“Too Big” by Beck Cooper

(Performed at the Slam New Orleans Women of the Word 2014 Poetry Showcase)

Poem Lyrics:

When he tells you that your body is not ideal,

That it is too big,
Do not hear this as a challenge

Swallow your tears and let the coursing wave of salt water force down the vomit,
Do not vomit

If the words “too big” echo loudly in your mind,
be mean,
make them leave

Do not let him break you, do not concede,
you do not need him


Ignore the voices that sing sweetly of shrinking,
I know what you’re thinking
Body heavy, body hideous, will never be loved

We’ve been here before Beck
Not the first time you’ve been too big,
We both know that this won’t be the last

This body knows too big
knows only one side of piggy back rides
Knows entire stores that don’t sell its size

This body knows inadequate
Knows that fat is the first thing you notice

What it must be like to blow out a birthday candle or see a shooting star without imagining a life in a smaller body

This body
knows shame

Learned it the day it didn’t fit in the roller coaster
So you had to exit in front of everyone,
How It didn’t feel real

You choked back tears and smiled
Assured friends you wanted them to stay on the ride
And as you sat down on the bench outside the exit
You made two promises to yourself:

1. Promise that this shame will not define you

2. Promise to skip dinner for the rest of the week

There’s always been two voices Beck,
Like a light switch that toggles between best friend and nemesis,
There’s usually no in between

You have a tendency to turn on yourself,
Could recall stories of playground bullies,
But no insults have been more violent than the words out of your own mouth

Maybe it’s time you lay your fighting words to rest
I’m trying to be your own best friend, Beck


Fill your lungs with confidence you’ve earned,
Years of learning to love large body culminate in moments like these

You’d tell tearful friends that their beauty is not contingent on his opinion, That “too big” and “not ideal” are trademarks of a coward,
So walk the walk, Beck

Your body isn’t his ideal type of body
But pathetic has never been your ideal type of personality
And besides

You’ve no longer got the time to convince anyone that you’re worthy

When he tells you that your body is not ideal,
That it is too big,
Hear this as too strong, too boisterous, too powerful

Pick yourself up, Beck
Pack up your bags,

Walk away

Find a lover who wants you
to take up space

[poem lyrics via Written By Beck]

Let's Talk!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s