Word Of Warning- from a series of monologues about Addiction
Hello. Clears her voice.My name is Opal Marks. Beat. How old are most of you in here? Thirteen, fourteen? Yes, I figured as much. I am seventeen years old. I have a mom and a dad, and three siblings. One is older, her name is Mary-Kate, she is 21, the other two are younger, Sam and Kevin, they’re twins and they just turned eight. Beat. I’m here to talk to you all today because I’ve come to the sudden realization that I need to stop the same mistake from happening twice.
Look, I know how it is in school. You want to be the prettiest, the smartest, the coolest, the one every girl is jealous of. Everyone wants the same thing. Why does someone always need to be on top? I know how mean girls can be. I was in seventh grade, the coolest girl in my class one day just started to completely ignore me, and because she was, all of her other little friends ignored me also. I was so confused, I didn’t understand what I did wrong. Later that night I was on my computer chatting on AIM, I know most of you here are familiar with it… also known as instant messaging. I IM’ed this girl, and told her I didn’t know why she was ignoring me, but if I did anything wrong I was very, very sorry and that I hoped she would forgive me. She told me that she didn’t want to be friends anymore. That was it. I begged, and pleaded with her to change her mind. I was absolutely hysterical that night. My parents tried to help me, telling me that she had no reason to not want to be my friend. They were furious as well, I remember my mom saying, “Who gave her the right to be queen bee?”
That experience really put me down. The internet is a frightening place. People can harass you through multiple websites, because they know it’s anonymous. You can’t take anything people say anonymously to heart because it means that they’re insecure about themselves and think it makes them feel better when they put you down. I know things like that can really lower your confidence. I let it hurt me, repeatedly. If I could ask you to do one thing, please…please, don’t put anyone in a situation like that, and if you see it happening, don’t be a follower. Be the person who stands by their friend in a time of need, because the day that you need a friend, they will be there too.
I live here, in this building. This building of white painted brick walls, tiled bland floors, same old cafeteria food. There are no sharp corners. There are hall monitors and cameras everywhere. I need this place. None of you… need this place. I hope you never do. When I grew up, everywhere I looked there were photos of beautiful women in bathing suits with ridiculously gorgeous bodies and perfect hair, ideal white teeth, everything about them was just the RIGHT thing. Why didn’t I have the right thing? Why? Because it’s not real. That’s what I want to try to get across to you all today. I have suffered greatly in my life because of the own hell I was putting myself through. You don’t need to do that to yourself, please…please, don’t make the same mistake I did. When I was thirteen years old I went to a Victoria’s Secret runway show with my mother and sister. After watching all the glamorous, perfectly sculpted bodies I felt sick to my stomach. That sick feeling has never gone away. In fact, it’s still here, as we speak. But I have learned to ignore it as best I can. Because that first night, I went home and forced myself to throw up. I don’t mean to scare any of you, I just want for you what I couldn’t overcome for myself.
I know those images are still everywhere you look, and I know each and every one of you has stood in front of a mirror and thought badly of yourself just because you weren’t getting the reflection of that runway model back at you. You need to understand that your bodies are perfect the way they are. I’ve been here now for four years, and some days…I still can’t admit that my body is perfect in its own way. If I could just make a quick run to the bathroom every once in a while after a meal…(she trails off).(Urgent, loud, and frustrated) It’s NO life. Please. Talk to your parents, talk to a teacher, talk to EACH OTHER. Make each other understand that we all have insecurities and flaws. But you need to remember that we all have things that are amazing about us too, perfect parts of us that those models and famous stars do not have. You never know, maybe Angelina Jolie is a real bitch. She smiles.
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