TOPIC: HOW SOCIETY AFFECTS PERCEPTIONS OF BEAUTY
The modest morning light seeped gently through her lacy curtains. She stood there, in the fluttering frothy fabric peering, as she did every morning at the first stirring of morning when the street was just coming alive again, from being dead with the early hours of morning.
It was then she saw them, the soldiers, their laughter was as foreign and fascinating to her as their shining yellow hair. Their pale skin, almost transparent in the morning light, was reminiscent of the mysterious man in a picture sitting on her coffee table downstairs, a dead white father whose name she did not know, and who had never bothered to claim her.
She fidgeted in her uniform. Her skirt was stiff from the starch her mother had used and her hair wrestled into a bun, and a ribbon knotted at its centre. She half ran to Irine’s room where she sat perched as she always was at her vanity religiously admiring herself. In that moment she hated her sister, because though they shared the same face; the same almond shaped eyes, the same long straight European nose, the round curved mouth and oval face; Irine’s skin was almost as pale and iridescent as the soldiers’. It suited her delicate, elegant features and in her almost womanhood her beauty was more refined and pronounced. It was beauty that was fully conscious and aware of itself, and it showed in the way her chin lifted and in the way she peered at the rest of the world out of the corner of her eye, as though she was only half-interested in the things going on outside of herself. Ameka felt the usual shrinking whenever she was around her sister, because her loveliness expanded and stifled anything else in its presence, including Ameka.
“Irine, mommy say yuh hadda drop mih tuh school, eh.” She said, louder than she needed to. The jealousy felt new and was hard to conceal. Irine spun around, her thick curly locks whipped in a...
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