Seven Confessions

1.

My childhood ended when the dog arrived.

*     *     *

2.

It was late August. The stream of freedom inspired by the beginning of summer had mellowed to a trickle, and we stuck our tongues out in hopes to catch a drop. My younger sisters and I would wallow in the shallow end of our pool, and when we were sure that the grown ups were busy inside and couldn’t use our proceeding actions as a story to entertain guests at the dinner table, we took off our camp tie-dyed tank tops, wound them tightly around our legs, and floundered around pretending to be mermaids. When our parents used to barbecue, we sat at a different table from them. It was two feet shorter and came with red, rounded plastic chairs that had no sharp edges. The three of us used to argue who got to sit at the head of the table. My mother laughed every time.

“It’s square,” she said.

But when it was humid and the days overstayed their welcome into night, you could argue about anything. And then we got the dog.

*     *     *

3.

The first thing it attacked was my dolls. I came up to my room and found that Veterinarian Barbie was missing her hair, Pilot Barbie was missing her legs, Fashion Model Barbie was missing her head, and babysitter Barbie was just missing. I stood examining the vet’s bald scalp, muddy crocs seeping stains onto the pink carpet, when I glanced up to see the culprit lurking in the corner. It had a German Shepherd snout, with teeth so long they didn’t all fit in its mouth, and a Newfoundland body, big and buff with curled fur matted down by the darkness in its eyes. It breathed like my mother’s yoga teacher told her to, like it was trying to fill the room with its presence. It raised a claw towards me. I dropped my collection of decapitated dolls and raced screaming down the hallway.

Later, when I had a new lock installed on my door, I sat and packaged all the Barbies into a cardboard box that I put onto the second-highest shelf on my closet. I had to stand on my blue chair to do it. My mother said not to stand on chairs, but I’d stopped listening to her all the time. I told myself that I could play with them if I wanted to. It was just that they were slobbery and gross now, and no longer as fun.

Sometimes, in the following days, I’d feel the urge to play again, but then I remembered the chewing marks on plastic limbs and I wondered if kids would laugh if they knew I entertained myself with broken toys.

I never touched that box again.

*     *     *

4.

I was the only one the dog hated. It ignored my sisters and was at peace with my parents. But yesterday, it ate my shoes, the ones that had fairies on the sides. When my mom took me to the shoe store, I picked out sandals, tiny gold ones with rhinestones decorating the part of the shoe that goes between your big toe and pointer toe. It hurt a little to have something wedged in there, but I liked the way it made my foot look like it was a flower with petals of jewels. My mother didn’t want to buy them. She said they looked too old, what about the flip-flops instead? I said I wanted these.

*     *     *

5.

I couldn’t go into the backyard anymore because that is where the dog is. I couldn’t go to our pool anymore because the pool is in the backyard. Instead, I went to the park. There were a bunch of kids my age there. The girls wore their hair in high ponytails, and when they talked to me, they look at their painted nails instead off into my eyes. They said I could hang out with them, if I wanted. There were boys there, too. Generally, girls and boys were like salt and pepper, kept in different containers. Now, we were sprinkled together. The boys didn’t talk much, just sat with their hats put on backwards. My mother didn’t like that. I wondered if my new friends liked me.

*     *     *

6.

We had the Johnsons over for dinner. When Mom set up the kids table, I saw that the dog had plopped itself right at the head, great big tongue sticking out like the horror it is. I told mother I’d sit at the grownup table, if I had to. Except, I didn’t call it the grownup table, because that word wasn’t very sophisticated. I called it, “the other table,” as if it were perfectly accessible to me, as if its chairs with sharp right edges with no round to be found were meant for me to sit in. My younger sisters looked up at me, their eyes dipping at the edges.

My mother said, in a voice soft enough to lure the mermaids that we used to be, “Why?” But couldn’t she see that the dog was right there? I was too big to squeeze into the little table, and too small for my mother to understand. Even though it was almost fall, the days cooler and cooler, I felt like I was wearing six overcoats on the beach, sweaty and bulky, out of place. I stood in between the two tables, suspended, staring the dog straight in the eye, until my mother sighed and made room for me at the adult’s table.

*     *     *

7.

There was never any dog.

 

Vivian Parkin DeRosa is a writer from the Jersey Shore. Her work has been recognized by the YoungArts Foundation and the Scholastic Arts and Writing Awards, and it has appeared in Poets Reading the News, The Huffington Post, and the Louisville Review. She blogs at vivianparkinderosa.com and is currently writing a novel. In her free time, she enjoys knitting and watching competitive reality shows.

