like to start writing my own poems to inspire others as you inspired me.

  17. Wow.
    Your work is amazing, and so SO beautiful – like you. I, too, write poetry but nothing anywhere near this! Please don’t ever stop being who you were created to be. You are truly MADE to be wonderful. xo

  18. ms natalie, wonder woman, wordsmith: i, too, saw you reciting this on ‘soul pancake’ and i was so touched and awed by your beautiful self reading your own profound words. i have bookmarked this, your written words, because so much of this resonated with me.) i do hope that i can find the video clip – without the darling group intro – just to keep and savor for posterity. this should be a required reading of poetry for all young women AND men. really, inspired me, brought me to tears. keep writing!

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  20. I also discovered you on the soul pancake episode. I searched you out. I am so happy i found your site. You are amazing. Your words are amazing. I shared your poem with all of the women in my life and was SOOO excited when you were on the second soul pancake episode with yet another beautiful poem. You are a downright awesome chick period.

  21. I saw this on a video in class today and this made me cry these word spoke to me and you are an amazing and gorgeous woman. Thank for these words of wisdom.

  22. Natalie… wow! I’m just absolutely moved by your poem. you made me think about the way i regard my own body. just wanna say thank you with capital letters:THANK YOU!
    Ayelén from Argentina

  23. Dear Natalie,

    I watched you on one of the soul pancake youtube videos. Your poem Beautiful Body gave me chills; and even made me tear up a little bit. You are so talented and beautiful. I am such a fan. Thank you.

    Wish you much success and happiness!

    Sincerely

    Odontuul

  24. You are amazing . This is amazing. My school played your poem on the morning announcements and I had to find you and tell you that this is beautiful, you are beautiful, and most of all Thank you for reminding me that I am beautiful

  25. Thank you for your beautiful poem. I especially love the part where you keep on repeating the line ‘I have a beautiful body.’ And, you do have a beautiful body. I love the way you carry yourself…with such confidence and grace. I would like to be able to do that one day. I’m grateful that I came across this poem. I saw the SoulPancake video at school. I hope you continue inspiring others for many more years.

  26. This is truly a beautiful poem. I cried reading it and it made me feel so good about myself. I want to thank you for making me smile today. You have a beautiful body and I hope I can believe that about myself just as you do.

  27. Thank you for your beautiful words. I shared your poem with my students and I had a student ( a girl) give me a piece of paper and then run out the door for recess…the paper simply said ‘thank you’. I started to cry in class because I knew exactly what those two words were about. She hasn’t stopped writing poetry since we watched your video. So thank you for saving my student. She hasn’t been the same since we watched your video. :0)

  28. As a 18 year old girl, I see where my voice may not be as loud as others nevertheless I wish to thank you for the beauty you have shared through this poem. I state my age because I wish for you to see that this poem reaches all ages as it has reached mine. I congratulate you on this piece of artwork as it has allowed me to look at myself in the most divine light which I was unable to see before. You are an inspirational woman.

  29. I am a 16 year old that as most teenagers do, detest their body. I went through an eating disorder and still struggle to accept my body for what it is. I have printed your poem and stuck it on my closet so every morning I can see your beautiful words every time I get dressed. I now recite “I have a beautiful body”. My words cannot express my gratitude for your beautiful honesty and inspirational thoughts.

    • @chariklia,

      I write for myself but I share what I write for you and every other person like you. Wildly love yourself. Settle into this love for it will save you every time.
      Xoxo,
      N.

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