June 10, 2008
By Faith Lyons, Wilmington, DE

Lindsay stared into her mirror, carefully observing every definition of her body. Her once bouncy champagne blonde curls lacked their usual flare. They lay flat and lifeless against her head. The curls were tangled amongst themselves; a spider wed of endless blonde. Her fiery hazel eyes were dimmed, an extinguished fire. Her eyes were slowly picking apart every flaw on her imperfect figure. Her pale skin, showed pieces of a story, of days when it was tan and fun, days at the beach, picnics, now only memories. Her clothing hung from her slim, tiny body. Clothing that had once fit was now too big, a result of many over zealous crash diets. The pink tank top she was wearing reflected the happiness she lacked. Her slightly torn jeans belonged to a girl with many friends, a girl who went to the movies on Friday nights, and a girl who hung out at a friend’s house on Saturdays. Her once flamboyant personality had vanished; she felt lonely, like a Christmas tree with no lights right around the holiday season. Her mood had turned from colors of the rainbow to a mere gray, a dull gray, barely there, all wispy and flaky, a light snow during early spring.
Lindsay looked around her room. She saw pictures of herself with friends. Despite their apparent closeness, Lindsay felt empty, completely alone. She looked at her bulletin board and saw her latest Science test; she'd scored a 95. While this grade would have overjoyed most, those 5 points nagged at her. They reminded her of the 5 pounds she had yet to lose. Her lifeless eyes closed, and she gave in to the tears she knew would come. She would once again let go of the bright blonde facade seen by so many as the definition of perfection. A girl who lived her life in a world of infinite dreams, but also a world of endless nightmares.
The tears represented the doubts she was afraid to share. The tears were for her, only her, and when she cried, her walls of defensiveness came tumbling down. Her doubts were unknown to most because doubts meant flaws, and her flaws were something she had hidden as long as she could. Lindsay opened her eyes again and didn’t recognize the girl who stood before her. This girl seemed to have confidence and seemed to genuinely love herself. Lindsay wished she could always be that girl.
The mask she had put on had been up for so long she sometimes forgets what it was hiding. Sometimes she would be playing the part so well and then, suddenly, she would remember it was just an act. The outside world saw her as someone who was so well put together. She was someone who always did everything right. Little did they know the person she really was, the one that wasn't perfect. She wasn’t even close. She had doubts, fears, and insecurities like everyone else. She made mistakes, and screwed up sometimes; it is just that no one ever heard about her failures. She had to hide them, because she had to keep playing the part, and faults weren't in this character description.
Sometimes she wished she could be like anyone else. She wished she could stop being the girl who had to get A's and never did anything wrong, the girl that thrived on pressure and continually challenged herself to beat the odds despite being unhappy; the girl that was never criticized by adults but was constantly made fun of by her peers, the girl that acted like she didn’t care, the girl that always made the right choice.
But then she'd remember that being that girl wasn’t a choice, it was a responsibility. Her place had been decided for her long ago, and she couldn’t change it. No matter what she did, she'd always be a 'goodie goodie'. She might as well get used to it.
"Lindsay," her mom called up to her room, cutting into her realm of insecurity, "It's almost time for school. You need to come down now, we have to go over your schedule for today."
Lindsay wiped her eyes and considered telling her mom all that she was feeling. As much as telling someone would lift the burden, no one would believe she felt this way. They were used to happy, peppy Lindsay who was on Spirit Squad and who baked cupcakes for the Student Government bake sale. They knew the Lindsay who had an opinion about everything and rarely cried in front of people. Their Lindsay was strong, unbreakable. She was the person they'd go to if something was wrong in their life, and they never even considered that something might be wrong in hers. It wasn't their fault though, Lindsay needed it to be this way. She would keep playing the part and acting the way they expected her to. She needed their respect too much to be seen as someone who was weak.
"Coming Mom," Lindsay answered, taking one last look in mirror. She would need to reapply her make-up at school. Make-up was such a funny concept. It covered up flaws, secrets and lies. It was kind of like the disguise she always wore. If applied right, the outside world would never even know it was there.

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