Beauty | Teen Ink


October 24, 2007
By Anonymous

It was an addiction; that’s what she told herself.

But, as with all addictions, she was unable to stop. Before she left the house each morning, before she toppled into bed at night, intermittently throughout the day. She’d suck in her stomach and pull on a pair of jeans that didn’t fit, really, not that she’d ever tell anyone that, and blow dry her hair into muted submission. Cover the blemishes and imperfections that dotted her body, her life, best she could. She’d try to avoid it, walk past quickly; looking straight ahead and focusing on the things she was supposed to focus on, like precalculus and rehearsal and how to conjugate guéir. It never worked, though. She couldn’t distract herself well enough.

Maybe it was because there was always that fleeting, sheepish, and naïve knot inside her that imagined it would be different, this time. Her dreams were made of sweet breezes and smoky eyeliner and flawlessness – deep down, in the depths of her subconscious, she always hoped some of it would carry over into the morning.

She would stop, and she would look, and the visions she’d spent the night constructing would crash and crumble and collide into each other. The foundation could not properly cover the colossal zit on her nose; the eye shadow could not alter the watery mud that was her eyes; the neckline could not mask the second chin peeking out from underneath the first. After half an hour of desperate warfare, her hair sneered back at her. The earrings she’d spent a months allowance on hung limply from her lobes, merely calling attention to the unnatural angle of her ears. Her teeth were not white enough, her eyebrows were not plucked enough and her cheeks were not rosy enough. She was not enough.

The gloomy, yet oddly matter-of-fact mantra would clamber for attention every time she glanced at her reflection. And every time, she would give in. She would halt in front of a car window; the spiteful glass she was using for a physics lab; recently scrubbed dishes that mocked her in their shameless sheen. Her inner monologue blared the blatant truths: she couldn’t apply eye shadow properly, or pick the right lip color, or even manage to walk out of the house without looking like a homeless, hopeless hag. She let it continue until she was reduced to tears, sometimes, which only succeeded in trailing streams of eyeliner down her face. She’d sniffle and smear the black until it coated her knuckles; how do you stand going out in public like that?

It was the worst in the morning, though, because of the breezy, flawless dreams. She would glare at herself – not fiercely, though, it was kind of a defeated glare; her own body defeated her. Ten minutes, sometimes twenty. Just staring. Nothing could be done. She was beyond repair.

Then she would hurry out, praying to God, who she only sort of believed in, that the tears would hold off until she could hole herself up in a deserted stall at school. The door would slam weakly behind her as she headed off to another six hours of fake tans and UGG boots and teeth that gleamed.

The mirror would remain alone only a moment, until the bathroom door opened and it welcomed its next casualty. Her sister would tiptoe in; shroud her eyes in liner and make kissable the lips that hadn’t even, yet. She would sigh and stare, well aware of the fact that she was beyond repair. Her hair sneered and her ears stuck out.

The girl would reduce herself to tears each morning, wishing more than anything that she could be as gorgeous as her older sister.

This will certify that the above work is completely original. Taylor Tetreau

Similar Articles


This article has 1 comment.

The-Problem said...
on Oct. 2 2023 at 10:13 pm
The-Problem, Minnesota, Minnesota
0 articles 0 photos 5 comments
My gosh, THIS IS BEAUTIFUL! I can relate to this so much. Thank you for validating everything I've been thinking.