“I don’t see myself as beautiful, because I can see a lot of flaws. People have really odd opinions. They tell me I’m skinny, as if that’s supposed to make me happy.”   Angelina Jolie





I’ve often heard

There is no such thing

As too thin

Yet I wonder

Seeing that woman in

The café this morning

Skin stretched tautly

Across a fragile frame

Excruciating exposé

Threatening to shatter

Cheekbones, eye sockets

She turns, tries to

Smile – even the lips

Have no curves

Mediterranean blue eyes

Flicker with a smile

Longing to escape







Author: Léa

A wanderer who has found home and herself in the South of France.

24 thoughts on “Extreme”

  1. As i read this i realize how we all want to escape from the body that looks so foreign to our eyes.. We all try to escape with plastic, injections,one Dr. after another never to feel who we see is the body we live in while we travel the roads of life is not enough.. We are not in the body we want to see.The soul is what we are and we need to get to know, at that point we can see what others see with out judgement. Seeing who we are is in the soul,not the body. We judge ourselves by what we see and not who we are. This is a wonderful writing you shared with us. Thank you and never stop sharing! We all love you so much. Friends from before and after we saw ourselves before we found our soul. Love you much

  2. Lips without curves…..Mediterranean blue eyes….wonderful images! And this puts me in mind of John Donne’s famous lines:
    “Love’s mysteries in souls do grow,
    But yet the body is his book.”

    1. Thank you Cindy! I really feel I shouldn’t take the credit if you had seen her you would understand. She looked as if she must be in pain and it was painful to observe. She reminded me of the photos at the Holocaust Museum.

  3. it can be scary if someone is very thin…i had anorexia as a teenager and was frightening thin… those part with the eyes longing to escape hit me hardest here…

  4. A great poem Lea with a message for us all. And although this has nothing to do with thinness,since my mobility has lessened, I keep having to convince myself that the outward appearance doesnt matter to me, but Im afraid it does and I hate the way I look now. Im working on it though. As regards the thin thing, I feel there definitely is such a thing as too thin. Dont get me going!! 😊 xxx

    1. Oh Christine, while this was a particular woman, it is about all such “image” issues. We actually cripple ourselves over an image.
      Nobody ever accused me of being thin but if someone like Angelina Jolie can acknowledge their issues, I think it could help many. There are so many women who look up to her and other celebrities. Even the most stunning have their fears. xxx

  5. Our society has a great deal to answer for I think, portraying so called beauty (external beauty at least) as slim, even thin, sculptured cheekbones, the ‘right’ face, long slender legs etc etc etc. everyone wants to look well and even attractive (whatever that means) but society’s idea of perfection is what is craved by many. I could go on and on! What I look like has always mattered to me so now I look like I do Im finding it much harder to come to terms with it. Between you and me I used to be quite a flirt! There, Ive said it! 😊. Im how on a path towards enlightenment, or so I say! 😊 xxx

    1. Oh Christine! You are so correct. Yet what value is given to those whose beauty comes from within. For a number of reasons, I tuned into that inner beauty in people at an early age. For me, it has always been a persons best feature. It is also, the one that lasts!

    1. Merci beaucoup! Yes, it is the one that lasts and one you have in abundance! Your beauty shines through even in cyberspace and certainly lights up my life. 🙂 xxx

  6. This looks like an experience you wish you hadn’t had. Did you feel she had starved herself to be that way, or was it an illness? I guess we can’t know. But how awful when society’s so-called expectations have such an impact—we all know it happens—awful when you’re brought up short, breathless, by it in this way. This is where the phrase ‘painfully thin’ comes from.
    The poem is special, your use of imagery sublime. So much empathy.

    1. Polly, it was a case of hurting with and/or for her. She looked like the skeletons one sees in the Holocaust museum. Whatever is the cause, her pain is so evident. That flicker in her eyes was like a candle about to go out. Yes, she is ‘painfully thin.’
      One just wants to take them in and nurture.

  7. Lea I can visualise this person, I have seen many young beautiful people who are trapped in that journey. Powerful words which instantly took me to a similar place.

    1. Kath, you could see pain when you looked at her and it was painful. She was not young but she was so emaciated that it was extremely difficult to guess.

      1. The poet in you saw more and felt more than many would. I have only just started to realise that not everyone notices and feels the emotions as I do when I watch people. I am sure this is the same for you.

      2. True. However, you are a very sensitive woman. No doubt your children and those around you reap the benefits as do the animals. In fact, I believe certain animals and perhaps all animals (limited exposure for me – city kid) It is obvious in your work.

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