Blurred Faces

[flash prose]

When you first open your eyes, all you can see is the brightness. You don’t know what it is, but you feel your stubby fingers reach for that light. Pale clouds of cream dot your vision as you squirm, your back brushing against a fur blanket. You feel tender hands wrap delicately around your torso, its sensitive warmth spreading across your skin, and pull your small form away from that security. The pale clouds stitch together into a quilt of color, and you blink frantically to focus.

Later, you recognize the splash of pure white as your mother’s dazzling smile and the black spots as your father’s stubble, scratching you whenever he kissed you on the cheek. From your mother’s playful peek-a-boos, you realize the swinging blues as your mother’s sapphire earrings, and from your father’s fluttering hand butterflies, you make out the shimmering silver band as your father’s platinum wedding band.

When your vision finally allows you to observe your mother’s face, you admire how her dark eyelashes shiver in delight when she laughs, how the edges of her eyes crinkle when you try to talk, bubbles of spit blooming around your mouth that you think is gross, but your mother coos and calls it adorable. It takes you longer to recognize your father. Maybe it was the way his dark beard climbs up half his face or how his mess of brown hair curls to hide his otherwise striking green eyes. You like to tangle your hands in those curls, swishing them and watching its chaotic dance. The boisterous laugh you emit makes your father undeniably happy, and you wonder how a grown man could make such a high-pitched sound.

You dream of the colors you were finally able to explore, darting through lush forests, chattering with toucans and waltzing with peacocks. You race through meadows of wheat and watch as their beige arms extend endlessly towards the sky. You lie on the damp grass of your backyard, gazing towards the magenta sunset. You watch as the sky becomes a canvas and the sun its artist, painting a transitory masterpiece. You scrawl across untouched papers with your tools of creation, the colors you mix brilliantly dashing in a curved formation, a fragile butterfly, mid-flap, struggling to escape the paper’s incessant restraint.

One night you startle awake, grabbing for anything that will sustain your presence in reality. You breathe, telling yourself it was just a dream. But even with the lights on, you can no longer see the paper cranes you hung off your ceiling, only fuzzy dots of pink, blue, and purple, splashes of color that had once been your stunning creations. When your mother comes to check on you, you feel hot tears run down your face. No matter how hard you squint, you can no longer make out the deep dimples you used to poke affectionately at, nor the light brown freckles you used to count one by one.

You’re a kaleidoscopic butterfly, made to admire Mother Earth yet forced to endure a life surrounded by blurred faces, ones whose features you used to know so well, now only a thin mist—an illusion—drifting in and out of your sight.

 

Christine Zang lives in Palo Alto, California and is a junior at Henry M. Gunn High School. She has been writing casually since sixth grade. “Blurred Faces” was inspired by a conversation she had with a friend. They were talking about what it would be like to suddenly lose the ability to see and how the perception of the world would change.

Far From Normal

[creative nonfiction]

Given my personal perspective as an autistic person, nowhere in my personal vernacular does the word “normal” appear. It’s something I’ve never experienced. Neither is it something I have aspired to become. Perfectly “normal” is so far from my life goals that you might not believe me when I say that I would change nothing about me except one thing: I would be able to speak like you, giving me the independence that you all take for granted.

Sometimes when I dream at night, I can talk with no problem, and I feel so free. Perhaps you can imagine what that feels like for a minute! But imagine what it’s like for a lifetime. When I think about it too long, I know this is my fate in life.

All things considered, I would forgo the gift of speech if that meant I had to give up all the other ways autism affects me. For example, music is such an experiential event for me. I see what I hear in colors that represent which emotions are triggered for me. Unfortunately for a majority of people, they only hear the sounds coming through their headphones. For me, they appear as a swirling cloud of color, a hypnotizing form that is reminiscent of swallows in flight. I find these colorful expressions also radiate from people’s strong emotions. Using this insight as a way of reading someone’s mood gives me a deeper impression of the people around me. Really, the power to empathize so strongly is a gift.

Also, I have so many strong associations with memories that I can remember what it was like to be a baby in my mother’s arms. She would sleep alongside me, and I would lay in her scent, completely safe. I remember being in Kindergarten, learning my letters and numbers alongside other little kids. They didn’t know how to regard me, and I remember my teacher not even bothering to try to help. How strongly her dislike for me flared! This, I remember as if it were yesterday.

