I Will Not

by Adrienne Carrington

I will not conform to society
When society tells me black is ugly, I tell them that I’m beautiful.
When society tells me women are inferior to men, I speak of equal opportunity.
When society tells me I’ll only be successful as a prostitute, I talk of Maya Angelou.
When society tells me I have to straighten my hair, I proudly don an Afro.

I will not conform to the media’s standards.
When media tells me that only the European style will give you love, I talk of India Aire, Erykah Badu, and Michelle Kwan.
When media tells me I’ll only be on TV in a hip hop music, portraying images of sexual appeal and an unrealistic lifestyle, I speak of all the actresses, politicians, and businesswomen who are doing extremely well for themselves.
When media tells me I’m loud, profane, high, drunk, and uncivilized, I show them what an elegant lady looks like.
When media tells me that all I’m good for is doing hair and nails, I show them my high school transcripts, scholarships, and college acceptance letters.

I will not conform to the male population.
When men tell me how much they love my body, I ask them of my soul.
When men try to touch me inappropriately, I teach them of proper respect.
When men tell that I’m inferior, I challenge them at their very best.
When men tell me I can’t do things because I’m a female, I always will prove them wrong.

I will not conform to society.
I will not conform to the media’s standards.
I will not conform to the male population.
I’m not saying this to be difficult or uncooperative.
I refuse to just “accept it.”
Because I’m nobody’s physical satisfaction.
I won’t back down from my actions.
I refuse to be who society tells me to be.
Because a successful businesswoman is who I plan to be.

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