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12+ Mature Content

baked goods in the mirror

by Hijinks


cw: body image. If negative body image is triggering for you, please don't read <3


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Mon Mar 28, 2022 9:15 pm
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starlitmind says...



I am your biggest fan >.>




Hijinks says...


aw omg star, thank you <3



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Fri Dec 17, 2021 5:09 pm
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starlitmind says...



one year later, I still can only say wow




Hijinks says...


aaaah this is the best compliment <3 <3



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Tue Jan 19, 2021 5:03 am
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alliyah wrote a review...



<333 Ah I think this poem is very powerful whatcha, it expresses some thoughts that I think a lot of people have had to wade through and is very direct while also being poetic and interesting.

Form
So I actually REALLY like that you aligned this to the right for a lot of reasons.
1) it makes the poem look almost like a mirror of what a "typical" poem looks like.

2) it makes the reader think in their mind, "oh this looks a little off" and then they read the poem, and it's about the speaker thinking they don't look good enough - > but clearly a poem is good if the content is good and a person is good if the content is good regardless of the visuals. So the form mimics the content which is great! Love to see that.

3) I think for some reason with the variety of line lengths and being aligned right it forced me to read the poem at a slower pace, and I think that really worked with the content too; making it more deliberate and dramatic. Especially those moments where the lines get shorter and shorter until they're just one word - it feels really stark !

4) And I think for a poem like this that is 100% an internal dialogue it's a good choice to form it as a whole run-on sentence with minimal punctuation or capitalization to distract.

Message
The message seemed to be that the speaker was feeling very inadequate with their physical appearance, and likened their body to inadequate baked goods.

The baked good metaphor brings to mind how people's bodies are objectified, used, judged, and also treated as "things" for other people to find pleasure and enjoyment in, rather than extensions of ourselves, or vessels for life.

The speaker kind of goes through multiple aspects of their appearance, which feels really reminiscent of picking yourself apart in a mirror, piece by piece which can feel very dissociative - where by the end you don't really feel like a person, but as you describe -- more like an object to be critiqued. (reminded me also of the movie "Mean Girls" when they're each taking turns picking themselves apart in the mirror, and just the idea of how "normal" and engrained that has become in our culture, where it's almost expected that you don't like some aspects of your body) <3

Highlights

I really liked also how this poem was written with 2nd person pronouns rather than first person ones, as this even furthers that theme of alienation from the body. And also makes the internal voices seem like they're coming from outside critics who are putting pressure on the speaker.

Love the description of "ribs poked through / like the scored slashes / on the top of pastry bread" the mixture of images is unsettling, and unexpected.

Also liked the description of "wish you could kneed yourself flat again".

Suggestions

One aspect I thought was a bit confusing is that some of the images seemed contradictory to be in the same person's appearance -> ie. feeling both too skinny, and too big, and too flat & too curvy, and too much hair and too little hair. I'm not quite sure what was meant by the contradictions. It made the speaker seem a little less real I think, and more like the poem was trying to appeal to a more expansive audience, than write about a specific person.

I think you may have been doing the contradictory images to show that the speaker is being an unfair / unrealistic critic of themselves, with their information not even lining up. Or to show that there's no way to please because there's no "perfect person" that can fit between any of these descriptions, you're always one or the other.

I don't really have very many critiques. I'd agree with charm that the soil + dirtiness didn't fit with the other baked imagery -> maybe "crumbs under finger nails" or "burnt-edged skin" or some other baking imagery?

Everything else seemed to fit in the realm of your themed imagery really well, painting a really continuous picture.

I wouldn't use "strawberry" twice within the short poem; maybe one of them could be grape or raspberry donuts?

I like at the end how your poem builds up to this sad final line, where it gets really concrete how not only does the speaker not like their appearance and think that they look like all these baked goods; but they also don't even think that the baked goods are worth consumption / viewing / enjoyment.

I think that I'd switch out the word "consumable" in the 6th to last line though, because you kind of give away the ending before you get there. Kind of like saying,
"I think the sun is
warmth
brightness
the sun means everything to me
and I love how it warms me"

Putting the words in such close proximity, kind of loses some of the drama of what's being said, as the final line really feels like an important conclusion of the rest of the piece.

Overall

I think a lot of people are able to relate to this sort of message, it definitely evokes emotion and imagery, and is impactful! It explores a familiar theme in a new way, and is clear to understand. There's just a few wording tweaks here and there that'd I'd take a second look at, but overall I don't think there's much that I'd change at all. :)

Let me know if you have any questions about my review! And please never stop writing.

~ alliyah
Image




Hijinks says...


<333 thank you again for all the reviews !!

1) it makes the poem look almost like a mirror of what a "typical" poem looks like.
Aah yes I was actually going for a "mirror" effect!

One aspect I thought was a bit confusing is that some of the images seemed contradictory to be in the same person's appearance...I think you may have been doing the contradictory images to show that the speaker is being an unfair / unrealistic critic of themselves, with their information not even lining up.
Ohh that's interesting, I never actually thought about that. I was honestly just going mostly from personal experience, and I tend to be very inconsistent in the standards I hold myself up to. So I guess inadvertently the poem is illustrating how someone can be an unrealistic critic of themself, like you say.

I wouldn't use "strawberry" twice within the short poem; maybe one of them could be grape or raspberry donuts?
Haha good catch! I'll definitely change that when I edit.

I think that I'd switch out the word "consumable" in the 6th to last line though, because you kind of give away the ending before you get there.
Oh very good point! I'll alter that too when editing ^^

And please never stop writing.
<333333



alliyah says...