Having a different choice in my experience has made my life so rich and beautiful that now I have made it my life’s goals to raise awareness to the ways autistics can be included and contribute to society. Perhaps the most painful reactions are from people who fear me or think I am retarded. Not only does this insult me, but it is a form of oppression that other marginalized groups experience. What it results in is discrimination and using my disability against me.

Now that I can communicate, I have learned that this discrimination is born out of misinformation and a lack of exposure to people who are autistic. Really, not ever having contact with people who are different only reinforces stereotypes and ingrains them further. Using my voice for autism acceptance is the goal I wake up with every morning. It’s the one thing that continues to motivate me and keep me up when the world gets too mean. What I would like to help bring about now is a new understanding of autistics, and how we are able to have a positive impact on society.

I am standing on the shoulders of all those who came before me: the ones who were put into institutions and orphanages; the ones who have been segregated into special ed classrooms; the ones who are working in sweatshops for a quarter of what the minimum wage is; for all those who will lose their Medicaid benefits if the ruling party has its way… They are my inspiration, aiding my energy and giving me reason to fight the good fight. What I want is equal rights for people with disabilities and the understanding that we are a gift, not a burden.

Using my voice to bring awareness feels natural to me. Only when people really listen to those who live with autism will we see how our society can improve for everyone, numbering in the millions of people affected. Then we will continue this movement worldwide, changing the world. As we would want equality, so would people in the far reaches of the planet. Imagine what a wonderful world this could be.

 

Niko Boskovic is a 17-year-old high school senior from Portland, Oregon, who has written extensively about life as a self-described “low-verbal autistic.” Starting at age four, he received forty hours of behavioral therapy each week. At age twelve, the only offered option in the public school system was a self-contained classroom. A last-minute decision to participate in training on the Rapid Prompting Method changed his life forever. Within one year, Niko started high school fully included, using a letter board to communicate. He is expected to graduate second in his class in June 2019 and will be pursuing a degree in writing.

KB

[creative nonfiction]

Well, this is gonna hurt like a female dog (unfortunately I have to watch my profanity, so just use your imagination). The autobiography of seventeen-year-old me, that is. I feel like I have some insight, enough insight on being a black young woman in America. Being born so, I’m automatically important and destined to make history. Although the government may disagree. Try to keep up. Leave your sense of humor at home and adopt mine. Enjoy or whatever.

I guess we could start at the beginning. I was born with Tetralogy of Fallot aka “Blue Baby Syndrome.” I’d love to explain it but I don’t want to confuse anyone. Basically, it’s a rare condition caused by a combination of four heart defects that are present at birth, according to Google. I had open heart surgery at five days old so I’m good now. I think. The surgery left a big scar that starts at my neck and ends above my belly button. I’ve never really been insecure about it, even with all the questions and stares. No real problems come along with this disease. I’m just not supposed to partake in anything strenuous or anything that could cause stress on my heart. I wish someone would tell my anxiety that. Haha. So funny.

Growing up I had fun. I’d like to think I loved life. I mean I was the youngest of three, what could possibly go wrong in my life? I grew up in the South Bronx with my mother, my siblings, my grandmother, my uncle, and my in-and-out father. My father was not as consistent as any human would want. He was not the best influence or the best parent. Better yet, he was not the best man. But I wanted it to work so I gave more of myself than he did; I forgave him. I mean I forgive him.

As I said before, not very eventful. I guess I liked it. It was the last time I could remember being joyful and naive. I was the last to exit my mother for a full nine years. It went by too quickly. But she married and let three other children exit her even quicker. My innocence in school and at home was mistakenly equated with happiness. So because of that, I and affection weren’t really familiar. The lack of affection I received encouraged my struggle with trust. Encouraged my cynical ways. Encouraged me to bloom late. No, not puberty. Puberty hit me in the 8th grade and left me busty and curvy. Yet, I remained inexperienced. Which is quite ironic because playing “house” was a lifestyle in my childhood. Being a wife, having kids. It was all fantasized by ten-year-old me. Looking back with the hate of union and responsibilities in my heart, I can’t believe how naive I was back then. But many things brought me to this conclusion.

