Middle schooler asks 'Why am I not good enough?' in viral slam poetry project

Wednesday, May 31, 2017 07:44AM
Olivia Vella recited a powerful poem about insecurities for her seventh grade writing class.


When Olivia Vella was asked to explore a topic she was passionate about for her seventh grade writing final, she turned to insecurities.

Her poem, which explores the question, "Why am I not good enough?" has been viewed millions of times in the past week.

"The reaction to the video shows I am not alone," she told ABC News. "We are not alone in how we feel."

In the poem, the Arizona girl takes her listeners through the stream of consciousness of a middle school student, highlighting all the vulnerabilities they must face to get through a typical day.

"Every part of your outfit is uncomfortable, but even though you spend hours trying to look pretty, you will never be as good as those other girls at school," she recited as she explained the insecurities of getting ready for the day.

She also explores peer pressure, popularity and reputation.

"You take each comment, each judgement, each assumption, each opinion, each strange look, each remark, each criticism, each review, each report, each assignment and with it your self esteem plummets like a sinking ship," she recited.

She delves into the particular pressure girls face to be good enough, and she finishes by responding to those insecurities.

"You look at other girls wishing you were them, but other girls are looking at you, wishing they were you," she recited. "...You are loved. You are precious. You are beautiful. You are talented. You are capable. You are deserving of respect. And most of all, you are good enough."

The video was posted by Queen Creek Middle School on Facebook, where the comments are overwhelmingly positive.

"Her vulnerability is amazing and she said exactly how every middle schooler feels at some point," wrote one Facebook user.

"The world should see and hear this not just middle schoolers. Lessons for adults as well," wrote another.

But perhaps the highest praise came from Vella's teacher, who said that the poem had caused a "worldwide rippling effect."

"I'm so proud of her," Brett Cornelius told ABC News. "She's steering this ship of self-love, and I'm proud to call her my captain and hero."
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