warped

To see your body, differently, in the way you experience it is disorientating at the least.

I walk through school hallways, my limbs feeling tangled and my arms absurdly long as I attempt to put one foot in front of the other in a clear, definitive manner. My thin hair feels like string and grease as it slides weightlessly yet heavily over my face despite having washed it the night before. My jaw is clenched and hands firmly remain in the pockets of a long grey coat that falls down to just upwards of the inside of my knees. My skin did not look too bad in the small mirror by my bedside that morning and my eyebrows appeared dark and obedient. My lips pink and my eyes massively circular.

I pass people of all different walks of life. Small and tall, pretty and plain, striking and strange, painted and pure. Ones that smell of cigarettes, deodorant, sweet perfume, sour perfume and chemicals. The thin girls with the good postures and the neatly tucked in shirts pass by, walking without staring at their feet and laughing even and open-mouthed amongst friends. I walk between many of my classes independently, none of my friends possessing an identical timetable of subjects, which gives me time to observe, to think, a paper-thin attempt to justify. I see them and I walk by and I know, they do not feel clumsy.

I am quite thin but I stand funny and feel heavy, with long arms and strangely circular, blue eyes. A small curved nose that is spherical at the end and an awkward walk, a puffed bottom lip and an even grin. Wrists with pointy bones, a fluffy uneven hairline, clumsy fumbling fingers.  I smell of nothing in particular but I feel slightly sweaty and unnerved. This was what I saw in the mirror, what I saw with my eyes and senses.

Through the eyes of my friends, their cameras and double mirrors I was told differently. I am thin and light with long arms and long, long legs. My eyes are blue and somewhat slanted above bruised bags, in the centre fits a small, arced nose. My walk is cautious and consistent of small, careful steps in big, heavy boots and I have pointy bones. Pointy bones in my wrists and collarbones and elbows and shoulder blades. My grin is crooked. I smell of something sweet but they don’t know what.

I do not feel like any of these things.

My mind tricks me and my frustration grows and my slanted eyes narrow and I do not know who I am.

A body dysphoria of everything from my manner to my walk, from my nose to my talk. I save every photo I infrequently appear in, I stare at them and try to figure out why I do not feel the way I look and I why I do not look the way I feel. The person I am stuck with the most fascinates me and disgusts me in equal measure.

A lock of thin hair slides across my shoulder, the picture shows my parting looking like a zig-zag instead of the neat, straight line I saw. My head is an odd shape. I thought I knew what category I belonged in, what league, what level. My eyes look like they are different sizes, my hands look smaller than I thought.

My warped vision looks away bemusedly after passing the thin girls in the hallway and guides its way through the weaving, chattering walks of life through the veil of circus mirrors. Never knowing, never understanding, never truly seeing.

Eilidh.

 

A complex complexion

I am pink and pale. My hands and feet turn a worrying, mottled mixture of blue and purple as soon as the temperature drops ever so slightly. I have paper-thin skin which flushes extremely easy, causing me to be an open book of emotion and no exercise. I am speckled with acne all over my chin, sloping down each side of both cheeks, crossing my upper lip and flecked sparsely upon my forehead. A lightly tanned mole is jammed under my left eye causing it to crinkle funny and my features are drowned in endless freckles, the type you have no hope in hell counting.

These are a few of the things that cause the issues I have with my skin. I type this as I gaze down at the thousands of freckles smattering my lanky, milk-bottle arms. I would also like to point out that I am not the pretty kind of pale.

I am not an elegant and blemish-free faerie queen from mythical lands or a strikingly, beautiful model that looks simultaneously like they have not slept in days. My face blossoms red, particularly my nose, in the slightest cold temperature, my freckles blend so much they look like dried dirt upon my features. My lips are generally quite pale and almost always end up matching the tone of the surrounding skin. My under-eyes are so purple I am often asked whether I sleep enough or even if I had been in a fight, no matter what I do they won’t go away. My acne stings.

Many of these were reasons for my reluctance to go on holiday. I come from the highlands of Scotland, a place of stunning views, reluctant sunlight and cool temperatures. Due to such temperatures I have the advantage of wrapping up, drowning my body in coats and jackets, jumpers and long-sleeved tops. Whereas in the warmer climates of the Channel Islands between England and France, I knew I would lose my advantage. I was also aware that I would be in a hotel with a nice pool and spa facilities, a pool I would be forced to go in. A day out to the city alongside my friends achieved myself a bikini and a few spoonfuls of anxiety.

There were absolute bloody models at the hotel when I arrived. Tall blonde girls with endless legs, clear, tanned skin and bikini bottoms that showed their whole arse. I could only imagine they were some kind of Swedish models, whereas I see myself as a speckley, freckley brunette with a bad posture and similar attitude. However in I came in a ropey, white bikini from H&M blanketed up by the hotel owned dressing gowns that smelt pretentiously of lavender. Pale, pink body and all. A second however includes that as they frolicked and giggled with open, pearly toothed grins in the cerulean water, I lay upon the chairs, huddled up with my copy of ‘Lolita,’ pages wrinkled from the chlorine air. I studied H.Humbert’s obsessive description of ‘Lo’, almost matching each detail with the girls. I suppose I am not a 40-something year old’s type. Shame.

I typed this out without proof-reading so please don’t shoot me for mistakes,

I am already a mistake enough,

Just kidding,

Eilidh