It was eighth grade. Now before this happened, I’ve never really been fond of boys, and boys have never really been fond of me. However this one day I decided to give this one boy attention. Lunch was over and so was my strategically planned middle school career. Nick threw a paper ball at my face and so I did what I knew all the other girls would do; chased him. I chased him out the lunchroom, up the stairs, down the hall, and almost around the corner. I was running on air I was so fast. I was basically Usain Bolt. But in a matter of seconds, I was eating the floor. It wasn’t how I fell but how long the fall took to end. I slid across the hallway floor on my goddamn stomach. Feet sprung in the air followed by my arms. The crowd grew big but silence grew even bigger. I glided across the hallway floor like a hockey puck and once I came to a stop, laughter erupted. I got up, back turned to the crowd to drown their noise and limped over to Nick. He stood in front of me as I punched his head in with the fear and frustration I felt. How could he do this to me? Why did God hate me? Why didn’t the universe work in my favor? After that day, I learned to NEVER CHASE BOYS!

Church was important. The relationship you held with God was important. Your fear of God was important. For you should believe your happiness, your trust, your heart should lie within him, root from him. From singing in the Baptist House of Prayer choir to watching people falling out from the Holy Ghost, I could never grab this “concept.” Sister Trish tumbled to the ground one time as her wig followed. But she didn’t leave that moment, that mistake, that embarrassment with God. She paused her praise to pick up her wig and put it back where it belonged. Then she allowed the Holy Ghost to possess her once more. Due to kids being so naive, when things like this would happen it was overlooked. There were no questions asked, which is scary. I already know what you’re thinking. Well if your wig were to fall off, wouldn’t you get up to put it back on? See the thing is that they teach you if you have no family, the church is your family. But since the Christians are oh so very judgmental, you’re forced to walk in fear. Not only did I struggle (and fail) to find myself within the “family,” I struggled (and continue to) find myself in the world.

I came to this realization pretty young, I guess. (But the sooner the better, right?) It was the first time I’ve ever felt alone in a room full of people. Middle school. Again. My mother dropped me off across the street from the school. Wishing she could walk me in like the other kids and their parents but I knew she couldn’t because I wasn’t the only child. Once I get inside, I was directed to the lunchroom where we receive our schedules. I instantly feel my mouth get dry; cotton mouth like a smoker. My sight got really blurry as a tear grew bigger and bigger and if I blinked it would fall. I felt a strong pain in my throat kind of like when you’re crying in silence… but you really want to scream. My heart started to pound in my chest, increasing rapidly by the second. My name was called to go grab my schedule. So stuck in place, my face began to burn as if I was staring at the sun for too long. I mean my body starts to drip in sweat, sweating bullets if you must. My feet started moving and fear washed over me as the lunchroom watched. I was so embarrassed. Trying not to break eye contact with the teacher because I didn’t want to face the faces staring at me. In that moment I felt guilty, scared of being me. Scared of the world seeing me. It’s funny actually. I take pride in my race and culture (I mean because there are too many of us that are culture-shocked and I won’t be another), but I won’t take pride in me as a person.

The birth years of my older siblings and I are 1999, 2000, and 2001. To think we’d be close but it never felt so. I was always deemed too emotional; I mean I am a writer. But in the morning before school, my mother tucked pride in my pants along with my collared shirt for the charter school we all attended. She sprinkled prudence onto the pan of soon to be baked mac and cheese before she put it into the oven. She kissed neglect on my forehead before heading out to the club on the weekends. My siblings followed in her footsteps for they learned to adapt and readapt. Completely unconcerned with everyone else but themselves and sometimes unconcerned with themselves. But because I feel everything and feel for everyone, I didn’t fit. I didn’t respect the tough love shown to me. I didn’t respect the shun that was placed on me due to my interests in girls. I didn’t respect the forcing of religion upon me and the fear I felt for not respecting it. I didn’t respect the exclusion I felt because my mother made a new family. Or how lies were told to protect the wrongdoer. Or how my modern beliefs were shot down and declared wrong. Or how they tell you that blood is thicker than water even when it doesn’t feel that way. Even when it isn’t that way. Actions always justified since its “normal.” I didn’t like a lot, as you can see. I didn’t like my childhood.

I do have three younger siblings. I miss them and wish I could be there to step in when all has gone wrong. Praying that the man above doesn’t hold a grudge against me for questioning him because I have to believe someone can stop the madness bound to happen in their life.

