A smile is easy to conjure
It’s like a Halloween mask
Hiding in the shadows
Creeps a girl with one task
She’s scared of what lurks
Behind her walls of black
But over time she notices
She’s fallen through the cracks
Her mirror stands still
While she stands quivering
She’s plucking and pulling and ripping and hitting
She covers her face and hides her shame
Afraid to see a girl wrapped up in her own pain
Down, down, down the rabbit hole she goes
Falling, falling, falling into woes
Compare, compare, who will I be?
When no one is watching, who will I see?
Will there be a creature waiting for me?
Or someone to help and give me a key?
But what if there was a place where we were at peace?
We wouldn’t have to worry about ourselves, at least
A place where perfection didn’t have to exist
The aching thoughts wander, where is eternal bliss?
Maybe one day we’ll get there, for now I don’t know
How one girl can smile and I can follow.
A slim waist. Perfect makeup. Trendy clothes. These are all beauty standards teen girls around the world mold themselves to fit. “Why?” you may ask.
As humans, we strive for perfection, which is actually an ideal created for us by society to actually hold us back. And teens whose brains are still in the process of forming and growing are very susceptible to believing they must change themselves in order to fit in.
The media may influence extremely dangerous eating disorders and body dysmorphia in teenagers because of the harmful beauty standards it glorifies. Toxic trends on apps like TikTok, such as one where girls use a filter to determine if their face is proportional or not, have convinced many young users that they are not “attractive” enough and have substantially lowered their self-esteem and confidence. Social media’s obsession with perfection promotes a very unhealthy environment for young girls who see unachievable beauty standards and compare their bodies to it. I wrote this poem to embody one girl’s fear of not being “perfect.”