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The Spotlight: #Crackgate


The alarm buzzes in my brain, and my eyes flutter open. I roll over, glaring at the clock, swearing I will never work another sixteen-hour shift again. It is 4:00 A.M.

Get your ass out bed.

It will take me twenty minutes to have my shower and wash my hair, thirty to flat-iron it straight, and another ten to cover this thirty-four-year-old face with makeup before it is time to wake the kids and get them ready to drop at their grandmother’s on my way in to work. I feel exhaustion deep in my bones. The heaviness on my eyes make me want to surrender to just one more hour of sleep before another sixteen-hour shift begins, but . . . 

I hate my hair.

It is curly and unruly, and even in a desert of 2% humidity, it explodes into the frizziest ball of hot mess to ever have the misfortune of hanging on head. If I don’t get up and spend the hour straightening it, I will feel self-conscious and ugly all day.

Okay. I’m up.

The piping-hot water splashing me awake as I lather up feels delicious. I pour lavender body wash onto my washcloth and pretend for a second I’m standing in field of lavender under the bright sunlight.

Focus, Heather.

I start to wash my chest and am embarrassed about how large my breasts have become. I really need to focus on losing my baby weight. All the parts of my body now contain pudge. Connor is two now, so I can’t use having a baby as an excuse any longer. I run the washcloth along my side and lather up my stomach, which is covered in light stretch marks. Oddly, they are among the only (of the many) imperfections on my body that I don’t feel self-conscious about. They feel like battle scars from carrying two amazing babies, and besides . . . I would never dare wear something that showed my stomach in public anyway. There are more obvious and visual flaws to stress over to expend energy worrying about them.

Time to shave.

I wonder if men thought women’s legs were sexy with hair on them before shaving became a trend. I wonder if they thought about hair at all. When did shaving become a trend? I don’t know why, but I feel that all women’s torture devices and routines were probably invented by the French. Didn’t they invent the bra and the corset? I can’t remember.

I’ll Google it at work.

After drying off and slathering my body with lotion, it’s time for the thirty-minute torture session called blow-drying and flat-ironing. I begin to zone out as my arms go through the daily habitual motions they know so well. I peek over at the clock to check my progress.

Damn. I took too long in the shower.

I’m not going to have time to put on makeup. I stare at my face while I overwork my hair: There are way too many freckles. I can see my laugh lines beginning to become pronounced. I wonder if my dermatologist can lessen the lines. Maybe I need to switch moisturizers. There’s nothing to be done about my freckles today—oh well, my partner will survive looking at me all day. I’ll just put a little mascara and eye cream so my eyes aren’t so droopy.

Time to wake up the babies and let the toothbrush, hairbrush, and uniform battles commence. Tomorrow, I’m going to wake up earlier and maybe squeeze in fifteen minutes on the treadmill.



We are in a brave new world—a world where our every flaw and every stumble is not only witnessed, but, with the flash of a cell phone, recorded for all to see and mock for eternity on the Internet. Do I find it believable that people attended a Grand Prix, where there were over 4,000 people, and forgot in their excitement to be concerned about what showed when they sat down to battle? Yes. That is the amazing thing about excitement, friends, and fun. They make you forget the freckles that you hate, your curly hair that is your life’s bane, or the little bulge you should really do something about. I don’t know about you, but I am very aware of every flaw I have, and I don’t need help documenting them. Maybe we could just let people be themselves—even if they seem a little odd to you—and be magical for just a little while.

Be kind, each to the other.



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