Looking Glass

by Mila Bond

Beautiful Growth, a photograph by Skye Stubbs
audio: read by the author

I saw her today.

That one girl with everything wrong.

Her shoulders were too wide,

Her hips not wide enough.

Her thighs were too large,

Her skin too rough.

Her teeth were uneven,

Her hair thin.

Her nose was too round,

Her lips slim.

And as I looked at this girl,

Eyes penetrating through mine,

I saw tears on her ugly, bloated face.

For she was nothing like the girls on that little screen of hers.

Looking at her was too much.

I stepped back from the damned looking glass.


I am a freshman who is a competitive swimmer and who loves reading. In addition, I am artistic because I love to draw and paint. I am in Model UN club, Pre-Med and Ghostlight Theater club.

What motivated you to write this piece?

I was motivated to write this piece by inspiration from my past, mid-pandemic, self. COVID-19 increased many teenagers’ hours on social media, including mine. Social media can create standards for beauty that can be unrealistic or unhealthy, and many of these standards sadly fall into the eyes of many teenagers due to the upsurge in social media use. I speak from the heart of that 13-year-old girl who desperately wanted to look like every girl she saw on her phone and at a time when I was very insecure of myself because of these beauty standards pressured by social media.

Do you write sporadically or regularly?

I usually write pretty sporadically. Sometimes, I will feel a strong emotion that I want to get down on paper, even if it’s the middle of the night, and other times I won’t write for weeks.

What message do you hope to convey to the reader through your piece?

I hope to convey that no one is ever alone, and the pressure to live up to the standard isn’t an exclusive feeling. Beauty and perfection are subjective, and what may look odd in one person’s eye will look flawless in another’s.