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We Are Now Women

Camille Staats

Sheboygan, WI

Étude High School



The Grease soundtrack was playing and we were putting too much blush on the apples of our cheeks. Once smooth and pale they had become acne prone and spotted, discolored. Now foundation stopped the breath of our pores. Our breath stifled by the mist of hairspray lingering in the air. Lipstick was passed around, the red cream holding on to the lips of all the new boys we met. Body glitter applied to soft shaved legs and cellulite and stretch marks and the white scar still on our calf years after falling from a tree.


Shiny heels clacked with each step up the rusted brown stairs. Sneakers had become too restricting. We let the unfamiliar shape mold our feet, slim and arched, red and raw. Feet flung onto the couch. Our bodies collapsed into the cushions. A color scheme of brown, mustard, a faded olive and a shade of red hard to pinpoint on a color wheel. Dull tweed contrasting our sparkling legs, and hot pink bras haphazardly thrown, no attempt to hide them. Leave them out in the open as a reminder that we are now women.


This prose poem is, above all else, chaos that is raw in its beauty. It is discombobulated, scattered, and flawed—all of which contributes to its absolute perfection. This story is one of coming of age—of, for the first time, truly perceiving yourself as a woman.


Camille Staats lives in Sheboygan Wisconsin, right on the shore of Lake Michigan. She will graduate in 2021 from Étude High School. We Are Now Women examines the conflict that comes with the coming of age of girls, the innocence, longing, pain and beauty.

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