See, I’m not your average teenager. I can’t include a teen love quarrel in my memoir or a life-changing, eye-opening heartbreak. I’ve never committed to anything, to anyone. As I said before, people aren’t really fond of me and I’m not really fond of people either. You see, I can’t seem to look in the mirror and like what I see. I’m “disagreeably looking.” I love to be alone but hate being lonely. I tend to expect the worse of all situations. I guess it’s better to expect nothing. I don’t want your pity or your story of how you can too relate. It doesn’t matter, it’s not about you. I’ve become a hermit, I don’t have any friends and it’s been like that for some time now. Doctors call it depression and anxiety. Seeing how socializing and articulating anything isn’t really my thing, I get it. I used to think death was the only option to end all the confusion. Simply hurting and not understanding how and why. Soaking pillows and sheets because there’s nothing I could possibly do. I mean sometimes I just deal with it. I just let it be; I just let me be sad. Waiting for the universe to award me with good energy I don’t put out. I think if things were meant to be or meant to change, then it would be so.

Over the years I’ve adopted new coping mechanisms. Middle school was my lacerate stage. (I hope I don’t have to edit this word later because I can’t describe this in any other way.) Which was hard and not because I was addicted because if I wanted to stop I could. I had control, or at least that’s what I tell my therapist. And it wasn’t that it was concerning due to it being unhealthy or life-threatening. It wasn’t okay because black girls from the Bronx don’t hurt themselves because they hurt. Black girls from the Bronx demand respect and if it’s not given they wild out. Automatically becoming the stereotypical angry black woman. It was always a “white thing” to be hurt, diagnosed, and treated from mental illnesses. In tenth grade, I took a different approach. A cloud nine type of approach. It was a distraction; merely a stimulation. I enjoyed it so I guess that’s what really matters. I guess that brings us to now and I don’t really have much to say. As said previously, I just deal with it. It’s a part of life, right?

Now I think that’s about it. I know it was short; again not very eventful. At the age of seventeen, I have yet to meet and take pride in “happiness.” But I’d love to share it with you when I do. Thanks for coming to my TED talk.

 

Kayla Barton is a young, aspiring writer from the Bronx. At age seventeen, she moved across the country to Arizona in hopes to come across new and better opportunities. She writes in her free time and in school. Amongst writing, she shares an interest in things like drawing, astrology, and psychology. She hopes to entwine all of her interests into her career one day.

Three Shorts—Strawberry Hill, Spotlight, Revolution

Welcome to our new occasional series, School Lunch. A youth spotlight, School Lunch is a curated bi-weekly feature offering fiction, poetry, flash prose, personal essay, YA, and CNF, from writers ranging in ages 13 through 17. Please enjoy. ~The Editors

 

Strawberry Hill

[fiction]

On the last day of summer, Brynn sits in the blackberry thickets with her bare feet dangling into the shallow green water and writes a love letter.

She’s listening to The Talking Heads with earbuds and her fingers are stained purple from picking blackberries. She has too many love letters. Her backpack is full of them. It’s frayed and forest green and covered in Black Lives Matter and feminist and rainbow flag pins and she stashes the letters in the secret pocket of her backpack: six of them from ninth grade alone. One for the boy in art class she was partnered with to paint portraits of each other, one for the girl in her English class who recited her poem to everyone, one for the boy she talked to at the school dance. She doesn’t even remember the other ones. She’s bi or pan or something but it doesn’t really matter. She’s only fifteen.

This one’s for the girl who works at the Stow Lake concessions stand. Her name is Stella and she has wavy, washed-out silver hair down to her shoulders that’s been dyed three different colors this summer alone. She’s almost six foot and has blue eyes and a face full of freckles. She wears bright red lipstick and brings her film camera and walks around the lake taking black-and-white photos.

Yesterday, Brynn bought bright red lipstick. She always wears her hair braided and she’s only worn makeup once. She stares at her reflection in the water, wondering if she should.

Somewhere across the mirrorlike surface of the lake, Stella sits on the dock with her phone, gazing at her face in the black screen. She started wearing the red lipstick on the first day of ninth grade because she didn’t want to be the same perfect, straight-As kid in high school. She dyed her hair too. She can’t quite decide who she wants to be, but for now, it’s fine. She watches an old man on a park bench across from her, tossing breadcrumbs into the water and geese and ducks and seagulls float eagerly towards the shore, flapping their wings. Turtles poke up from the glossy green water.

She brings her film camera and its floral strap to the lake every day and her denim messenger bag with a set of charcoal pencils, a sketchbook, and her printed photos. She takes them out and starts to sketch a photo of Brynn, the girl with the braids and the notebook she’s always writing poetry in. Stella blurs the shading with her blackened index finger, drawing the lines of her profile. She watches her silhouette across the lake, writing. Probably another poem.

