AUGUST 20, 2004 (FRIDAY)
You find it rather odd to not be able to recognize yourself in the mirror, as if someone else had taken the basic features of your face, cleaned up the lines, and put in some color. You hardly find it comfortable that your facial muscles are now bound by powder and rouge and glitter, as if you are now a mere caricature of yourself. You look at the pictures on the computer and you wonder why you look the way you do – somehow, you are always prettier when by yourself, gazing at the mirror. The camera can’t seem to quite capture your smile, and you find yourself suddenly shy and unable to move, like a small animal caught in the headlights of an oncoming car. You breathe a sigh of relief when it’s all over, and you can finally wash everything away from your face: all traces of pretensions, that fake smile. You fold your clothes neatly inside your bag, and walk out of the ladies’ bathroom with your head high – you know that, despite all superficialities and human weaknesses, you can still be beautiful.