Grace O’Connor ’22
She waits for hours as her hair is bleached,
Piece by piece slowly being painted,
In order to not expose her dark roots.
She uses a mitt to spread the chocolate-colored mousse on her skin,
Spreading it over every inch of her body,
Waiting for it to slowly melt into her dry, pale skin.
Her mascara wakes up her tired eyes.
Complementing the blue in them,
Hiding her exhaustion and natural beauty.
The powder is held on by clear polish and strengthened by blue light,
Tearing away, slowly killing her soft nail underneath,
The tough layer holds onto what is left.
The tight clothing she wears hugs her rib cage.
Her skin is vulnerable to the wind.
Goosebumps are being pushed to the surface.
Her accessories are meant to distract the eye from her body,
The bling on her gold jewelry meant to hold stares,
Turning others’ eyes away from her face.
She pushes the thin lens against her eye
As the water starts to puddle in the corner.
She refuses to touch the lens that mocks her in the corner.
She fears scrutiny and her dignity being shredded away.
Her dignity stuck to her like loose, dead skin,
Waiting to be peeled off with a simple scratch.
The temporariness of artificiality leaves her panicking,
Waiting, watching it slowly melt away day by day,
Till she can paint herself again, hiding every mark she dislikes.
Her paintbrush is held by her firm grip,
But her hand is exhausted, she loosens this grip steadily,
Till she drops her paintbrush and looks at herself in the mirror.