The mask. The mask that coats my face each morning. It covers every pore, suffocating my blotchy skin. The perfect winged tip eyes flutter in the mirror as I scrape across the eyeliner, convincing myself they are so naturally thick with black and browns. It hides the flaws, the marks that make me individual, are now just part of the collage of the hallway. Blonde hair tucked behind ears, the similarity of the girls. The shy smiling shows their white pearls attracting the eyes of the boy. The falsity of the scene is sickening. Perfection. Is this what this world is supposed to be? Flawless. Is this what the body should become? No uniqueness. Why is the girl who slumps in the long dress weird? Because she is different? Or because she is what the girls wish they had the bravery to be? To wipe away the tan liquid, to trim the splitting hair, to let the roots grow their own color without being bleached. But no. We are afraid. Afraid that a blemish could cause the end of a love. The fear that we won’t fit into the image of the magazines and models. But are they happy? Are they happy to cram and eat a measly carrot for lunch? Doubtful. The mask is washed away in the darkness of the night. And what is left is, Me. Me. Me. Who am I anymore? Why am I trying so hard to be like them? To be, perfect. The skinny waistlines and the glossy lips. The fake laughs that we scour ourselves to fit in. So are we pretty, have we achieved? Are we what we want to be? Mirror images of each other, then the outsider. The brave one. I envy her. Not for her waist, or for her hair, or for her slump or clothing. But for her carelessness. She doesn’t care what we think. But here we are, placing on a mask. And what a beautiful mask it is.