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She was walking to her locker when they cornered her.
“Look who it is!” screeched the first girl, the leader. “Have you ever seen anyone uglier?”
The other girls laughed.
She looks at her reflection in the mirror, and a tear slides down her face.
She is ugly.
“You’ll never be pretty, will you?” the girl said, smiling maliciously.
She doesn’t get it. Her mom is pretty, her dad is good looking. So why isn’t she beautiful too?
She grabs the eyeliner from the counter. Today she is not going to be ugly. Today she will be beautiful. Today she will not be made fun of, she will not be called names, and she will not be laughed at.
A tear slid down her face as they giggled and pointed.
Next, she applies mascara. Her eyelashes thicken, and become longer. They look like all the other girls' eyelashes.
Other people stopped to see what was going on as they began to point out her faults.
“Look at that hair! It looks like she just woke up.”
“And those clothes! They’re, like, a hundred years old!”
“Stop,” she begged. “Please!”
She picks out a bright eye shadow. She is starting to feel pretty.
“Stop!” she cried, holding back more tears. Why wouldn’t they stop?
“Aw, look,” snickered one of the girls. “The poor baby’s gonna cry.”
Her eyes sparkle. They actually look nice. Almost like her mom’s. She smiles. She is almost beautiful.
She couldn’t take it anymore. She pushed two of them out of the way and ran for the door.
“Pathetic,” she heard someone say.
Her tears flowed freely now. Why am I so ugly? she wondered. Why couldn’t they leave her alone? Why couldn’t they tell her heart was breaking? Or did they even care?
She chooses a light pink lipstick and finishes with a little blush. When she is done, she can’t believe it.
“I’m beautiful,” she whispers, touching her cheek.
She sank to the ground and brought her knees up to her chest. I’m pathetic, she thought. I’m being a baby. I shouldn’t have run out like that. I couldn’t even stand up for myself. Idiot! She wiped the tears from her face.
Tomorrow she would not cry. Tomorrow she would not let them get to her. She would be strong. They would not make her feel miserable. Tomorrow she would feel beautiful.
She stares at her reflection in the mirror, and a tear slides down her face.
She is beautiful.
But she doesn’t feel beautiful.
She felt stupid and manipulated. She didn’t need to pile on the make-up, like they did. She didn’t need it to feel beautiful. She was strong, stronger than them. They hid behind make-up and clothes and glamour. She didn’t need to.
She washed the make-up off her face, and smiled to herself.
Tomorrow, she’ll feel beautiful.
Today, she feels beautiful.