Katie Makkal Performs Her Poem “Pretty” at the 2002 National Poetry Convention

At the 2002 National Poetry Convention, veteran poet Katie Makkal gave a rousing performance of her poem “Pretty.” Although the video is almost a decade old, the message behind the poem still has relevance for young women growing up in today’s society. Makkal channels the fear every teenaged girl has growing up—the terror of being considered ugly, the desire to be rich, and the longing to fit in with peers. Makkal uses humor to lash out at the mothers who feed into society’s belief that only beautiful women have worth. From plastic surgery to braces, so many women both young and old spend thousands of dollars trying to make themselves fit in with an unattainable ideal. Makkal muses that when she has a daughter one day, she will soothe her daughter’s insecurities and do what she can to stop the vicious cycle of self-hatred.

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