Author Note: There are those in this world who believe they’re entitled to see beauty all around them. The problem is beauty is in the eye of the beholder and sometimes its a person. We should see beauty within and without as one. A doll is not real and it shouldn’t be wished so by others.
People envy my life. I travel to exotic locations, meet interesting people and see the world.
My image is on billboards, magazines and all over the internet. But it’s not me; it’s a doll living a false fantasy in a fake sphere.
Just like the plastic Barbie doll I used to play with, I wear the clothes they give me and my hair and makeup is styled the way they want. Poseable in any direction, my arms, legs, head, eyes, smile and body are commanded and controlled by whoever is pointing a camera or shouting orders.
“Turn that way, look this way, feel it” they say.
It’s a job I chose, but it’s not who I am.
When people call me beautiful and applaud my outward façade, I cringe. I’m supposed to be gratified that they’re complimenting me. But it’s not real. It’s not me. That doll is only alive in the picture.
Beauty is an artificial image no one can uphold. And it’s a box that constrains and labels to fit neatly into societal reflections seen thru the lens of subjective perfection. It may be in the eye of the beholder, but it’s often unseen by the person within and can never live up to the taste of each person within its view.
I’ve seen vitriol thrown at fellow models who don’t fit the mold some people conjure in their mind. But they look like everyday people on the streets who buy the clothes and products. People don’t see us, only a doll.
No one really sees me. They see what they want in the pages of the magazine. A realized vision of their own making put on a pedestal to objectify and revere.
My outside doll. An empty shell.
But beyond the airbrush, makeup, clothes, hair and all the trappings, inside it’s just me. When I wake in the morning and go to bed at night, when everything is scraped off and removed – in the mirror, I see me.
For years, I struggled to find who I am, separate from the doll they see. But now each day I look at me. I’m full of thoughts, emotions and faults clear of the restraints of my physical form.
I’m not a tool to embody unrequited desires not achieved. And it doesn’t matter what anyone thinks I should be.
The doll is a casing that I discard when the job is done. Afterward, without the doll, I can be me. The me inside. And I’m enough.
(c) Suzanne Rudd Hamilton 2022