the art of growing by Rupi Kaur – thoughts on poetry

There’s no denying Rupi Kaur’s complete compassion through her poetic works. She writes about topics and misconceptions that so many are afraid to discuss – all in very little words. For Christmas I was gifted “The Sun and her Flowers.” Of course I didn’t put it down until I had the entirety of the book read. All of Rupi’s works have this way of evoking empowerment, but one message stuck out the most to me. The Art of Growing on pages 94-96 describes the way that women are conditioned to feel embarrassed or ashamed of their bodies. I found this piece to be very raw and real for me. I grew up in an environment where girls were always told to cover their bodies, that we were supposed to wear tank tops swimming or shorts that came down to mid thigh. I always felt like I was being told to cover up, so my body would not elicit thoughts in my male peers. How unfair is it that society tells women that it is their obligation to control the thoughts of men? Women are not impure. We’re actually quite beautiful and designed that way. I love that Rupi writes, “as if the acceptance of my own body will invite thoughts of lust in their heads, I will not subject myself to their ideology” (pg. 95). Acceptance and body positivity is not an open invitation for sexualization. It is still ones own personal body and how they dress or act is upon their own decisions and comfort levels. Rupi shares this realization through her story of growing up, that her own body was not something to feel guilty about. She concludes this piece by saying, “you are not a cannibal, your actions are not my responsibility, you will control yourself” (pg. 96). That’s just it. That’s the ultimate rule to life. One’s ultimate responsibility is for their own thoughts and their own actions upon those thoughts. It is not the circumstance of the situation, but how they choose to handle themselves. How liberating is it for women to read this simple realization? I will not allow myself to feel subjection to conform to this rule. My body is my body and I will allow myself to feel confidence because of that. I love Rupi Kaur and find her work fascinating. She is lovely and courageous. Please please please find her books and fall in love with them the same way I did.


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