January 22, 2009
By Kaylee Flurry, Valley Glen, CA

I'm not perfect. In fact, I'm nowhere near perfect, not even close... I have four sisters, and four brothers, (including one step brother.) My house is never quiet, even when we are away. There is always some sort of noise. We used to live in a small rinky-dink town in the outskirts of Charlotte. That was my home, my life, my story.

I was in 3rd grade when I had a chance to become and actress. My brother got a "junk mail" letter explaining everything, and I just had to go. To be able to get big, or get anything, we had to get a few things straight...
1) You gotta have the looks...
2) You gotta have the personality...
3) You gotta have the talent.

Okay, I had enough talent to get by, and I knew how to make someone smile. But I was lacking some major qualifications in the "cute" department. I was a little girl, and didn't know why people were so mean to me. Until I looked in the mirror one morning and analyzed myself for the very first time...

After about five minutes I stopped realizing that the only things I didn’t like could be fixed. My skin, it was dry... really dry. From then on I put lotion on my face every morning, and sometimes night, too. My teeth, they were crooked, really crooked. In fact, I had three front teeth. One was growing in front of the other one. Well, that would take a while to fix. The next day at school I payed attention to my surroundings. Such as my classmates, teachers, friends, and tutors. There was no way I was going to let someone talk about me without me knowing first hand. I don’t know why I felt like that, I guess I was just super insecure.

Well, that wasn’t such a good idea, because then they really started to talk about me...
“Why is she staring at me?", "what is she doing?", "oh my gosh, what’s wrong with her?", "um, wow. I feel sorry for her." that was the usual. That was what i heard everyday. And I got used to it. It didn’t bother me much anymore. Hey, my skin was really soft now. If I didn’t smile everything would be okay. So I took on the roll of the "cool kid." you know the never-smile-for-your-life, and the I’m-so-awesome-but-totally-not-stuck-up-at-all, kind of girl. Well, I didn’t like it. No one knew this side of me. At home I was as smiley as possible. I didn’t want anyone to know what I was going through. I wanted to be strong. I wanted to be beautiful.

Finally after a few weeks, I lost one of my front teeth... then the other. Keep in mind, i was eight with my front teeth missing. Or at least that is what you saw when you took a quick glimpse. But if you looked, really looked, you could see it. My weakness. My only thing that i was afraid that the world would soon find out. And they did. I made the mistake of telling one of my friends about my agent, my acting, my life. It was then when I really got it bad. "If you are a model, then why are your teeth so messed up?", "how are you going to get famous without pretty teeth?", "at lest I have nice teeth, look at yours!" that what I got. Everyday, all day. On top of the staring, obviously. The only place I felt comfortable was my bed before I went to sleep. That’s a problem.

I dreaded looking in the mirror, but I couldn’t stop. I really liked looking in the mirror. I was cute -not beautiful- but I was cute. I loved my hair, I had big brown eyes, and my skin was so soft it was practically glowing. What wasn’t to like? Oh yeah, my mouth. My teeth were white, but what is the point of showing them off. I hated my teeth. As long as I didn’t think about it... I was fine, sort of. I was getting used to hating them. It was like my daily routine. Get up. Get dressed. Eat. Brush hair. Brush teeth. Look in the mirror. Hate my teeth. Pray. Go to school. Get home. Go to sleep. Repeat.

It came a time where my teeth grew in; I had all of my teeth! But they were the ugliest teeth ever. They were so big that every time I smiled I looked like I was sun burnt. I didn’t like hating a part of me that I was stuck with. So every time I looked in the mirror I would name something that I liked. I like how white my teeth were, I didn’t like the shape. I like the color of my eyes. They were brown.I like my nose, it was just big enough, but not to big. My grades were good, really good. I had lots of friends. I was fun to be around. I had lots of things about me that I liked. And they same amount of stuff that I didn’t like.

I’m not perfect. In fact, I’m nowhere near perfect. Not even close. My hair doesn’t always stay in place and I spill things a lot. I’m pretty clumsy and, obviously, I have some things to work on. My friends and I sometimes fight. I’m not strong as everyone thinks. I often have a broken heart. And maybe some days nothing goes right. But, when I look at it and take a step back, maybe I like being un-perfect. I’m starting to view myself as beautiful. And that’s good. Really good.

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