You Can't Judge Me By My Looks This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

By , Portland, OR
I am not perfect. I don’t have myself together very often. I’m aware that I will never live up to your standards of what I should be and who you want me to be. I’m carefree, I don’t care what you or my friends or my parents or what anyone in the world thinks of me. I do my own thing and at least I can say with a hundred percent honestly that I’m content being carefree and imperfect. I don’t want to be the one who goes around putting others down because they aren’t happy with themselves; they try to find a way to hide their imperfections. I don’t think anyone should be like that.

But some people are. And whether or not it’s the right thing to do does not involve me; make your own decisions and do not ask me for my opinion on your lifestyle. I’m only here to prove myself to the world. I am not perfect. I’m not the smartest, the prettiest, the kindest, the coolest, or the richest girl alive. I am me. And I’m content in every single way possible.

*****

One one thousand.

“B****,” she whispered in my ear.

Two one thousand.

“S***.” I felt her breath pinch my arm and send a chill up my spine.

Three one thousand.

“You worthless piece of s***.” I heard her speak one final time and a tear dropped onto my shirt. I counted the seconds from the moment she looked at me until the moment she left. She rested her hands on her knees to stand up.

“Come on, guys. We’re done here,” she said as she exited, three Barbie Dolls at her heels. I rested my head against the pale pink tiles of the bathroom wall. I stayed there for a moment or two, brushing tears away with my hand, and then I went into a stall for makeshift tissue.

I looked at myself in the mirror. Mascara was running with my tears and staining my cheeks. I splashed water on my face to hide the fact I was crying. My eyes were puffy, but I didn’t care. I would blame it on family the moment someone asked. I couldn’t tell a soul the Barbie’s did this to me. My life would be over.

I had once respected these girls because they were gorgeous, popular, and got all the attention in the world. They had perfect hair, perfect clothes, perfect bodies, and perfect smiles. They stood before me, absolutely beautiful, and I wanted so bad to be just like them. When will I get my share of popularity? Then I wouldn’t be sitting in the bathroom crying like a hurt animal.

*****

“She’s too fat,” the leader of the Barbie’s said. She had silky blonde hair and wore skinny jeans with fitted pink shirt. She had stick-straight hair and bangs that were pinned back with a bobby pin.

“Well, we can fix that!” Another girl laughed. They all joined into a chorus of laughter. I looked down at my nails and picked the blue nail polish off one of my fingernails before picking at my tennis shoe. Again, the girls were standing over me and I was sitting on the ground, my knees close to my chest. Straight Hair walked around so she was on the other side of me, my right thigh inches away from her foot. Her eyes bulged when she looked at it.

“Damn, that thing’s huge!” Straight Hair pointed to my thigh with her tow. Her friends laughed again.

“Have you seen how much she eats?! No wonder she didn’t make the cheer team!!!” She had dark brown hair like me and her skin had been kissed by the sun. She was wearing jeans, Ugg boots, and a cream long sleeve shirt. Her braces flashed in the light.

“I didn’t try out,” I held my breath. Metal Mouth glared at me.



“When was the last time you washed your hair?” She had dirty blonde hair and it was folded into a perfect French braid. She wore a black pencil sKirt, a white lace blouse, and half an inch high heels that smacked the floor when she walked. Her voice was as cold as ice.

“I bet she washes it with dog s***,” she spoke with a flat tone like Snookie from Jersey Shore. Snookie had half of her light brown hair pulled back and she had soft waves that gleamed like stars. She wore a dark green V-neck and a flowing white skirt with leather boots. Pencil and Snookie giggled together while Straight Hair and Metal Mouth rolled their eyes. Where in the world were people when I needed then to come and rescue me?

“And how about ‘em glasses? Poor b**** can’t see past her nose without them…” Straight Hair whined. Snookie whipped my glasses off my face and dropped them in front of my feet. I hid my face in my hands and sat there sobbing. My ears perked up and I heard what sounded like footsteps, getting closer and closer by the second. A chill went up my spine. I looked over at the Barbies and they obviously heard them too. Their backs stiffened and they frantically looked at one another. Suddenly, the Barbie’s came down on my level and they each had a concerned look on their face.

“Alex, I’m so sorry,” Straight Hair lifted my chin with her hand.

“What’s going on here?” A teacher came in and her brow was creased.

“Alex got a bad test score and she’s just a little upset about it. She’s fine,” Straight Hair turned her face away from the teacher and smiled and winked at her friends.

“That’s so kind of you to comfort her. You really are an everyday hero,” the teacher smiled at Straight Hair, recited the school’s motto Straight Hair had so kindly demonstrated, and turned to leave.

“Thank you,” Straight Hair grinned as she watched her leave.

The teacher exited. The girls stood up and I left my reserved seat on the floor. They left the bathroom staggering out, acting as if they were high or drunk or something like that, and I turned down the hall towards class. Straight Hair pulled my arm and I jolted backwards.

“Everyday hero, b****,” she muttered under her breath. She let go and caught up with her friends.





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