One last self-check. As I look down, my happiness is momentarily frozen. I sink my finger into the fat that has fought its way out of the bottom half of my swimsuit. Appalling. Disgusting. In a world laminated with materialism the ripple of fat becomes a tangible reality. Imperfection. A concept very difficult to deal with as a model. The loss of perfection means the loss of money. The pains of these realities create a conscious mindset of fear, the strive to an unattainable perfection, as the external imperfections are thoroughly glossed over with lip-gloss. Everyone around you seems to possesse everything you need, don’t have, and can never have. The harsh reality. I made my way out of the canopy, breathing deeply to prepare myself for their scrutinizing eyes. I am bombarded, primed and prepped and then alone. I am in the spotlight. The parasite of pessimism gnaws deeper into my flesh.
Will I ever be good enough for them? A stylist yells that I must look more natural. Once again I am not quite right yet. I am the model. I am the perceived dream. I am the face of the inward insecurities of the world that compel them to buy what I’m selling. I am ready for my close up. My mind is racked by the worry that I cannot live up to their standards. I am seven years old.
My seven-year-old mind had lost itself among all the makeup, hair and clothing that was trying to cover me up. So many people needed to shine through me, so many peoples careers were weighted on my young, weak, back.. From the external perspective it would seem that everyone was asking far too much from me. However, the external was really all they cared about. They wanted nothing from me, they needed nothing. I was their drawing board and money was the only thing they were able to elicit from my big blue eyes. I became part of a world where the god of money presided as Zeus and all the other gods fought for his attention so they wouldn’t be sent down to the world of the mortals. Your friend could never really be your friend for she was always your competition. With so many other peoples dreams struggling to break through my appearance it was hard for a seven year old not to have a skewed view of what she really thinks. Instead, my dream became the effort to satisfy theirs, the perfect look, the good picture, the smile, were what I thrived on. The model. The perfect face. The perfect picture. However, it was never good enough, for the girl standing right next to you always has something you don’t. And when your seven, that something that she has is always exactly what you want, be it a shiny red balloon or a perfectly flat stomach. My pessimism became a thriving parasite. Yet my worries went no farther than my own mind. For, everyone else saw no imperfections in the handful of little girls who ran around with their exaggerated smiles and brightly colored swimsuits.
In an attempt to explain the brooding affects of childhood, I must put in a word about my father. The deterioration of man is a aged process like the fermenting of a stain in an old shirt. While at the beginning it can be passed of as unimportant yet soon it becomes so thoroughly cemented into ones being that it is too late. My father is a man of promises. Big words with hollow effects. Criticism. Stubbornness. Mockery. Yet, as a child he would make my eyes light up when he came into the room. He was not my father, he was daddy. I first entered the business in this mindset, untainted want of my fathers affection was one of the principle purposes of my existence. If he was proud then there was nothing more I needed. So I worked at this job because it was what my mother took me to, because I thought it was what all the kids were doing, and I thought if I did it well they would be pleased. At the time it just was. Now I realize that had I not been thrown into the world of people pleasing at so young an age I probably wouldn’t have such level of self-conscience. This job gave me a medium though which I felt an undying pressure to please, not only please the people who would pay me — which was a concept I had to be very well aware of to function in that job — , but also to please my family. This created a selfless world inside me from a young age. A world where my own thoughts were drowned amongst those who may actually care about a ripple of fat peeking out above the bottoms of a seven year olds swimsuit.
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