Nina Shekhar

Nina Shekhar

Performance forces:
sop — — SSAATTBB choir



Text: (written by Nina Shekhar, composer) look away from the monster in the mirror I don’t know her painted lips mascara smeared across her cheeks look away from the mask they’ve made I blush and wear my ugly and cry what have I become? I don’t know my new skin I’ve molted my youth I bloom my curves molded like clay I don’t know this mind I don’t know this heart I breathe the same breath but fire fills my lungs I stand proud a queen here I bleed I bleed all my love as future life drips to my feet I wax and wane like the moon I hold my strength in my hips I hold my warmth in my breast what a gift this life is look into my eyes here stands a woman The act of blushing is defined as a reddening of one’s face normally due to embarrassment or shame. During puberty, many adolescents experience more frequent blushing for physiological and social reasons. Becoming a woman is a beautiful yet especially emotionally difficult experience. Young women often fear their changing bodies and minds, alarmed by their new curves, feelings, and desires. Even though they are fundamentally the same people now as they were before, everything feels radically different, and this process may feel like an out-of-body experience. Societal pressures can exacerbate these feelings of anxiety and shame, causing young women to “blush” at themselves while navigating the transition to womanhood. Learning to love your own mind and body is not easy. But realizing your inherent strength and remarkableness is a first step. Because being a woman is not something to be ashamed of – it’s something to revere.