But you just sit there and stare at their ask box thinking, “They’re too good for me”
Maggie has a severe cold and conjunctivitis (pink eye) in both eyes.
Maggie still has to go to class tomorrow; Maggie wants to sit next to Joe in her stats class tomorrow, because she kind of likes him, but she probably won’t because she doesn’t want Joe to see how gross she looks when she’s sick; also, Maggie isn’t allowed to wear eye makeup for the rest of the week, and Maggie feels that she isn’t even remotely attractive if she’s not wearing eye makeup.
It’s kind of sad, really, how Maggie thinks that she’ll lose any chances she has with Joe if he sees her when she’s sick because, really, Maggie’s only human. She has the right to get sick every once in a while. [Though Maggie gets sick more than once in a while because her immune system sucks.]
Maggie could easily blame society or the media for her lack of self esteem. But when it comes right down to it, society didn’t do this, the media had very little part in it. People did this. People who always told Maggie she wasn’t good enough or pretty enough or skinny enough or just not as pretty as everyone else around her, not attractive enough for anyone to pay her any mind or listen to what she has to say.
So now Maggie honestly believes that if she doesn’t go out looking like this every day
if not better, she may as well not go out at all because no one will even notice she’s there, except maybe to wonder who the ugly person sitting in the corner is. And even if she is all made up, Maggie still doesn’t think it’s enough, because makeup doesn’t cover up the ugly, it enhances what you already have, and when you don’t have much in the first place, well.
And when you go on for so long believing that your own face is a problem, it only goes downhill from there, because you start to realize that everything about you is a problem. You start to realize that you’re not interesting enough to keep anyone’s attention, not talented enough to ever really accomplish anything, not graceful enough to keep from embarrassing yourself on a daily basis, and nothing you do will ever be good enough because you’re good enough.
This is why Maggie doesn’t go out to meet new people; it’s why she has such a hard time making friends; it’s why she’s so afraid of social interaction; it’s why she’ll never initiate contact with anyone she doesn’t already know; it’s why she’ll never talk to that guy she’s been pining over since she was 14; it’s why she’ll always let people hurt her and she’ll never stand up for herself; it’s why she spends so much of her time hiding behind her laptop and watching life pass her by, because online she’s articulate and funny and smart and interesting, but in person she’s awkward and terrified of people and never knows the right thing to say and has trouble looking people in the eye.
And it’s why she won’t sit next to Joe in class tomorrow, no matter how much she likes him and wants to talk to him, because if she’s not good enough on a regular day, she sure as hell isn’t good enough when she’s sick. Instead she’ll sit on the other side of the room and watch him from afar and imagine a different world where she doesn’t have to try so hard just to end up being mediocre, and Joe would actually notice that she’s there.
People did this to Maggie; or rather, people made Maggie do this to herself.
So the next time you blame the media for distorting our society’s definition of beauty, stop and think, instead, of how the words and actions of individuals in our day to day lives do way more damage than the media ever could.
You’re probably going to ignore this, but that’s okay, because Maggie is used to being ignored; that’s another thing people did.