<3



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Sat Dec 05, 2020 3:10 am
JeanBean_BC says...



This took a deeper spin and dive into eating disorders. And how people may feel when they're struggling. I'm not struggling with an eating disorder, but sometimes I feel like the ends of a loaf of bread...no one hardly ever eat that part of the bread. This is really good and it's a work of art.




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Thu Dec 03, 2020 9:02 pm
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esthersanti1600 wrote a review...



Wow, this imagery is fantastic. This feeling is captured so well - the feeling of just feeling so disgusting that you want to hide from your own reflection. I really like the detail of "not enough hair", as hair loss can be a symptom of eating disorders that is often overlooked. This detail along with talking about cracked lips and other health issues is also really nice as it makes a point of not romanticizing mental/physical illness, which is something it is so common when people attempt to write about tough issues like this. Continuing to add references to food is also so powerful since a relationship with food is one of the most taxing and defining parts of an eating disorder.
This is such a powerful poem - very well captured without using rose-colored glasses. Well done!




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Thu Dec 03, 2020 6:53 pm
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LilPWilly wrote a review...



Frick. This is heartbreaking. I too am pasty dough, even though ima quarter Mexican. The imagery is spot on I love how you manipulate the same subject to create 20 different metaphors, that’s the epitome of good poetry. Wait, no scratch that, the epitome is emotional rawness. You win 💯💯💯

If it’s any comfort, I’m a good looking guy (you couldn’t tell from my profile pic) who’s always preferred flat chested females with low voices. There you go.
Even though I just said I’m good looking, it’s because I’m lucky enough to have heard it once or twice. I constantly suffer when I see the bags under my eyes and the ribs poking out.

I love you just for the expressions you wrote here. I love you for connecting with me even though I’m really different from you.

Thanks, and much love,
Porter




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Thu Dec 03, 2020 3:05 pm
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izzywidgeon wrote a review...



As someone who has struggled with restrictive eating, this really hit home. I had spent hours upon hours counting up calories and restricting foods, and it all comes down to the "final boss" of all; sugar. This poem perfectly encapsulates the anxiety that surrounds indulging in anything sweet, and what it means to rationalize those sorts of feelings. Your language is simple, yet complex concerning the subject matter. I know what it feels to feel, you know, shame about even thinking about eating a sweet.

I don't know if you are writing from personal experience, but if you are. I hope you get better and learn you are worth everything <3

-mintyleaf




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Wed Dec 02, 2020 10:07 pm
Buranko wrote a review...



Hi whatcha, merry christmas in case I can't tell you when the time comes hehe. I am Buranko, here with the intention to review your work. It caught my eye being that liked but without any reviews so I came to change that fact heh. Here we go:

Firstly in terms of structure I find your idea of presenting this poem mindblowing. You do use the mirror motif so you created your poem based on that theme/motif. That explains why your poem is presented in the way you did it. I like giving my poems a theme, a world for them to grow in however I am too lazy to get that detailed. So that may explain my childish excitement when seeing stuff like that. Congrats!

In the first part of the poem we as readers are introduced into the mind of the persona. I can see someone watching him/herself in the mirror with an anxious, despaired, depressed look. I can see why you used the idea of dough to express the idea of being fat. It does look like fresh dough. I don't think this idea is original, seen it in so many other things, but I don't mind it.

The persona talks about dirty hands leaving imprints on the dough. The dirty hands may represent a society that tries making people as uniform as possible, no one standing out. These fingers leave the dough scarred, soft, uniform but in pain. I hope you understand my point here.

From making the dough, to baking it we reach the stage of icing it. Here another problem rises: quantity, further emphasizing the idea that people choose what's bad instead of what matters. Imagewise you create the idea of a madman mumbling to himself things only he understands. Try to get a glimpse into what made him like that and you may be harmed as well. And like that after pain and suffering the product is complete. Now doubt slithers into the mind of the persona as he/she starts questioning whether they did the right choice, if people would accept this side of them or just consider them as ugly and bad as before.

This is a strong message conveyed in a beautiful way. One thing I want to mention is that I didn't like the first 8 or so lines when talking about structure. They feel chopped, incomplete compared to what follows in this poem. Try mixing them or making them longer, it would help surely




Hijinks says...


Hi Buranko, thank you for the review! You have an interesting interpretation of the poem ~ it's not exactly what I had in mind but I'm glad that you were able to find your own meaning from it :)



Buranko says...


Yess I am glad you accept my interpretation



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Wed Dec 02, 2020 4:46 am
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Atticus says...



For now, I just wanna say that I really admire the vulnerability of this poem. It's spectacular work, as usual, and I hope to be back with a proper review soon <3




Hijinks says...


Thank you <3



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Wed Dec 02, 2020 3:11 am
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Charm says...



Really beautiful! The only critic I have is that "crescents of soil" doesn't match the baked goods theme. Maybe burnt croissants? Sorry if that's a dumb suggestion. This is a really beautiful, raw poem. Good on you for writing it and having the courage to post it, I know that can be really hard with vulnerable poems. You're amazing! <3




Hijinks says...


Aw thank you, you're amazing too!

That's not a dumb suggestion at all, I can see how that might fit the theme better! I'll keep that in mind when editing c:

Thank you again for being so sweet and kind <3



Charm says...


Of course! <3



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Wed Dec 02, 2020 2:31 am
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starlitmind says...



Wow. That's all I can say. <3




Hijinks says...


<3




Perhaps it is better to wake up after all, even to suffer, rather than to remain a dupe to illusions all one's life.
— Kate Chopin, The Awakening