Hazelnut Creamer Helps See Through the Personal Mirror

Trigger Warning: Eating Disorders

by KARA ALLEN, CSU Public Relations Assistant

This week I am once again exercising the opportunity to give voices to others through writing. This week specifically: giving a voice to those who struggle with body dysmorphia and insecurity. The little losses throughout the day and the struggles that are found deeper than stepping on a scale. This is “Hazelnut Creamer”.

A jump and a wiggle and my ribs jet out as I suck in. 
The zipper eventually gives in to my encouragement and closes.
Was it the dryer? Or was it my second helping of dinner last night?

I throw on my favorite black button-down with a gold belt and matching earrings. 
I shove the clothes off of my desk chair and sit down to look in the mirror
But my outfit doesn’t pass the sitting test. My lower belly is making an appearance. 

My hair is frizzy so I take off my once favorite outfit and head downstairs, 
But the bathroom mirror is large and honest and too brightly lit.
I don’t want to embarrass myself. So I close my eyes and take off my towel.

I walk into my roommate’s closet to find a big sweater of hers to hide my stomach.
But the waterfall of the knitted wool that caresses the toned structure of her midsection makes me feel like a walking pumpkin,
So I return the sweater to her closet as I zip up an XL jacket that I’ll sweat through all day.

The masks are my new best friend as I only have to worry about people seeing half of my face. 
I head down to the coffee shop to drink down some ambition,
But the hazelnut creamer adds calories; not flavor. So I take my coffee black.

I make it through my busiest day of the week. I’m exhausted. 
My friends see the bags under my eyes and say, “let’s go get dinner. Our treat.”
I resent them for their generosity as I resent the calories in the food they offer me. 

The man in the shoe store that called me beautiful.
The lady at church that called me a doll.
The drunken group that hollered at me on the sidewalk. 
The boy that said he’d never seen anything like me.
My father who called me perfect. 

They must say it to alter their status of rights and wrongs. To accommodate the less fortunate. 
They tell me I’m crazy and that I’m blind. To stop feeding into the lies of my mirror.
And I know they’re right and my perception is wrong.

So today, I’ll try again to wipe the mirror and look at a piece of myself through the steam
With frizzy hair and a black button down 
And some coffee with hazelnut creamer.

Kara Allen is a CSU Public Relations Assistant and is currently a Senior studying Communications at Minnesota State Mankato. Kara is from Grand Rapids, MN and has grown up loving to write in her free time; finding the hidden idiosyncrasies within herself through the writing. She plans on pursuing a career in Public Relations for the U.S. Army and continuing on with writing for enjoyment.


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