Prose/Short Story: I Bought Death Instead of Beauty By Hannah Williams

Iknew society was absorbed with beauty and I learnt that from a young age. On this youthful summer day, I learnt one detrimental life lesson. I discovered the bias in beauty. I remember it so vividly. I was sitting in the playground and Amelia knocked the lunchbox from my hands. My food dropped and I was forced to do what you were told to do as a child- Always tell your teacher. I told Ms Sheer who proceeded to respond with ‘Amelia wouldn’t do that, she has the face of an angel’. It got me thinking what is the face of an angel? Is it thin lips? Is it wide eyes? Is it straight hair? Is it blonde hair? Is it a fair complexion? If it is, then Amelia indeed was an angel.

Year went on, I left this memory at the back of my mind and reminded myself to develop character. Amidst all of the character developing, I came to the realisation that ‘Nice people finish last’ and that was the revelation I had for most of my life.

So I did what any one in my position would do. I began to change myself. It started off with style and fashion. I began to look for inspirations within magazines. I looked between the sheets of glorified and airbrushed beauty. At the time, I didn’t realise it. I didn’t realise I was becoming immersed in the industry standards of beauty. I found myself wanting to become like the models. It was a desire to be thin and polished.

I went to the gym four times a week. I threw up 7 days a week. I was committed full time to be like the models in magazine and reminisced on being like the other beautiful angels I crossed paths with. Eventually, I became thin like the models. I was so ecstatic that I was the ideal body type.  Then, the industry changed the status quo. The thin image was out and curvy was in.

So I did what anyone in my position would do. I bought my body and that’s what brought me here. I became a newspaper tale of a woman who was filled with the desire of beauty. I was fuelled by societal pressure and past experiences.

Despite my efforts to hide this all, you could see it in my eyes… the twinkle that taught me that everything that glitters is gold. This solemn spark which could not be quenched. L just wanted to fit in. I wanted to be like others and it got out of hand. Diets and exercise escalated to unhealthy eating habits which birthed the reason for my surgery. The lack of money meant I bought death instead of beauty. I bought my death sentence all in the name of beauty. So God what do you think of me?

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