According to society, I have never been extraordinary. I do not fit today’s standards of pretty. I am invisible.
I walk through my school with my stretch-marked, size 6-8 thighs rubbing together. My grubby, beat up feet pad down the hallways within my torn and dirty white converse sneakers. Baggy, dark colored t-shirts and jeans that barely fit my hips are my normal school uniform, compared to the brightly colored tight dresses worn by the popular girls at my school. My brown, wavy hair is always tied back into some form of ponytail or bun, with bangs that hang down in front of my eyes. My eyes haze over during class and drift off into daydreams. Everyday makeup is a rarity, and the bags under my eyes grow darker from week to week. Freckles plaster my cheeks and nose, along with the occasional zit. I use my sausage-linked fingers to write essay after essay in my AP classes. Calluses form on the palms of my hands. My shoulders slump from the growing weight of the world and the pressure held within it.
I have always been unique. I fit into my own standards of beautiful. One day, I want people to look up to me. My thighs are strong and carry my bodily weight throughout my day. My feet spring me off the dance floor, into the air, and give me the gift of a bird: flight. The t-shirts and jeans are replaced by sparkling dresses or period clothing, according to my story I am portraying. My hair is styled in new forms or changes color according to my wigs. My eyes see new colors and sights and perspectives on the world, more than many people see in a lifetime. My face is transformed under hues of stage makeup, creating me into a different human. My hands become tools. They utilize brushes to spread paint across canvases or pluck the strings on my guitar, or write the words within my mind. My fingers push vibrant fabric through my sewing machine to create costumes on which no one has ever laid eyes. The calluses on my palms become useful when grabbing onto set pieces or props. My shoulders are straightened and held strong as I walk out under the lights.
My body is my instrument. Instruments have flaws and so do people. My body may not be perfect, but my body creates art, and art makes life livable.