Selected Poems

9 Poems About Body Image That Reminds You to Love Yourself

Last Updated: August 8, 2022

There’s no denying it: society tells us that our bodies are not good enough. We’re constantly bombarded with images of perfect people, and as a result, many of us have really negative body image issues. These poems explore the complex emotions that come with having a poor body image. They’re honest, heartbreaking, and ultimately hopeful. If you’ve ever struggled with your body image, these poems about body image will speak to you.

1. Remember, Body… by Constantine P. Cavafy

Body, remember not only how much you were loved,
not only the beds on which you lay,
but also those desires which for you
plainly glowed in the eyes,
and trembled in the voice – and some
chance obstacle made them futile.
Now that all belongs to the past,
it is almost as if you had yielded

to those desires too – remember,
how they glowed, in the eyes looking at you;
how they trembled in the voice, for you, remember, body.

2. Our Bodies by Denise Levertov

Our bodies, still young under
the engraved anxiety of our
faces, and innocently

more expressive than faces:
nipples, navel, and pubic hair
make anyway a

sort of face: or taking
the rounded shadows at
breast, buttock, balls,

the plump of my belly, the
hollow of your
groin, as a constellation,

how it leans from earth to
dawn in a gesture of
play and

wise compassion-
nothing like this
comes to pass
in eyes or wistful
mouths.
I have

a line or groove I love
runs down
my body from breastbone
to waist. It speaks of
eagerness, of
distance.

3. This Body by Joyce Sutphen

When I stepped ashore in this body
I was recognized at once
and given a name.

My bones were smaller, but the shape
of the cheek and the chin
are the same.

This is the only body I know: this color
my eyes, this color my skin.
Every scar is mine.

I have become as tall, as slim, as old
as I am. My voice has carried the weight
of what I had to say.

Words were scattered along the way: words
on gravel roads, in hallways and staircases.
Words on a wire.

Somewhere in a field, my hair. Somewhere in a lake,
my skin, some rooftop where my gaze rested,
some star, a wish.

This is my address on earth: temporary, fragile
a name in the phonebook,
at the moment, alive.

4. This Body by Stephanie Brummond

Every morning I make love to this body

I used to treat her like a suit of armor
Cold
Detached
Disposable
Replaceable

I wake her up every morning
I play with her, stretch, push
I allow her new experiences
Fill every crevice with gratitude
I nourish her out of love

I am gentle with her
I push her limits,
but allow for healing and rest

I am one with her.
We are one.

5. Fat Women vs Skinny Women by Nathan Strange

Where does it end with the skinny women getting skinnier
and the fat women getting fatter
what’s going on in this world?
You’ve got different shapes and sizes
different diets and models
a bunch of unhappy fat women depressed because they are fat
and a bunch of skinny women unhappy because they are skinny

ALL

having one thing in common
they’re all comparing themselves
to skeletons and women they see as better than them…

They don’t realise that the true journey
THE REAL JOURNEY
is that of the mind
the inner journey
the only way to be happy
is to take the real journey

of meditation
the journey that leads to
self discovery
and real emotion

Give up the ghost and
see beyond
the demons of attraction
see yourself in the mirror of the mind
and defeat your worst enemy
Accept Yourself
Or live in FEAR!

6. The Perfect Body? by StevieC Poet

Too fat ….Too thin
Too ugly …. too plain
Too spotty…. too pale
Too broken…. toofrail
Too many….too few
Too flawed ….too scored
Too crazy … too sane
Too everything…

I want ….full lips

I want … slim hips
I want … blue eyes
I want …long thighs
I want… teeth white
I want …eyes bright
I want …smooth skin
I want what I can never see
I want to learn to love just me

I need to be more muscle bound

I need to be more tall than round
I need to have a head of hair
I need to learn how not to care!

7. Body Image by Claire Foster

I want to learn to love myself
Break away from what i’ve become
Who wants an empty skeleton
when beauty lies within

When my body cries out to me I close my eyes
but when my mind scolds me I cant disobey
Captivating ads and announcements so clear
Beauty and success just one pound away
Happiness just 2 and self love quite a few

Lost in a muddle of my own circumstance
criticising echoes keep me awake in the night
barriers and blockades that keep me in control
whilst I pretend that I’m alright

you have to understand the image staring back at me
is not what you see
a mirage running a need to endanger my duration here

it’s so messed up I’m in an emotional state
forcing me to seek comfort from an empty plate

I starve myself instead of my addiction
I’m addicted to a notion of a tall slender vision
I have to stop reaching for that one unrealistic dream.

8. Effortlessly Thin Girl by Maya Robena

Talking about themselves,
her friends never stop,
to think of her silence,
or how her eyes always drop,
when they mention fat,
when they mention weight loss,
how skinny that girl is,
how fat those girls are,
diet, diet, diet,
thinking in her head,

she laughs;
if only they knew,
if only they noticed,
when they mention my weight,
it is not effortless,
she thinks of the pain,
and laughs again,
if only they knew,
she was slowly dieing,
and was too tired to move,

because she was starving,
yet no,
they don’t notice,
they call her lazy,
never stopping to wonder why,
‘how is she so thin’
‘she’s so lazy’
she laughs at this once more,
if only they looked at her,
and noticed her ribs,
her hip bones,
her collarbones,
her eyes,
so full of tortured pain,
they would know what weight loss is,
what diet means to her,
and maybe,
just maybe,
they would realize their weight,
is -just fine-…

9. Life and Body Image by Gio Masserati

I met a girl at a party
She seemed nice
A few times she said she was starving
There was a full display
Of healthy foods to eat
She said she could not indulge
I think of her for a moment now
She was so thin…to me
I ate some of the delicious food
Despite her personal starvation plea

Later, I spoke to a guy
Who seems to appreciate thinness
Over my ample thighs

I wish I could starve myself
Like other girls
But, of course,
My goals are to keep my health
So I can’t justify the starvation mentality

And I won’t buy into the lies
Although, I did in high school
And being thin and perfect
Almost damaged my body image and throat

Yes, I have been thinner
Most of my life, naturally
Cutting back when I see the need
But I was always hoping
My husband would help me
And we would work out together
When I become his wife

I just can’t do it
Be perfect
Or?
Starve myself
You see

For inside my imperfect body
I love the real me!

Final thoughts

We hope you enjoyed these poems about body image. They are a reminder that we should all be kind to ourselves and each other, especially when it comes to our appearances. Remember that you are beautiful, no matter what anyone says. What’s more, you have the power to make yourself happy by choosing not to listen to the negative voices in your head. Thank you for reading!

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