Sunday, January 26, 2014

my face is just a face.

My face is incomplete.

I've stared at magazines and television shows and familiar faces, up close in personal, for years and years. I know what haircuts work for certain types of faces, where the peak of an eyebrow should be above the eyelid, how eyelashes should curl.

I've stared at mirrors long enough to know what's missing from my own face.

Backstage before every musical or play, I would sit captive in makeup chairs--the routine, always the same. The artist would pick up a mascara brush, and stop as she neared my face, realizing the eyelashes were gone. Then, she would move on to the eyeliner pencil and trace the lines of two brows. They never ended up looking quite right.

For every dance and every event that warranted a special trip to a hair salon in high school, I stayed home. All it took was one motion to put a wig on my head, and there was nothing fancy needed. For my high school graduation, I sat on the couch for half an hour with my hair on a styrofoam head and curled it. My sister spent more time getting ready for the evening.

As far as "pity parties" go, this is not one of them, I swear. I don't see ugly when I look in a mirror, but beauty is far from the adjective I would use. In reality, my face is just a face.

I'm unable to process what my face truly looks like because it's something I grew up seeing in the mirror since I was a child. The blank slate of my forehead paired with the smallness of my eyes look so normal in my reflection, yet when I see it on the face of another, I'm taken aback by what's missing.

And I know I'm not the only one. After all, it isn't natural to see a face on TV that lacks the simplest of features. I know it's why you'll never see me on TV, at least--or anyone whose face is similar. It isn't natural. I don't think the camera likes what it doesn't know.

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