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The Standard

The loud cries of the city never cease. Its dull haze never rises above the highest skyscraper, making the air near impossible to breath. Cars crawl by in the rush-hour traffic and every person bustles about the streets, their minds concentrated only on their own tasks ahead. Much like worker bees buzzing about a hive.
This is Tokyo. A city so often known for its bright, neon lights and frivolous business in video games, anime and the like. Rather, this is the capital of a country that is up and coming. That is succeeding. Thriving. Becoming.
Welcome to Tokyo.
Welcome to the new standard.
Is it not important to maintain this golden standard, this rising bar? Has society not made it perfectly clear? Perfection is the aim. The standard must be maintained, risen, and solidified.
The airbrushed faces of models adorn the plasma screens and billboards of the city. Their dark eyes and lashes smoldering down on every passerby, observing them and their habits. Evaluating their worth in the eyes of the city. The standard.
But who is the dictator of this perfectionist world? When was it decided who is revered for their beauty in the form of photographed enlargements, endorsements, and fame, and who is swept under the rug. Hidden from the world. When was it established who is forever sentenced to a life of being rejected and forgotten?
He appears in many forms.
He is the brutal middle school bully, who rejects the shiny smile of a little boy's new braces.
He is the conceited girl that won't look twice at the teenage boy who tries so desperately to please her.
He is the hardened professor who criticizes a young man and his choices and tells him of his doomed chances for success.
To me he is the business man, dressed in his khaki pants and brown tweed coat, crisp white shirt and camel toned tie. To be individualistic is to be wrong, and this man's blatant uniformity personifies his views on the importance of maintaining this monotonous perfection. He is the little boy, the rejected teenager, and the criticized young man. His life of constant negation has resulted in a reversal of roles. The victim is is now the victimizer. The judged is now judging.
He is opening a new clothing store. It shall be a paragon for the ideals of the city. The golden standard. From its staff to its clientele, the store shall act as a form of substantiation to this ideal that the business man, the bullied little boy, the ignored teenager, and the criticized young man was never quite able to attain.
We, the potential mannequins for the store's show room, are lined in front of the floor to ceiling windows, the bright sunlight casting long shadows on the bamboo flooring of the bare space.
We were manufactured for this cause. For his cause. The cause of perfection. Our features hand picked and crafted in perfect symmetry. Our eyes are the sought after almond shape and deep brown, framed with the darkest of lashes. Mahogany shaded eyeshadow has been painted on to our pale and smooth, latex complexions, and our bodies are tall and lean, with delicate curves that epitomize The Modern Age's perception of feminine beauty.
Our intent is to physically represent the goal all should have in mind.
The business man walks slowly, intertwining his way between our solid, white frames. His critical eyes scan every square inch of our hardened bodies. Even being engineered for perfection, we are subjected to the same cruel judgement all others face.
All meet his approval. That is except two. Me and her. A small discoloration on our rounded skulls has resulted in a failure of the test. We have fallen below the bar. We are no longer the golden standard and, unlike the Olympics, there is no silver.
We are taken around the corner. Dumped in an alley where royal blue cones have designated a garbage disposal site.
How can one engineered for physical optimization be outcasted? I was perfect. If I, a laboratory creation, cannot achieve this ever rising standard, what chance do you have? You are human. You are imperfect. The standard is unattainable.



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