Bright Red Dress

April 7, 2008
By Chelsea Ross, Johnson City, TN

One day I was invited
To a formal dance
I put on my best dress
For this was my only chance

I planned to make a statement
I wanted to turn heads
And to start them talking
About something I had said

Whether or not they liked it
My dress was rather loud
I was going to be different
And stand out from the crowd

But when I arrived
I was mortified to see
Everyone wore a mask
Everyone but me

They all wore black gowns
All the same size that fit none
And all wore an animal mask
I was truly stunned

No one had told me
This was to be a masquerade
“I’ll still make a statement
By being a renegade!”

But after a little while
I realized I was being shunned
What happened to my statement?
What happened to the fun?

Someone gave me a black gown
I slipped it over my dress
Gone was my dignity
Statement and uniqueness

It was too small in the waist
Too big in the butt
I was no longer different
I could no longer strut

Now I looked for a mask
To cover my pretty face
Soon my identity
Would be gone without a trace

There were several different kinds
Although they all looked much the same
I slipped on a mask
Now much different than I came

As the party wore on
I forgot about my dress
As to my true identity
Even I could only guess

I soon realized my mask
Was slightly different from the rest
I began to feel self-conscious
And became rather stressed

All too soon the party ended
And I remembered my dress
I felt remorse and regret
And became quite depressed

I only had one chance
To show off my bright red dress
Instead of standing out
I was willfully suppressed

We’re all so tied up
In trying to look like magazines
We forget who we were
And who we were meant to be

We’ll never realize our potential
If we live someone else’s dream
Not all of us become stars
Like not all milk becomes ice cream

We all live in the shadows
Of someone who reached the top
We all strive to be
The cream of the crop

We walk down the street
Hiding our true identity
We finally fool ourselves
Gone is our dignity

We become warped
By the world around
We put on a mask
Now our souls are bound

We paint our mask like the rest
All slaves to the same impossibility
Wise are the few that can see
Fiction isn’t as good as reality

We all have an idol
Like whom we aspire to be
We focus so much on them
We lose our individuality

It’s not about being yourself
It’s about fitting in
Expressing who you really are
Seems to be some sort of sin

We all try to be the best
Live up to all expectations
To fill “bigger shoes”
And better our reputations

What other people think
Is all we care about
Can we think for ourselves?
I’m really starting to doubt

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