At the end of the letter, Brynn signs her name and puts it in the pocket of her backpack. She takes another look at Stella and the heavy afternoon sun, suspended in the blue sky, as clouds clear. Then she catches a bus on 21st and watches Strawberry Hill vanish out the fogged window.

 


 

Spotlight

[fiction]

Somewhere in this cracked concrete maze of rooms, he sits and stares at himself in a mirror. He’s in a band. Almost. Kind of. He’s in a week-long music camp where he was paired with other teenagers to perform a song they wrote together, and today’s the showcase at a little local theater. He’s wearing ripped jeans and fishnet tights and the band t-shirt they made just yesterday, spray-painted with navy and indigo and fuchsia to look like a galaxy. He’s too feminine. His singing voice goes too high and the vocal instructor at this music camp was the only one in his two years of vocal lessons since coming out not to complain about it. Ever since he came out as trans and put the lilac “he/him” pin on his backpack, everyone treats him differently. “If you’re going to act like that, why didn’t you just stay a girl?” He’s not a girl.

*     *    *

Somewhere in this cracked concrete maze of rooms, she puts lip gloss on for the first time in years. She’s fifteen and she wore it to her school dance in seventh grade and that’s the only time. She’s rejected every single stereotype. She skips school. She sneaks out of the house at night to meet her friends. A week and a half ago, she sat on the brick rooftop of a five-story building downtown at midnight after climbing up the fire escape with two other girls her age and watched the stars.

*     *    *

Their band is on first. He’s the lead singer and he’s upstairs for sound check, humming into the microphone and tapping his finger on the crisscrossed metal surface because he’s so nervous his voice cracks when he tries to sing. She’s behind him, strumming guitar chords and changing pickups and shifting the volume up and down.

And they’re backstage. She runs up and down the stairs getting a bottle of water and then looking over the notebook where she wrote the picking patterns. He waits for their introduction. He thinks he hears their band name twice. The bass player bites their lip. The drummer knots her band t-shirt for the third time.

A sliver of golden spotlight lands behind the velvety black curtain. He hears the opening drumbeats and chords of the song over and over and he stands in the spotlight and takes a deep breath. He stares into this glow until his eyes hurt and he’s really confident they’ll be good. Just for a moment.

For a moment, she looks at herself in a lighted mirror behind the folds of the curtain, the only thing separating her from three hundred sets of eyes. This is crazy. She can’t believe she’s here. She looks at the holographic lip gloss, glimmering when the ray of light from the stage hits it and she looks different and she actually likes it this way, with her uncontrollable hair combed out and lip gloss and mascara. She’s kind of beautiful.

And they step out into the spotlight.

 


 

REVOLUTION

[poetry]

This revolution is because of Disney princesses.

This revolution is because of Sleeping Beauty, the thin blonde princess rescued by her courageous prince.

This revolution is because Disney princesses can fend for themselves.

It’s not because they wear dresses.

It’s because we want to watch a movie where the Disney princess dons her fuchsia ballgown and battles a dragon.

 

This revolution is because we want princesses with every single shade of skin because we are different and there is no shade that isn’t beautiful.

Every single gender because there are countless and you cannot shield our eyes from people who aren’t just the stereotypes.

We are people. We are all people, boys or girls or in between and you can’t pray we don’t tell secrets because those secrets don’t belong to you.

 

We are everything, every variety.

Love is love is love is love is love rises above you and your stereotypes, trying to keep us all caged in because you don’t want us to bloom.

 

We refuse to let you suffocate us in your checkmarked boxes because take up space and we are more than these thin blonde princesses who just sit still and look pretty.

We want princesses that fit the stereotypes and princesses that don’t.

We want every variety.

We want princesses that reflect us.

We’re sick of being love interests in these stereotypical happily-ever-after scenes.

 

This revolution is because we want to be heroes.

This revolution is because we come in every size, shape, and color.

This revolution is because we are much more than what you think underneath the surface.

 

This revolution is because we’re all beautiful but we’re all more than that.

 

Edie Patterson is an 8th grader living in a blue dot town in Kansas. She is a photographer and plays guitar in addition to being a writer. She has been writing fiction and poetry since she was very young. She’s published poetry in Stone Soup. This is her first published fiction.