She sits in front of the mirror, staring at her reflection. She pulls out her bag of war paint. The weapons of mass destruction she uses to protect herself from the world. She methodically takes brushes and shimmer and begins to paint. Layer after layer of polish and lacquer she still stares. She rims her eyes with kohl. She takes the cap off of the rubbery and wet lipstick and brings it to her mouth. As she puckers up her lips she drags the pigment across and around.
She doesn’t smile. She doesn’t move. She just stares.
I wish I could tell her I’m sorry.
I’m sorry that you feel the anxiety as you paint your face while you stare into the mirror. I’m sorry that the pressure weighs down on your shoulders every day when you step out of bed. I wish that this vapid sense of vanity could vanish and we would only be left with our own idea of beauty.
I’m sorry that every morning you break out your war paint to guard yourself from the cruelness of this world.
As you paint the picture you want the world to see you imagine that you mirror is a traveling machine. It will bring you somewhere where the beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
I’m sorry that as you grow older you have learned more and more things to hate about yourself. Everyday brings another pain you have to feel every time you look in the mirror. This vanity and pride we all want to feel about ourselves is sheer arrogance. We all want nothing more than to look in the mirror and be happy with what we see. Instead this vanity is tearing us apart. It creeps up from our souls and chills the spine. Vanity is eating us away.
I’m sorry that on those days when the wind turns you cold and the emptiness fills you. When the loneliness creeps in and you hang your head down from the weight of it all. Those are the days when nothing else hurts more than the reflection in your mirror.
I’m sorry that you fear having a daughter of your own. A child that will make your heart burst with love. You will have to tell her that she doesn’t need to starve herself to be beautiful. That society doesn’t always tell the truth when it comes to a woman’s image, and that no matter what, she is beautiful.
How can you get her to understand when all around her she will be told that she isn’t good enough?
You’re terrified that one day your daughter will take out her war paint and sit in front of her mirror and shield herself from the world, just like you. When that day comes you will sit her down and tell her that she is beautiful. She already shines brighter then any star. She doesn’t need the war paint and the methodical application of the fake mask. All she needs is a smile and to know that you love her unconditionally, just the way she is.