She leans over, her mouth wide and gaping. She lines the circumference of her lips in one fluid motion, flawless from years of practice. She flattens her hair until it’s glossy, sleek and straight. The young woman straps on her bra, tightening it until her breasts throb. She wiggles into her jeans, a repetitive little dance to get them up and over her hips. She’s worked tirelessly to fit into that size 24. She slips into her heels, one foot at a time. She slings her purse over her shoulder and reaches for her keys. As she turns to go, she catches a glimpse of herself in the mirror. She stops for a second and turns to face her reflection. She sees years of judgments staring back at her, projections of societal illusions. She has starved, bleached, tweezed, bronzed, moisturized and manicured. Her love is conditional, dependent on acceptance and validation. Relentlessly in pursuit of perfection, she has been chasing an elusive carrot, always just slightly out of reach. Not yet sunrise, this is just the first of many battles. She turns to leave. The weight of her world rests on her pretty, slender shoulders.