This morning I felt pretty. I spent twenty minutes on my hair and thirty on my makeup. I also spent an indecisive fifteen minutes picking out my outfit. Finally I decided on a pair of black jeans, and a long sleeve, blue and purple shirt with a flowery design. I looked in the mirror proudly and confidently, ready to take on the day. A smile that is so uncommonly present on my face this early in the morning, was placed in between my cheeks. A happy glare in my eyes accompanied it. Today I felt pretty, and today was going to be a good day.
In fourth period we were working on an assigned project in the library. The happy glare was still in my eyes, as I was talking to a new friend as we worked. Then I felt an urgent tap on my shoulder. Before I even turned around words started being flung at me. “ You know you aren’t supposed to be wearing that,” you said to me harshly. I looked down at myself to see what I was wearing that was so incorrect, as did the group of guys that were sitting next to me.
I looked at you with confusion. “Put on your jacket!” you said, brows scrunched. “ Your shirt cuts too low in the back, I can see an extra inch of skin on your shoulders.” My eyes met yours and the happy glimmer that had been there all day faded, and was replaced with a reddened face and a fastened heart beat. I slid on my jacket cautiously and shamefully.
You walked away from me and my sweating palms with accomplishment. I turned to look at the guys sitting next to me. One laughed, and the other pretended he didn’t hear what happened. The third one had a different glimmer in his eyes. He looked me up and down, objectifying. In that moment I was nothing. I had no voice. I was just the extra inch of skin on my back and every other inch of skin he was imagining. Instead of saving me from my impurity, you only made me stand out more. This morning I felt pretty, now I feel small.