When I was young, I was brilliant. I ate up books with words I did not know and delved into worlds of fantasy not previously seen. I solved for x in the second grade with easy addition and subtraction and history was always a story with intriguing details. When I grew up, I was smart. I helped others understand materials that threw obstacles I alone could dodge, and the closest I had ever come to straight A’s fell just short with one B over a forgotten string of homework assignments. When I got here, I became average. Tripping at difficulties, losing the meaning to words I used to know, answers to problems I would not understand or use eluded me. History became more about the numbers than the story. That’s not how it’s supposed to work. I am older now and must be wiser so how am I so much dimmer? I hated sports, I was never any good at them. Not like the other kids whose parents put them in leagues by the age of three so when they got here they would surely be the best. I wasn’t quick enough for soccer, I couldn’t catch anything faster than a hacky sack lazily kicked across the schoolyard, and I was far too clumsy for any sort of dance. I was too short, too round, and always picked last When finally my body began to show it’s true athletic brilliance, I was too late to compete with those I stood beside. I suffer in silence with the fact they can carry more run faster, and outlast me in nearly every task. I have nothing physical to show for myself as my waistline remains the same and my arms stay thick. A thigh gap will never appear no – no matter how many weight plates I can load on to the bar. Let it be known that I can now carry any person in this room but my psych is fragile and as thin as the paper I read from. When plotted on a graph the years I gained in life and my ability to cope with it related themselves inversely to an almost perfect ratio. I’ve always been a sort of pretty. Facial features and colors of the lightest shades were arranged in a way to make me appear just prettier than I felt. Because I’ve learned to hate myself. I’ve learned to hate the way my hair falls around my face, how my shoulders shake with laughter, and how my feet beat out the rhythm to my favorite song. [Stamping feet] Nothing I can do to my body will ever please me, nothing. I know this I know this is my last salvation I am not smart and I am not strong so maybe I could be pretty but no. So I’m angry with myself. Why Couldn’t I have darker freckles? Why couldn’t I have whiter teeth? Why couldn’t I have clearer skin or a slimmer waist or bluer eyes? Maybe if it wasn’t me, people would think I’m beautiful No one calls muscles ugly. No one calls bones fat and organs don’t cry. I want to rip my frizzy, half curled hair out. I want to tear chunks of fat from my body where it isn’t wanted and cast them away with the feelings of disgust at my own body. If I did claw off my belly, my thighs, my arms; f I burned my hair and never cut my nails; if I used that bloody mess that remained o stain my lips redder than thought possible maybe then I could warrant a second glance. I am not remarkable; I am average and I am not enough. I search for help, beg for it even, but no one can stand to look at how stupid, how weak, how ugly, I am. And I am, because I am not what I should be. I should be pretty, but I’ve learned to hate what I see in the mirror, because from the inside looking out I think on how no one can see the love on my lips or the comets in my eye She should be happy, she should be flirty, she should be popular She should be perfect. I should be tough, but I’ve learned everyone wants something that I am eager to give, because the world is already such an awful place and it is no right of mine to make it any worse. She should be fit, should be kind, she should be selfless. She should, be perfect. I should be smart, but I’ve learned intelligence doesn’t matter when I hate what I see when I look down on myself. She should be thin she should be sexy she should be brilliant She. Should. Be. Perfect. I should be a prize I am sorry that I am worthless. [Applause]