That dress.

I just had a dinner with my secondary school teacher 3 days ago. She mentioned about the graduation dinner 2 years ago after we finished our public exams, and said she thinks I looked pretty. Two years ago, I was black haired, had no idea in dressing or making up, don’t go out with friends as frequent as I am now, and was so lost in what I’m going to be in the future. I’ve accumulated experiences and age and dark eye-circles, but at my core, am I the same person I was just a fresh grad?The time when I finished my public exams, I noticed there was just one month left to my graduation dinner. I stopped eating too much, stopped wasting all my time in playing games or chilling. Instead, I started to work out (tho didn’t do much), paying attention to what others dressed to their grad din, trying to discover more make up tools, and discussing with my friends about what to prepare for the dinner (apart from filming a video to show that night).

I whatsapped my friend Jlin to find a day when we could hunt for our outfits for graduation dinner.

“Yo when do we go shopping?”

“Oh i already got my outfit last time when i was shopping with mom.”

“Wut?! What about me!”

“Dont worry, i’ll still go out with you to search for yours!”

“wow thanks! you really need to help me in picking my outfit!”

“sure see you later”

—–

That day, I went through numerous shops, trying to pick a top and a dress which I thought could not ever go any wrong or possibly look weird as long as they stay plain and dark in colour. I found a top which is all black, with a little bit of see-through by the arms. For the dress I walked into so many shops, and finally discovered one wasn’t fancy, nor outstanding, it didn’t match my shoes. But it fit the bill of “a dress that isn’t awkward or crashing the other colours on my body”.

—–

Five minutes later, I walked out of the fitting-room and showed the selfie to Jlin.

“So…how do you think?”

“Yeah! I think it looks good on you, it’s going to work!”

“Really? You think so? I really like this too!”

“This is the one.”

Then I proceed to the cashier and purchased the dress.

I found a blue jewellery necklace and some shimmery bracelets in “Accessorize” which I could just manage to afford and a red lipstick at the make up store.

The graduation dinner was only one day away but it felt like eternity. I couldn’t wait to wear that dress again. I couldn’t wait to feel pretty again.

—–

In that afternoon before going to the dinner, I got dressed with the clothes I bought earlier, wore the necklace, put on the dark blue nail polish and bracelets. I called my friend Angelina 30 mins earlier before I set off to help me with my make up. She applied some base, BB cream, bronzer, and all over my entire face and mascara on my eyelashes. I brushed my hair smoothly and put it in place – 70% of the front to the left and 30% to the right, and a little bit on my chest and rest of it behind me. She nodded satisfyingly to me with a smile. Shockingly, I looked…pretty?

I walked out of my room towards my mom with her brows raised and smiled wordlessly said it — I looked different, but pretty.

“mom how do i look?”

“wow you look great!”

“really? how do i look?”

“you look so good!”

“really? do i look awkward?”

“no you dont, you look pretty!”

“really”

“oh yea!”

I took a selfie to my penpals back then (yeah we whatsapp too), they said I did look on point. I had turned potatoes into potato chips, I felt pretty.

Imagine a girl having such low-esteem, never talks about her appearance, never got dressed properly, never put make up on for formal nights, and never ever tried to be “beautiful”, even though it was just for that one night, makes you think you’re different, special, and appealing, as an ordinary girl.

 

When I arrived, I walked through the hall like I was in the “Billie Jean” music video, the floor lighting up every time I took a step.  I couldn’t wait for all my classmates, these kids I had known for 12 years, to see me as “pretty”. But this hype stopped as soon as I saw some girls who really looked so stunning and attractive whom all the boys left their eyes on, as if when they entered the hall, there were people wow-ed and shouted out their names while I was walking behind all of them. Then I decided to step aside, sit down, and checked on my phone time by time.I am not the person I was 2 years ago, that girl still lives in me, and I am thankful for her. The decisions she made, the path she decided to take, the people she reached out to meet, make “me” who I am now. But she didn’t know yet she was talented, brave, fun, bright-eyed, and valued. She didn’t know yet what her road will be, how lucky she will be and how many opportunities were coming towards her. She didn’t know yet she is “beautiful”, even if she looks like dogshit comparing to the other girls.

 

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