I look in the mirror about twenty times a day. And each time I look away from that mirror, I feel worse than I did before. I spend hours a day on the computer on beauty websites and fashion magazine websites, looking for the top beauty products and the best beauty tips. I spend hundreds of dollars a week buying new hair and make-up products even though I only have a part-time job and am trying to pay my way through college. This obsession takes up my entire life. I admit I have a problem and it’s not a rare one. I know that I can’t be the only to have this problem, but I can proudly say that I will be one of few to write about it.
My friends and boyfriend tell me constantly that I’m beautiful and skinny. I smile and simply say thank-you. My co-workers always remind me that they’re jealous of my figure and wish they had my skin. Again, I smile and simply say thank-you. My mom buys me clothes and always says, “You look good in everything!” One more time, I smile and simply say thank-you. But that smile is one of the hardest things I have to do because deep inside, every time someone says how beautiful I am, my heart starts to crumble and I can feel the tears clawing their way through.
I never challenge anyone when they talk of my “supposed” beauty, nor do I ever admit my true feelings about my appearance. I know If I did, they would call me crazy or blind. But I’m not crazy nor blind. I know what I see when I look in that mirror. I know what I see when I pass my reflection on a car window. I know what I see when I try on new clothes in front of a store dressing room mirror. I see an ugly girl, dying to be beautiful … dying to be perfect.
I never care about what other people thought. I only cared about what I thought. I still do. Any person could call me stupid and I’d walk away, knowing that I am one of the smartest people I know. Any person could call me a witch and I’d walk away, knowing that I am friendly and nice to everyone that walks my way. I could do this because I know that I am smart and and I am nice. But every time someone calls me pretty, I walk away knowing that’s far from the truth. I honestly don’t care if my boyfriend thinks I’m gorgeous or my friends think I’m beautiful. I want to think that for myself. I want to believe that for myself. But no matter how hard I try, I can’t. The girl looking back at me in the mirror won’t let me.
I don’t see beautiful brown curls; I see frizzy dull hair. I don’t see perfect, glowing skin; I see big pores and dry spots. I don’t see a flat stomach and long legs; I see flab and big thighs. I don’t see what other people do. I want to, but I don’t. I don’t know if it’s me whose blind, or everyone else. But the odds seem to be against me. Either I’m right, and the rest of the world is wrong. Or they’re right, and I’m wrong. Who’s right?