Pretty Illusion

I feel okay.

Introspectively secure.

Outwardly, I have no honest complaints.

Maybe I feel good, even.

Pretty, maybe?

It seems that when I am strongest, when I let my guard down for a second,

It’s too late.

Don’t confuse me with a victim simply because I am being attacked though,

Because this is an attack in which I play the part of the helpless prey

Just as well as the merciless predator.

I am helpless by nature, but I can’t help how I claw at my own skin.

I tend to spend months referring back to minuscule moments of me,

Old photos I used to like,

Convinced that that was the best version of myself.

But I get blinded by my rose-colored glasses every once in a while,

Unable to see the likable (not simply lovable) woman I am consumed by,

Just the remains of a girl who might have had promise at one point.

Little girls are concerned with their faces and bodies,

Learning how to become desirable without knowing why.

Their insecurities are irrelevant, right?

So I didn’t bother having any.

I wish it stayed that easy, but those childish simplicities never last.

Eventually I learned to hate individual parts so I didn’t have to be left out of all the best playground conversations:

“I have giant thighs,”

“My lips are so thin,”

“Your stomach is so much flatter than mine,”

Each one becoming a new idea to mull over long enough to see the truth in them.

Are my thighs big? Bigger than most girls, maybe.

Do I have thin lips? I guess I do.

Is my stomach flat? It actually does stick out a bit.

When little girls tell adults the fears that will inevitably eat them alive before they have the chance to vaguely know what being alive means,

They get one of two answers in return:

“Your beauty is only skin deep,”

 

But my skin was imperfect even then

While everyone’s I knew practically glowed under blankets of clouds;

I was too young to know cuts needed band-aids before they turned to scars,

And now my body is covered in both.

“The mirror lies.”

A face should be known best by it’s owner, but somehow the idea that I know nothing about it after all should somehow be comforting.

I think I’m seeing two people, my favorite being worlds apart from a real person.

I want to hold on to my own warped vision.

What if I’ve fooled myself living in this false mental state of prettiness?

Maybe my mirror tells me I’m okay exactly as I was born.

Maybe my mirror doesn’t mind my personality as I do.

Maybe I admire the hundreds of reflections that comfort me at home,

Believing that their contents are consistent with my too-human skin.

 

I want what I see in my mirrors to be the truth even if they are my imaginary truth,

But the temporary reminders that I am worse than meets my eyes is enough to make me want to crawl out of this suffocating shell,

Clawing and tearing my way out if I have to,

Just to find a more desirable place I am proud enough of to call home.

I could become a person of my own making,

Never again held back by silly appearances or the kind of personality that is tolerated out of pity.

So yes it’s true what people say:

The mirror does in fact lie,

But it’s the most deceitful kind of lie because I still can’t tell which version of me is being honest,

But I will continue to destroy all the evidence just in case.

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