May 20, 2009
By Rebecca Phifer SILVER, North Augusta, South Carolina
Rebecca Phifer SILVER, North Augusta, South Carolina
6 articles 0 photos 9 comments

You look in the mirror before you leave for school. You see your hated nose blocking your view of your face. You tell yourself that you did a good job with your usual unruly hair; it doesn’t look as bad as normal. You are not satisfied with your make-up job, but you don’t have time to fix it. You turn from the mirror letting out your breath. Your shirt gets tight on your stomach. It is time to start the day.

You are surrounded by a bunch of other girls. In your head you are criticizing and comparing. With each girl you analyze, your Esteemometer drops another dekapoint. Why can’t your hair look like that? How does she get so tan? You look at your legs: white ashy and the hairs are already poking through from where you shaved last night. Another girl walks by and you wonder how she has such big curves and yet a completely flat stomach. You laugh inside as a girl with orange skin walks by. Bad spray tan. You mock her in your head and your Esteemometer goes up three centipoints. By the end of the comparing game you are in the negative.

You turn to your clique to complain that you are fat, wanting and expecting to be contradicted. They do as expected, but you don’t believe them. You have been telling yourself that you are fat and you believe it. Some of them go on to say that you are not fat, but they are. One of them who says that hangs out on the edge of the group. Thank goodness you don’t look like her, she is FAT. Two of the other girls who say that are clearly skinner than you and they must know it. So if they are calling themselves fat what does that make you? Just to be nice you will say that none of them are fat (even the FAT girl), but that you are fat. Maybe you will eat lunch today, but maybe you won’t.

You will go home and get ready for the night, which was the topic today. You are excited, but half dreading it. You will spend twice as long putting on your make-up. You will do your hair. You will tear it down. You will redo your hair. You will re-redo your hair. You will put on your dress. Suddenly you will feel pretty. You will dance around in it and flirt with the mirror. You will purse your lips and turn this way and that. You might even praise yourself and say that you are pretty. You will leave with your excitement at its peak.

Then you will see the other girls, their dresses more revealing, obviously more expensive, more sparkly and eye catching. Their hair and nails will be professionally done. You will hurry to be immersed in your group. In their high excited fake voices they will compliment your dress. You will compliment them back even if their dress looks like puke. Miss. blond-blue-contact-eyes will walk by and you won’t feel pretty anymore. You will hate her the minute you see her. Even though you hate her you will feel compelled to lavish praise on her. She will reply after eyeing you (but trying not to look like she is) that your dress is cute. People will make politeness-demanded compliments on your dress, or your shoes, or your jewelry, but never on you. They will never say that you look pretty or that your nose is nice.

Then you will look at him, that cute guy you’ve had a crush on. You will walk by and hope that he sees you. He won’t. You will force a friend to stand with you, directly in his view. You may even go talk to him, but he will never give you what you want. He will never say that you look beautiful. You will stand alone in your group as the slow music plays, hoping he will ask you to dance. Disappointment will fill you when each time he doesn’t. Another guy will approach. He will ask you to dance. You won’t really like him because he is only slightly taller than you, or he is rather plumb, or he has acne all over his face, or his nose is crooked. You will agree to dance with him, but as he looks at you, you will look over his shoulder to see him dancing with another girl. You will wonder whether it was her hair or her eyes that made him ask her to dance. You will try to figure out how to do your hair like hers. Maybe he would have asked you if you were tanner. You will hardly realize that the dance is over and that the guy you danced with is saying goodbye. You will be engrossed in looking at him. He is so hot! You will go back to your friends and gossip about Gross Acne Guy and Hotty.

Eventually it will be over. You will go home in the lonely night. You will feel completely unsatisfied with everything. The awkward and painful parts will replay in your mind, driving you crazy. You might write in your diary or maybe you will just crawl in bed and cry.

The author's comments:
You will never be able to be happy, love yourself, or love others if you judge worth by appearances.

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This article has 2 comments.

on Jun. 27 2009 at 3:03 am
Rebecca Phifer SILVER, North Augusta, South Carolina
6 articles 0 photos 9 comments
If you know me and are worring, don't. This story does not express my current feelings or my prom. I drew from my feelings in middle school to try to point out to others that beauty does not equal worth.

KarenY said...
on Jun. 26 2009 at 7:46 pm
1. I laughed out loud when she let out her breath and her shirt got tight on her stomach. I could emphathize.

2. The story effectively commumicates the moral of the story (as expressed in the Author's Comments). Although the heroine cannot rise above the teenage angst, the reader can see through to the moral. When I read the story, I sympathized with the heroine (she was so honest and vulnerable). I think this story would make a teenage reader feel like she is not alone.

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