Today, I hate my face.
The shapes and colors are all in the wrong places. Like a toddler abandoned his booger-coated toy for daddy’s glamorous iPad, leaving the stars and triangles and cylinders on the floor for you to clean up. Like he gave up.
Best of luck, sister, but Picasso couldn’t make sense of this fucking thing.
It’s the same face every morning, but today, I just hate it. I stare at the various components individually, running through roll call like attendance counts for twenty-five percent of the grade.
Surly blue eyes? Here.
Medium-sized lips? There you are. I almost missed you, too caught up disciplining my biggish teeth and the spaces between them.
Dark, prominent eyebrows? Present.
And then I see it. Right there in the middle of it all. Just look at that thing.
My nose, the Greenland of my face. Cold, boring, and taking up space. A round, unremarkable landmass that can’t tell if it’s Old or New World.
Last week, it was my skin, but right now? It’s you, nose. You’re fucking the whole thing up.
I try clever new ways to arrange my hair that might draw interest away, but bobby pins and braids can only do so much. The face continues to sit there, looking vaguely rabbity.
I imagine looking like someone else. Not entirely, just in a subtle way. Like myself, only better. In a way that wipes off clean with a damp cloth if it doesn’t come out the way I intended.
Maybe all it takes is just a touch of eyeliner or some lipstick in my most hated shade of pink. Something called Madamoiselle or Softened Rouge or Blustery Rose or some other overthought phrase that could double as a euphemism for vagina.
Maybe I should just mask these uneven tones and scars with some cover up or foundation. But wait, is cover up the same thing as foundation? And while I have your attention, what exactly is concealer?
The things I don’t know. The depths of my ignorance, darker than the circles beneath my eyes. Ugh. I’m like your grandmother trying to set up her Facebook profile.
Too lazy or stubborn or stupid, I can’t tell.
A magician might try some sleight of hand. A thief might go for a distraction. But certainly not me. No, of course not! I puff out my chest, smugly dismissing such a shallow, vain suggestion.
I don’t bother with makeup because I’m too honest, too real to deal in deception.
I declare myself the facial ombudsman, a tattletale waving my arms hysterically so you’ll listen to me.
Excuse me, gentlemen, but Beyoncé is lying. She most certainly did not wake up like this.
But as I stare in the mirror obsessing about my nose, it’s not lost on me that I’m every bit as vain as the next one (at least the self-reflection prompts some self-reflection, no?). It’s not that I’m too honest. I’m too terrified that someone will find me out. A fraud, a phony, a fake. A generous 6, posing as an 8.5.
Who needs blush when your cheeks are so flushed with embarrassment?
And so I resign, walking away from the mirror, hopeless. Like it or not, I’m stuck with this face. This blotchy, heart-shaped container for brains.
Sigh. What’s an average gal to do? I’ve grown so weary of my vast talents and this delightful personality.