Check-out line at the grocery store,
Walk the gauntlet of beauty.
Flawless fresh faces glaring from every glossy cover.
Ten ways to look beautiful like me.
She has perfect breasts in a perfect dress.
Double-sided tape works wonders.
Get that hourglass silhouette:
Go on a diet and/or install Photoshop.
Emerald is the color of the year.
It hangs in my closet, the badge of the trendy.
Did I really like that shirt?
Or was it elected for me,
By the Editor-in-Chief of Cosmo
And Vogue’s cover model.
Damn, that photographer must have been good
To make me want to see a star’s face in the mirror.
At twenty-one it’s annoying.
It hurts but we understand the illusion.
At twelve it’s an atrocity.
She defines “pretty” by comparison.
Remind her that lipstick is never long-wearing.
That perfect dress is hard to breathe in.
“These heels are comfortable,” is always a lie.
Tell her it took a trained team of professional
Make-up artists wielding brushes
Hair stylists manipulating heat
Photographers bending lights
And designers sewing miracles
To tailor that perfect dress
Paint that flawless face.
Create that dazzling monster
That stares and smiles in the check-out line.
I sent my daughter to pick up milk and bread.
It was her first time making a purchase on her own.
I watched her face as she walked the gauntlet.
She paid for the milk and bought the atrocity.