The Model and the Mirror

A short story that I had to write for literature class…We had to make up a story that had a positive moral to the story and then restate our moral at the end. I decided to write about some of the struggles girls have every day, because of the media pressure to be perfect

Jess was sprawled on her bed flipping through a magazine when she came to a particular page: an advertisement. A model with perfect skin, perfect hair, perfect body shape and weight smiled on the page, posed in a bathing suit with a perfect tan. Jess stared at the picture advertisement, hating that she was still looking at it. She just couldn’t seem to flip the page and ignore the perfect image.
Jess sat up, groaning as she kept her eyes fixed on the picture. If only I could look like that! Jess thought, sighing, and wishing she was different. Flinging the magazine down on the bed, Jess looked at herself in the mirror. Her chocolate brown hair came past her shoulders and her eyes sparkled when she smiled. Jess wasn’t overweight, but to her, the image staring back at her in the mirror was distorted and ugly. Ugh was the only thought Jess had when she looked at her reflection.
“Day twenty of working out daily and this is what I have to show for it?” Jess said aloud to herself, annoyed and daunted. Although denouncing her appearance didn’t help the situation at all, Jess complained about her looks almost daily. It helped her release the feelings she had almost constantly.
Why can’t I just look like that? Jess looked at the picture of the skinny model again. Somewhere in Jess’ mind, she knew that the picture was fallacious, fickle, and photo-shopped, but that didn’t seem to have any value when Jess Fervor compared herself to thin people. Suddenly, there was a knock on the door and Jess’ older sister, Regan, walked in.
“What are you doing, Jess?” Regan asked, crossing her arms after observing Jess alternate between staring at the model and staring at herself in the mirror.
Sighing, Jess flipped the magazine shut as she replied, gesturing to her reflection in the mirror. “It’s not fair that I look like this when that model can so easily strut around looking perfect all the time.” She slumped on her bed again as Regan sat down next to her.
“Girl, you should know by now not to compare yourself to models. Don’t you remember Lauren last year?” Regan questioned, lying back on a purple pillow as her blonde hair sprawled around her.
Of course Jess remembered Lauren Willow. Lauren had gone to school with her and been her closest friend since third grade. Lauren had been diagnosed with anorexia and sent to the hospital to try and feel better last summer. To Jess, Lauren was a genial person with a jubilant outlook on life. Nobody knew Lauren felt emotionally distressed; throwing her food away when no one was looking. Jess’ heart ached for Lauren, who had then been sent to rehab in Pennsylvania—three hours away—for almost a year.
Jess winced and nodded. “Yeah, Reg, I know. But that was Lauren’s mistake! She had a great life and was in great shape and everything, yet she still wanted to be different. That’s not like me at all! Look at me,” Jess stood up, facing the mirror again. “I don’t look anything like the models in the magazines. At all!”
“But don’t you see, Jess?” Regan replied, sitting up and helped Jess sit back down on the bed. “Lauren felt the same way. She didn’t think she was good enough, either. That’s what got her in the hospital in the first place. She tried so desperately to be good enough, just like the models; when in reality, models don’t even look like that in real life. There’s more to life then looks, Jess. You have a great personality. You’re funny, you’re smart, and your effervescence is contagious. Plus, your love for God is inspiring.” Regan smiled, hoping that her logic was starting to make sense to her younger sister.
Sighing, Jess nodded. “I know, Reg, I know. I just don’t know what to do when I feel like this, you know? When I feel worthless compared to models or—”
Regan interrupted her. “Where’s your Bible?” She asked.
“Why? The Bible doesn’t have anything to say about models! I doubt models even existed back then!” Jess exclaimed, frustrated.
“Just hand me your Bible, please,” Regan said patiently, holding her hand out to take it when Jess handed it to her.
Regan flipped through pages until she came to the one she was looking for. “Ahh here, it is: Proverbs 31:30. Do you know what it says?” Regan asked. Jess shook her head no and Regan continued. “It says: ‘Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting but a woman who fears the Lord should be praise.’ That basically means that beauty isn’t going to last for long, but someone who loves the Lord will last because their beauty is coming from God.”
“Wow, I never knew that was in the Bible,” Jess commented, truly amazed. “Does it say anything else?”
Regan shook her head and flipped to another page. “1 Peter 3:3 through 4 says, ‘Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and find clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.’”
Jess smiled. “I never knew God wrote about that in the Bible. That’s so cool! It just makes me realize that He cares about me so much to have that written in his book, because He knew I would need it today. Thanks, Reg. You’re the best.” Jess hugged her sister tightly.
After Regan left the room a few minutes later, Jess looked at herself in the mirror again. Looking at the picture of the model in the magazine, she tore it into tiny pieces and smiled at herself in the mirror. “I am God’s creation. I should never compare myself to others, because God made me as me.”
The moral of the story is to never compare yourself to others, because beauty will pass. God created each of us perfectly the way He wanted us to be. We should never want to change that.


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