I'm Perfect This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

September 13, 2010
I’m perfect.

Do you see, do you see how perfect I am?
Do you see how perfectly I fix my face to look lovely?
Do you see how perfectly I do my hair to look so soft and beautiful?
Do you see how perfectly I act?

Everything about me is perfect, I know you think it.
It’s in your eyes when you look at me while I walk down the halls.

You stare at the people who are vying for my attention, and you think I’m just perfect as you mouth the words;
“God, I hate her.”

And so I tell myself, every day, just how perfect I am.
When I wake up in the morning, I think of how perfectly I must have looked while I slept.
When I shower I look down and admire just how perfectly I’m shaped.
When I fix my perfect hair and do my perfect make-up, I tell myself just how perfect I truly I am.

And when I walk into the kitchen and see him leaning against the counter,
When I smile and choke down the newest ­flavor of bile that rises in my throat, I still know I’m perfect.
When I don’t bother to ask his name because I know he’ll be gone before I get home, I know I’m perfect.
When he leers at me and agrees with how perfect I am, I know how perfect I am.

And when I walk out the door.
And when I reach the bus stop.
And when I greet everyone with a hug.
And every time I breathe.
Every time I know just how f---ing perfect I am.

So perfect I could scream.
So perfect …
I feel full of perfection, full and round like a balloon,
Stretched so tight with perfection I just might pop and all my perfection wouldn’t make any difference.
That’s how f----ing perfect I feel!

Ah, but it’s okay. Because no matter how tight it stretches me, no matter how painful it is, I’m still perfect.
I still look perfect.
I still act perfect.
And I still feel perfectly vile residing within this skin.
But that’s not at all how I should feel.

No, no, no.
Perfect. I should feel … perfect.
And so I’ll tell myself; smile perfectly, dress perfectly.
Because I’m supposed to be f---ing perfect.

Because when I curl up at night and laugh and laugh just to hold back my tears, I’m still perfect.
Even when my face crumples and turns red and ugly, I know I’m perfect.
Because when you add the right details, when you fake the right things, add just enough empty space,
It makes you perfect.

All it takes is the right punctuation.
All it takes is the right spaces and spelling.
A little capitalization and it’s perfect.
I’m perfect.

I’m perfect.

… I guess I lied.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

Join the Discussion

This article has 32 comments. Post your own now!

YogaGirl said...
Nov. 5, 2010 at 6:55 pm
This is so astonishingly written that I honestly have no complete review for this. Just an amazing job, I cut it out of teenink's magazine and put it in my locker for inspiration :D Keep it up!
PEACE2014 said...
Nov. 1, 2010 at 7:09 pm
Wow :) That's amazing! Great job!
SpringRayyn said...
Oct. 24, 2010 at 11:15 pm
I like how you added more feeling as you went along into the story. I really think it would have been better if you left out the "I guess I lied" part. I like the ending better as if you just had "imperfect" at the end. I will never forget how to spell imperfect ever again now that I read this. I never really noticed how the word does that before, turns I'm perfect into imperfect. Awesome.
Lynda.lou said...
Oct. 3, 2010 at 3:52 pm
i am in awe. This is perfect
mmfdg623 said...
Sept. 26, 2010 at 3:57 pm
I loved this.  It was amazing.  I love how you added more and more depth to the character; at first she seems very shallow and like she cares about nothing, but as the story continues, you show that there's more than she's showing.  Great job!
Annieboo said...
Sept. 19, 2010 at 3:33 pm
I like how you started out then went more and more into feeling. Great job!
Rebecca24 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Sept. 18, 2010 at 5:38 pm
Love the last four lines. Great job :)
Kenz said...
Sept. 16, 2010 at 9:00 pm
I thought this was just beautiful. My English teacher showed it to us today, and I almost cried. It's just so---amazing. Good work.
AnonyMiss said...
Sept. 13, 2010 at 10:33 pm
I love how real this is. It flows so well too, your tone has such a nice pattern.
pinkypromise23 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Sept. 13, 2010 at 3:16 pm
oh my god this is soo good! five stars and tegged as a favorite. the ending espically gave me goosebumps(:
pinkypromise23 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Sept. 13, 2010 at 3:17 pm
KiKi_2011 said...
Sept. 13, 2010 at 12:12 pm
Oh. My. God....This is so amazing! i love the entire thing!
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