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Self Image

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When I was young I looked into the mirror.
I saw gangly limbs and flat, thin, short, dirty brown hair, pulled tight against my skull. I saw a crooked smile and my dad’s brown eyes. I saw skinned knees and dirty hands.
I looked into the mirror and I was happy.
When I was eleven I looked into the mirror.
I saw those same gangly limbs that had stretched taller. The same flat hair, no longer and no thicker than before. The same crooked smile and the same boyish clothes. But now, there were shadows in the mirror, whispering menacingly and floating behind my reflection.
I looked into the mirror and I felt unsure.
When I was thirteen I looked into the mirror.
I saw the same gangly limbs and same crooked teeth, but now I saw greasy hair and a pock-marked face. I saw a flat chest and un proportional muscular legs. The shadows in the background had become the pictures of perfect girls, glaring back, calling me names.
I looked into the mirror and I felt ugly.
When I was fifteen I looked into the mirror. Now I was taller, and no longer gangly, but now I felt fat. Same pocked face and newly braced teeth. The ghosts of the girls in my past still followed me; their translucent judging eyes the only thing visible besides the silhouettes of their perfect bodies.
I looked into the mirror and I felt hopeless.
Today I looked into the mirror.
I saw my brown hair. I saw my dad’s eyes. I saw my corrected smile, and my average size, that had always been average, though I could not see it. I saw my scars and my tear stains that I knew, with time, would fade. The girls in the background had been replaced by girls with kinder faces, holding me up.
I looked into the mirror and I was happy.



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