As per her assignment, Stephanie set out to reconstruct herself. Before the arduous task could begin, pre-contruction introspection had to take place.

Stephanie asked taskmster Will what the rules for this reconstruction would be.  Will informed her that there were no rules. Will had only one request…do the project alone. Other than that, total freedom. A blessing to most, a burden to Stephanie. She knew she functioned best with boundaries, rules and deadlines…so started the introspection.

Stephanie tried to go about this assignment in an organized way. She wanted everything to be perfect at the ‘Big Reveal’. Thats when all of the partipants would showcase their new selves to family and friends at an ICS gala.

She requested privacy and seclusion from her family which only seemed to make them need and want her more. Somehow she seemed to steal away the time she needed. She contemplated everything she could think of and see. She mafe catergories: PHYSICAL, MENTAL AND EMOTIONAL. She stood before a mirror, wheelchair hovering behind, and laughed. She remembered her 17yr old self. Skin cancer had staled the smooth dark chocolate she called skin. The same beautiful skin that had classmates calling her creature from the black lagoon. The skin she didnt really want. So much so that at eleven, having had ENOUGH she stole some of her great-great aunts blessed oil, stood before the mirror, believing more in the power of miracles than in the whipping her stern aunt would give had she been caught, Stephanie rubbed a palm full of that blessed oil about her face, hair and body. She prayed, IN JESUS NAME,  to be light skinned, and skinny with good, long hair and uncrossed eyes.  Stephanie opened her eyes slowly. To her astonishment and bewilderment Stephanie could not understand the image before her. Could this be real? In the mirror before her stood a fat, black shiny girl with wild hair and crossed eyes. She really, truly meant it when she said, in Jesus’ name. The thought of it tickled her.

She stood there trying to stand erect. Hips forward, shoulders back. Again, the image before her provoked chuckles. Whatever happened to those full round breast and those powerful hips. Perhaps feeding five babies and chasing after them had both deflated and depleted her once voluptuous body. Okay, okay…some call it fat. Semantics…semantics, Its my story, we’re going with voluptuous.

Now she had the option of reconstruction. Physical, mental, spiritual and mental reconstruction. Stephanie remained secluded until the night of the gala. The crowd marveled at the reconstructed participants. Four wheels were traded for high heels. Bodies where tight. Drab had become fab. Then, ot was Stephanie’s turn. Like the other participants , her theme music came first. Stephanie took her place behind the curtain and it lifted. Tha audience looked confused as I AM WHAT I AM played overhead. Stephanie roled out to whispers and slow applause. Some whispered…

‘what did she change?’

‘is she saying she gay?’ (for those who know the song and the movie)

Stephanie stood before the crowd and read an essay she had written,
Perfect Imperfect Me


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