Monday, November 19, 2012

My Life in Black and White by Natasha Friend

I have very crooked teeth. You will find few pictures of me smiling with my teeth showing, particularly when I was younger. I was ashamed of them. I could keep them mostly hidden if I kept my mouth closed. As much as physical appearance should not define who we are, it is an unavoidable fact that we are shaped by our outside and how it is perceived. I know my crooked teeth has affected who I am today.

For most of (soon to be sophomore) Lexi's life, she has been told how beautiful she is. Her mom hovers over her concerned about her boyfriends, her clothes and school dances. She dreams that Lexi could be a model. Even though Lexi has not let it go to her head, her beauty has certainly affected every aspect of her life from the way her friends feel about her (even if they don't express it) to her relationship with her older sister to the very types of food her mom allows her to eat. Lexi leads what many would call a charmed life.

And then it all goes away. At a late summer party, Lexi is in a car accident that scars her face forever. One small change that night might have spared Lexi the alteration of her face, but it was not to be. In addition to losing part of her face, she also lost her best friend Taylor and her boyfriend Ryan. They did not die in the accident, but caused Lexi to get so angry that she got in the car that night to leave the party.

So Lexi, who has been so defined by her looks, now hides her face behind hoods. Lexi feels like a freak. She says she will never forgive Taylor or Ryan for what they did. She cannot deal with her circle of friends who still hang out with Taylor. The rumors spread about what really happened that night.

At home, Lexi gets no slack from her sister who just wants Lexi to move on with her life. Her mother tries to pretend like Lexi's life has not changed - picking out dresses for dances and hoping that Ryan and Lexi can patch things up.

I sympathized with Lexi and her desire to never forgive her former friends. I felt for her when those around her failed to understand how difficult life had become. But there is also truth in what Lexi's sister says, too. Lexi must figure out how to adapt to all the changes in life. It was an interesting trip to take with Lexi as she healed, found her true inner self and discovered that beauty is more than just a perfect face.  

For more info, check out the Evergreen catalog and the author's site.




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