Behind the Pretty Face

June 14, 2011
By , Syosset, NY
Who can even begin to understand what it feels like to be a prisoner in your own body?
When you can grasp fistfuls of flesh in your two hands, but your soul is still hungry?
People call you pretty, but that's such a fickle word. It's shallow. It skims the surface. How can that define you? Do they not remember those days when you were a mess? When not even makeup could hide the sallow, doughy skin after bingeing or vomiting? When not even a smile could hide the pain in your eyes?
How can they understand that even if it was not possible to lose or gain a single pound that you would keep eating as if your life depended on it? Or that you would keep starving yourself as if that would finally make you worth something?
Because it’s not about the food—and it rarely ever is. Sometimes it’s not even about wanting to be stick-thin. No, sometimes it goes even farther than that, beyond your control, past the point at which you told yourself you’d be happy.
You wish you could explain why your weight fluctuates. It’s not normal, you’d say. You’d say, I wish I was pretty all the time, then maybe I could love you back. You’d say, I’m the same person inside, but a photo can’t capture that. ‘Pretty’ can’t capture it either.
You wish desperately that time would stop. Just give you some time to figure out how to be happy and then you could live your life. Go to the supermarket, go on a shopping spree, go after that boy. Because when your soul is prisoner to the physical being that contains you, all you are is defined by what you look like. And it’s not always pretty.





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