The Evil Queen

I’d start with
“Once Upon A Time”
But my story unlike hers
Isn’t a fairytale.
No, my lips weren’t
As red as a rose,
Instead, they were tainted purple
Bruised and battered
Like battle scars.
And no my hair wasn’t
As black as ebony
But it was blonde,
“The color of the sun”
My mother would say.
My skin wasn’t
As white as snow
But it was ragged
Like the surface of the moon
A testimony to all that it had been through.

I am familiar with how her story goes
But let me tell you one thing.
It was never about being
The “fairest of them all”
But rather it was about being heard.
But is a woman ever heard,
If she’s not beautiful?
Is she still thought to be worth
An ounce of respect,
If she doesn’t look the way she’s meant to?

They feared me,
Oh yes, they did,
Just as they feared
All women in power.
They feared me,
But still, they thought
That I wasn’t a woman
That deserved to be called Queen.
For I wasn’t a woman willing,
To sit still and look pretty.

With fear, comes respect.
But with beauty, comes admiration.
They didn’t care that I had acres of land
Under my control
Or that I had emperors tremble
Before my throne.
It was all pointless to them
Unless I had a pretty face.
So I did what I had to,
And I’m not proud of it,
But amongst a flock of sheep
Only the one with the softest wool
Is kept alive,
While the rest are thrown to slaughter.

So don’t come out here to tell me
That I was wrong to try
And take away her life
While you and I both know
I was doing her a favor.
She was naive, too naive for this world
And her beauty would cost her,
her innocence
Like mine had.
They would take advantage of her kindness,
They would crush her soul
And her little heart
Until all that would remain
Would be specks of dust.
I was wrong, yes, but tell me what would you choose?
To die or to slowly rot from the inside
As you live?

She got her happy ending in her story
She got away, from my “evil clutches”
And I still don’t know
If it was her bad luck or mine?
You went on to hear
Her side of the story.
Her fairy tale.
Where a man saved her, from me
But who would now save her,
From the world?
Every day that she lived,
My mirror would remind me
That she was out there
Being the fairest across all lands
And I would hear what the mirror would never tell me
That she was out there being exploited
For being beautiful.

Snow White, they call her.

Evil Queen, you call me,
And I’ve learned to accept it
For I deserve it
But has it ever crossed your mind
That may be,
the Queen wasn’t evil
Maybe,
just maybe she was made out to be,
For she was a woman
seeking beauty,
In a world where women
Are naturally meant to be beautiful.
Maybe,
Just maybe did you stop to think
That she was just another one of you
Forced to seek validation
From their appearance.
Maybe,
Just maybe do you look at yourself
In your mirror
And see me,
For I reside in all of you,
As you look at your scars and stretch marks
Wishing you were as beautiful
As the most beautiful woman in the world,
Not because you
Inherently cared about the way you look
But because you’re taught to care
And you’re taught to think that
if a woman isn’t beautiful,
She’s nothing.

 

Written by Medha Somayaji for MTTN

Featured Image by Runa Ivana Rosenberger

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