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The Standard of Perfection

by Danya Do

She was perfect. Bound by beauty, polished joints, and a painted face. Perfect. Glossy green drawn on eyes with a tiny, meticulously crafted nose. Perfect. Delicate rosy cheeks - really being stains of red smeared on her face - and bright white porcelain glass for skin. Perfect. Dainty hands, tiny waist. Perfect. A lacy black dress, the textured folds adorning her “figure” as flowers accessorized her luscious, lengthy, hair. It was fake, so, so fake, but…perfect. The personification, the epitome, of perfect. An object, tossed around for pleasure; the pleasure never being hers.

She was always scheduled for a dance. A never-ending arrangement of her limbs in ways that showed her as unnaturally stiff. An audience always sat to commemorate her poised grace and plastered smile, one that mainly consisted of men. Their hungry eyes transfixed on her form. Searching for what, she did not know. But she was inanimate, her opinions did not matter even if they existed; a product for the entertainment and boredom of those who did not care. And why would they? She was just a doll. Too exquisite. Too plastic. Too easily appeased, a people pleaser. Too much, too little. Why was her skirt so long? Why so short? Were her sculpted lips not plump enough? Was her bust not shown enough, not covered enough? A doll they said, and she was tottering on the tightrope of expectations her femininity paved for her. Laying her bare to dress in different fabrics of opinions. She was stuck in a spiral of terror. Prodded and groped at, they said they were fixing her, that she needed fixing, but did she? Was she not perfect? Did she not amount to something other than a price tag? To anything more than the green paper she was worth? She needed closure, she needed love, needed something, anything, needed, needed, need-


Tattered. Tossed away into the dank, welcoming arms of trash.


Those aged years of glorified trauma, of ceaselessly molding herself to their desires, only amounted to this. What a joke. Huddled amongst filth, she could hear them. Her tormentors. Chattering about that green paper, the thing she didn’t make enough of. Grumblings about how she was a waste of resources, lamenting the days of popularity she once owned. She had made a name for them in their egotistic corporation world and climbed their social ladder for them single-handedly. Yet, she had no name for herself. She was disposable, and she realized this. She felt her dimmed and cloudy conscious flare with the rage hidden within the plastic she was made of. They had cast her away, leaving her to rot in a violent, shaking wrath that spread and seeped into her porcelain white skin, her lacy black dress, and her dainty hands. It was like tar. A pot that finally boiled over, bubbling up to her plump lips, delicate nose, and luscious hair. The perfect doll took full rein of the thing that made humans imperfect: emotions.

On that fateful Halloween day, she hoisted up her unbalanced body. She used her squeaky joints to carefully, disbelievingly, touch her tarnished face. To brush down the dirtied fabric of her finery. To walk. Walk, walk, walk. Her steps were staggering, reaching for the lighter across from her in the dumpster of mistakes she was branded as. It still had leftover fuel, the residue of another mistake they had made dripping on her hand. She had smiled with what little flexibility her cemented face allowed her, and watched as the building she lit crumbled, the bright flames emitting a harsh light against the hazed gloom of the night.

Their screams still rang in her ears, a screeching melody to accompany the euphoria she felt of her first mass murder. It was perfect. Just like her.


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