A Beautiful Girl
November 25, 2015
A beautiful girl moves from fluid to air, and takes her very first breath.
She has arrived safely, and is perfectly her, in every way.
She has made her Mommy and Daddy so happy; finally something between them, that feels permanent.
She was worshiped and loved, before she even came. More than just a caterpillar forming wings. She is the Universe itself, replaying expansive tendencies, one Big Bang at a time.
This is its life, starting just like hers, innocently enough.
Tiny, with your eyes, lips, and heart. Mommy is glued to her, a missing part that has finally been nuzzled into place. The beautiful girl begins to look at her, drinking her in.
Mommy is her God, there at the beginning.
She coos, and grunts and babbles, in mouthfuls that translate primitive emotions. The Pangaea of consciousness slowly compartmentalizing; as she rehearses the soundtrack of the animal kingdom, preparing to be human.
She soon has pink and purple preferences, coloring small plastic companions. Barbies, Ballerinas and Princesses start to clone in Holiday clusters. Her make-believe becoming more magical, as her mind frolics in rosy fields, of corporate interests and imagination.
Female Royalty soon starts to notice Princes; so smooth, yet capable of so much friction.
She starts to notice the crowded competition. So many beautiful dresses, lovely names, and pretty faces. So many Princesses, for the one Prince to choose from.
And then Mommy and Daddy don’t love each other anymore, and Daddy moves far away, to the ‘Great Apartment’, near the intersection of Join and Separate.
And they smile more at her, but don’t seem as happy.
And playing alone, she begins to wander darker peripheries, away from sunny fields. She searches for self-worth, rummaging through pockets looking for the loose change of children’s wisdom.
How can she decide how to decide.
What is most important to the Prince. Is it long flowing hair? A pretty face, or dress? But they all look so good, they are all wonderful in their own way.
How can her parties look so delightful, but make her feel so out of control.
It feels not like the way it is supposed to. Awkward, like a sentence, poorly constructed, but one you have to keep reading to yourself.
And even though she is moved back and forth, from the house with her bedroom, to the apartment without, it follows her.
And it follows her to school, and at night.
That question. What does the Prince want most of all. What could make him love her?
Her Mom takes her shopping, and is kind and loving. At the checkout, she reads the headline, and it all makes sense.
‘Lose 10 pounds in 2 weeks, and even Prince Charming will fall in love with you!’.
Finally someone tells her, what she has to do.
Leaving the fantasy of that former life, and her old friends, she makes new ones, out of hunger and numbers.
The numbers start to appear everywhere. The clock reminds her, ticking between meals. The sides of boxes and cans mock her, telling her what she can’t have. And when she looks down, especially in the bathroom, she always finds out how strong she hasn’t been.
The numbers can talk to her, in a language that finally makes sense.
The ones with straight edges become her preference; pretty stick ballerinas staying in a perfect position.
Her favorites are:
They are the ones with the best posture.
They can keep it in check, and teach her how to be safe. They look so tight and controlled. The curves on the fat numbers starts to seem grotesque. She needs it flat, curves just start crowding everything.
She hears whispers, and can guess the rest. She isn’t the freak, she screams in her head. She’s the only one that notices, it’s the mirrors that are distorted.
It is all so warped to her, even though the reflection is clear.
She can forgive herself, if she wasn’t strong enough to resist that day. But she still needs to atone.
Chasing her last binge with 3 fingers, makes her feel like she means it.
It lets her puke up all the bad stuff, a past that needs undoing.
She can go back to the beginning; before numbers, before Princes.
When there was just her and Mommy.
She asks Mommy, but she is too worried to help.
She asks Daddy, but he just asks about Mommy, again.
She asks herself, but it echoes back to her.
She is empty, but knows you can always get rid of more.
So she pushes herself a bit deeper, just to make sure.
Simon Trepel, MD
Simon Trepel, MD FRCPC, is a practicing Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist, in Winnipeg, Canada. He is an Assistant Professor, at the University Of Manitoba, in the Faculty of Medicine, and the Co-founder of the GDAAY Clinic. He is, more importantly, the proud Father of 2 beautiful Daughters. He writes in his spare time about things he knows something about, and occasionally about things he doesn’t; like Yoga, and Italian flavored coffees. He thanks Elissa Vann Struth, for inspiring him to write this, after he read her better short story, A Little Bit Of A Good Thing.
Check out his Blog, called Simon Says Psych Stuff, at