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The Beauty Spectrum

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The setting is outside the front of the psychiatric portion of a hospital. It is clean and white with automatic doors and small trees growing on either side of the exit. Enter SOPHIE from the front hospital doors, a lean, toned girl in her late teens, pulling her hood over her head and looking down. Enter CLAIRE, a chubbier, curvy girl of the same age, at a run, she chases after SOPHIE.

CLAIRE: Hey, wait, Sophie!
SOPHIE: Leave me alone.
CLAIRE: What were you doing in there?
SOPHIE: What were any of us doing in there? Please just go away.
CLAIRE: Hey, wait up!
SOPHIE: Have you not heard anything I’ve been saying?
CLAIRE: Sophie, really!
SOPHIE: What?
CLAIRE: Have you been going there for long?
SOPHIE: I feel like you’re just stalling to get up the courage to tell me something futile, like, how I’m not supposed to tell your friends because it will ruin your high and mighty social standing. I don’t care, okay?
CLAIRE: It wasn’t like that at all.
SOPHIE: They wouldn’t believe me anyways, I’m a just another freak.
CLAIRE: Sophie, please -
SOPHIE: You populars are all the same.
CLAIRE: I want to care about you, Sophie!
SOPHIE: There’s nothing to care about.
CLAIRE: I’ve always tried to be there for you.
SOPHIE: Sorry I got in the way of your being perfect.
CLAIRE is silent for a moment.
CLAIR: How long have you been going for?
SOPHIE: Six months.
CLAIRE: Oh.
SOPHIE: I don’t need your pity.
CLAIRE: I’m not pitying you. I know that’s not what you -
SOPHIE: Are you going to ask me why I’m in there?
CLAIRE: I wasn’t going to -
SOPHIE: Because I like to run and I hate to eat.
CLAIRE: Sophie, I -
SOPHIE: Because I’m ugly. Because I’m nothing. Because I’m fat and I’m worthless. Because everyone around me that is always saying that!
CLAIRE: You’re not -
SOPHIE: What’s your family like, Claire? Nice, upper middle class, clean cut? You live in a chocolate box life. You’re gorgeous, okay? Perfection walking. Do people call you ugly?
CLAIRE: No, but -
SOPHIE: Then what’s the point?
CLAIRE: I see it in their eyes. I know they think I am. I mean... if you’re fat, what am I?
SOPHIE: (whispers) You’re beautiful.
CLAIRE: What did you say?
SOPHIE: You look - nice... there’s nothing wrong with you.
CLAIRE: You’re not the only one with problems, Sophie.
SOPHIE: Alright, let’s go back to the start. Why are you at eating disorder group counselling?
CLAIRE: This isn’t about me.
SOPHIE: Isn’t it?
CLAIRE: I want to show you that I care about you. I don’t know how you want me to do that.
SOPHIE: Prove to me that I’m a dick and everyone else matters more than me.
CLAIRE: That’s not what I mean!
SOPHIE: It took me these six months to prove to myself that I’m even worth my own caring, so go ahead, break me, Claire.
CLAIRE: The girls there -
SOPHIE: There’s one boy.
CLAIRE: The teens there... they all do the same things you do. They just don’t let it be their label. You’ve always made it that. That’s why everyone hates you.
SOPHIE: Thanks, Claire.
CLAIRE: I don’t hate you.
SOPHIE: But I’m a self-righteous little b**** who’s so wound up in her own problems that she scares everyone off.
CLAIRE: Why do you make it so goddamned hard to be your friend?
SOPHIE: Don’t let people too close to you, Claire. They’ll break you in half.
CLAIRE: I know why you weren’t in school for a month.
SOPHIE: Someone noticed?
CLAIRE: Of course I noticed.
SOPHIE: Whatever.
CLAIRE: I noticed your bruises. Your black eyes. I saw it all, Sophie.
SOPHIE: Yeah, well.
CLAIRE: How’s... foster care?
SOPHIE: It’s fine, I guess. They leave me alone, pretty much. I scare them too much.
CLAIRE: Well, that’s good. I’m - I’m glad for you.
SOPHIE: They make me eat there. And I hate it.
CLAIRE: Take it from me, vomiting up your every meal isn’t anything it’s cracked up to be.
SOPHIE: I’ll remember that.
CLAIRE: You finally have people around you that you deserve. They don’t call you ugly there, do they?
SOPHIE: But I am.
CLAIRE: You’re not. You look like an Olympic athlete. Or a surf model. Something hot.
SOPHIE: I’m not hot.
CLAIRE: I think you are.
SOPHIE: What?
CLAIRE: I mean, as an outside opinion.
SOPHIE: Oh.
CLAIRE: Well, I guess I better get going. See you at school... or, um, here next week, I guess.
SOPHIE: Wait, Claire!
CLAIRE: Yes?
SOPHIE: You’re beautiful.
CLAIRE: What?
SOPHIE: You’re beautiful. In the most real sense of the word. You have a real body, you look real. Vibrant. Your eyes are like emeralds and - you just are. You’re beautiful.
CLAIRE: Sophie, I -
SOPHIE: I’m not afraid to tell you what I think. You’re stunning.
CLAIRE blushes deeply.
SOPHIE: I want... I’ve always seen how insecure you are around your popular b**** friends. But you - you were never like them. I saw how you weren’t proud. I just wanted to make to see that your curves are beautiful.
CLAIRE: Sophie, please -

Suddenly, SOPHIE gets very quiet, and takes CLAIRE’s hands in hers. CLAIRE is tearing up.

SOPHIE: You are everything beautiful that you’d ever need to be.
CLAIRE: I’m just fat.
SOPHIE: Everything about this is stupid. You’re beautiful and you can’t see that because of this face society has made.
CLAIRE: I just want boys to like me.
SOPHIE retreats a little.
SOPHIE: Yes, of course you do.
CLAIRE: Are you alright?
SOPHIE: Yeah, no, I’m fine, I was just getting ahead of myself.
CLAIRE: I really should be getting home.
SOPHIE: Yeah.
CLAIRE: Thanks...
SOPHIE: For what?
CLAIRE: You made me feel more beautiful than anyone ever has.
SOPHIE: I see you.
CLAIRE: I always saw you too.
SOPHIE: Well, have a safe walk home.
CLAIRE: See ya, beautiful.

CLAIRE stands on her toes to kiss SOPHIE lightly on the cheek, she then runs offstage, blushing. SOPHIE reaches her hand up to touch her cheek and the lights fade.




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