SpaceLogo Sciences Participating with Arts & Culture in Education

By Nicasia James June 5, 2019


Illustrated by Alessia Simo

It starts in gym class when a girl points out the hair on your legs

Too young to understand that her words will manifest as something much greater

Far more complex than your 9-year-old brain can process

Nonetheless, a seed has been planted

And soon torment will grow in your heart


It becomes the rolls under your shirt when you sit down

And the thighs too thick to fit into your friend’s jeans.

It’s the red bumps on your cheek that you cover with powder

and the fuzz around your mouth that makes your lips un-kissable


It turns into all the mornings you skip breakfast

convincing your mom that you were in a rush,

then the lunches you toss away

and the dinner you spend hours picking at

You hear the thunder-growls in your stomach

But you can’t stop the storm

Because nothing hurts more than how ugly feels


It becomes the miles you scroll down Instagram,

All the Likes you don’t get on a picture

The nights spent waiting for daylight yet dreading dawn

The hours staring into a reflection of blunders


Quickly buried, barely breathing under your own expectations

Suffocating on silent screams

Gasping for acceptance at the feet of those

who have greeted you with their boots

About the author

Nicasia James is a 2nd year student in Enriched Science.

About the illustrator

Alessia Simo is a first year Illustration student.


  1. space-default-avatar

    Andrea Strudensky

    January 19, 2020

    Wow! This is an incredibly powerful and moving piece. I think the line “Because nothing hurts more than how ugly feels” really resonates with those who can share (wear) the systemic way self loathing is inculcated in us from a very young age. That final image - being greeted by boots, is so powerful. It calls to mind this militaristic and harsh detachment from human suffering. The boots make it so impersonal, almost violent. Thank you for sharing this work.

  1. space-default-avatar

    Adeline A.

    January 25, 2020

    Beautiful articulation of an emotion many relate to in different ways. I believe everyone has fought a version of this battle. I found the last stanza to be the most powerful. My favorite line from that stanza is “Quickly buried, barely breathing under your own expectations” because of how well it illustrates the toxicity of comparing oneself to another. The people a young girl compares herself to are usually through the media. What is not realized is that before the publication of a photo it undergoes a multitude editing, creating something unrealistic and labeled as “a model.” I enjoy the way the verse captures how heavily this sits on the chest of a young impressionable girl and how she is “Quickly buried” by it.

  1. space-default-avatar


    January 27, 2020

    This piece of writing is well said, it touched my emotions to the core because I too suffered with many insecurity problems growing up, and still till this day. Every day I learn more and more about myself and this piece truly spoke to me because I can’t relate more to what you wrote about the red bumps on your cheeks. I know what the pain felt like calling myself ugly and it’s painful. Sometimes there are things we can fix because we are just made that way. I finally was able to teach myself how to be better for myself and how to love myself for me. Social media portrays a false image about how woman/girls should look like and I feel that as woman we should embrace and encourage each other no matter what we look like.

  1. space-default-avatar

    Michelle Ernest-Cohen

    January 27, 2020

    I loved this piece. It is incredibly relatable. Each line produced a feeling that I, as well as many other girls, are quite accustomed to. From the mention of the hair on our legs, to the rolls under our shirts, you truly captured the devastating feeling of viewing oneself as undesirable and ugly. Insecurities are so personal yet experienced by nearly everyone which makes this piece further meaningful as people can relate to it in different ways. Your choice of words to describe the emotions insecurities evoke (barely breathing, suffocating, and gasping) is spot-on. You did a great job of explaining the emotions we feel as a result of our insecurities by using such powerful words.

  1. space-default-avatar


    January 27, 2020

    Insecurities can only arise from caring what others think of you. It’s easy to say “don’t let people bring you down” or “the only approval you need to be happy is your own”, but it goes way beyond that threshold. Especially in a technology based world we are defined by our likes and followers so it is almost impossible to deny that we need other people to value us in order to feel valuable. I think this is a great piece as it is relatable to kids of our generation and the problems we face as we mature in the world.

  1. space-default-avatar


    January 27, 2020

    I absolutely loved this because of how realistic and relatable it is. Today, we often seem to get caught up in social media and what looks like “the perfect life style and body type”. However, the real focus should be upon ourselves. Instead of thinking about what is wrong with ourselves we need to start trying to think about what is right. That place of struggle to which you described as hunger where you hear the “stomach growls”. It was extremely well thought out and highly relatable. Amazing piece.

  1. space-default-avatar

    Lauren Janusauskas

    February 3, 2020

    This piece really resonated with me and hit hard because as a girl, me and all of my friends have experienced something related to or what the story talks about. This story was short but carefully thought out as each word held a deeper meaning. Every aspect of it is incredibly true to almost every girl’s life. Every sentence reached at my emotions and tore at my heart a little more than the one before.  I especially liked the part “You hear the thunder-growls in your stomach. But you can’t stop the storm”. I illustrates such a strong image with the power of a thunder storm which depicts the situation extremely accurately. Incredibly written. The piece is simple yet powerful.

You have to be registered and logged in in order to post comments!