The Price of Vanity This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

   Beingbeautiful means a lot to teenage girls. Once it did to me too. I was the vainestperson in the world, but that all changed one December night.

It was aThursday, and I was getting ready for the wrestling tournament the following day.I was so excited; it was going to be my first tournament as a varsitycheerleader. I walked past the mirror and stopped to check my appearance. Inoticed my eyebrows were a little bushy, and that's when my vanity kicked in. Thebrows could be easily fixed with the waxing kit I had purchased. I put the jar ofwax in the microwave. But instead of heating the wax for 30 seconds, I pressedtoo many zeros and heated it for three minutes. As I reached for the jar, Idropped it, spilling it all over myself.

My mother came running when sheheard my screams. The hot wax was rolling down my face and arm. My mom took a wetwashcloth and tried to wash the wax off my face. This proved to be a bad idea,because the wax was honey based, and it pulled my skin off with thewax.

The 15-mile drive to the emergency room seemed to take hours. When wefinally arrived, the nurse didn't waste any time. They took me straight to adoctor and gave me extra-strength painkillers, so my mind was in a haze. Thedoctor explained how severe my burns really were: my arm was a combination offirst-, second- and third-degree burns, and needed to stay bandaged. My face wasfirst- and second-degree burns. If the wax had gotten any closer to my right eye,I would have lost my sight. I was covered in multi-colored "goop,"wrapped, and sent home to recover.

I got up the next morning and thefirst thing I wanted to do was wash off the remaining wax. I unwrapped thebandages and "degooped," letting warm water gently remove the rest ofthe wax. The next step was to do a self-evaluation of the damage. I couldn'tbelieve how horrible I looked. A horror-movie monster stared back at me from themirror. All I could think was, My life is over. For someone as vain as me, thiswas very true. I thought I was going to be horribly disfigured for the rest of mylife! All I could do was cry.

My mom made it worse by forcing me to goout in public. She dragged me to the grocery store and wherever else she feltlike taking me. Everywhere we went, people had a million questions, none of whichI wanted to answer. Then my mom declared she was going to put me though even moretorture - I had to go to school on Monday. School only led to more questions frommore people.

Now, two years later, my wounds have healed, leaving a fewscars. I still feel self-conscious if I am don't wear make-up, and I'vediscovered that three-quarter length sleeves are wonderful for covering the scarson my arm.

After spending several months adjusting to this trauma, Irealized how vain I was. I had made beauty important, but it never was or willever be that important. It took this event to teach me that no matter how muchyou change on the outside, you're still the same person on the inside.

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

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LexiB said...
Nov. 1, 2010 at 10:22 am
I think it's a good story with a clear moral.I did noticed you crammed some of you words together, though. Otherwise I love it!
marinalynn said...
Aug. 19, 2010 at 10:47 am

I've read articles such as yours before, and it scares me to read it here, where I have a chance to acctually get ahold of you. All I wish for you is recovery, and I am so so sorry that happened. It must've been so scary! But I admire your strength, and hope you keep it up!

ps three quarter sleeves look great! good choice :)

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