Perfectly Unreal

I saw a video the other day

A 30 second time lapse clip

That showed a woman

Middle-aged

Modeling for a camera

Her photo went to a computer

And I watched as the woman from this clip

Was torn apart and ripped

Like scissors to a picture being snipped

And her real beauty was skipped

As her humanity was stripped

To become a non-existing being of societal ideals and expectations that create

Self-conscious

Self-loathing

Self-concentrated girls

Concerned for nothing but the words

Pretty

Beautiful

Gorgeous *Pause*

Sexy.

 

I watched as the woman’s skin was airbrushed and polished

Her makeup impossibly enhanced and perfected

Her darkened blue eyes highlighted and inflated

Not even her hair was her own

The real was erased

Replaced

Disgraced

With perfect glowing curls that apparently not even a wig was good enough for

Her limbs were lengthened

Her body smoothened and wiped away to appear like a Barbie doll

Whom even scientists have proven cannot exist because she is an ill-proportioned toy

The before was real

The after was fake

The before was beautiful

The after was… alien.

 

No one could compare to the after

But little girls compare everyone

Everytime

Everyday

They poke and prod themselves in the mirror

Pointing out every flaw and swearing to themselves that they will do everything they can to destroy those imperfections

To destroy who they are

They cake their visage with cream and powder until they wear a mask

They soak their skin with chemicals to make acne

Pimples

Zits disappear

They starve themselves believing it will make them skinny

They starve themselves until they feel nothing

But bones

And no fat

No fat

No fat

And no

Mother

Stop asking me why I always question my appearance when you’re the one who said

You FINALLY look like a girl

The first time I got my eyebrows waxed. *Breath*

 

 

I swear to God that I’ll stop

Which is funny

Because I don’t believe in God anymore

Because I was always told He made me who I am

And I have always hated who I am

And I am a hypocrite

And I know that when people look at me they probably don’t see a damn thing wrong

They say I’m pretty

They say I’m skinny

They say they love my freckles

But how can I love them when I had grandparents who scrubbed my infant face because they thought my freckles were dirt

When I grew up in a half-Asian family that always remarked on appearance and accomplishment

And family friends always compared me to their skinnier granddaughters

And they dressed me up like a doll

Changing my clothes multiple times everyday

Everyday

Everyday

They supported and pushed me off the edge realism and into the toxic water of society’s perfectionism

You have to be this

You have to be this

You have to be this

 

And now I dress myself up like I’m my own doll

And I can’t stand going out in public without looking “cute”

And I can’t stand my own face makeup-less anymore

Because when I look in the mirror

I’m scared

I’m scared because I’m becoming a part of this tide

Because when I look in the mirror

It’s vice versa

The before is ugly

The after is beautiful

I’m scared because society is tossing me deeper and deeper

Creating a girl who is insecure

About being inadequate

Because she is incapable

Of being this perfection that society puts on every picture

And I wonder now at every model I see if that is the real them

If they are really that gorgeous

If they are really that skinny

If they give a fuck that someone altered their photo to make them that perfect *Pause*

And then I wonder if I can be that perfect

No matter how angry I get at society’s high expectations on looks

I’m ashamed to admit that I want nothing more than to be Barbie

Like most girls who had that doll

Whether they dress her up or rip her head off

Because no matter what they are still exposed to this impossibly perfect icon

A perfect person

Who is not pale

Who is not hairy

Who is not fat

Who is not real.

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