The dark side of beauty (3/5)

By Drum Digital
05 November 2014

Karabo was determined her inner beauty would shine through.

This is my opportunity, she told herself. I’ll show them I am the ideal face for Flawless. Karabo knew she might not have been good at many things but she was born to be a model.

There was nothing she would rather do. “Whenever you’re ready . . .” Lebo muttered, armed and ready as she twisted the camera lens into sharp focus. Karabo closed her eyes and took a deep breath.

Okay. Then, as if a switch had been flicked on in her mind, her eyelids shot open and she looked intensely into the lens and pursed her lips. She knew that variety was important, so with each frame she gave the photographer something different; she softened her features to look more vulnerable and innocent, she flirted a bit with the camera and, in her final few frames, gave some big smiles.

That was the last stage of the audition. Karabo couldn’t tell if the women were impressed with her performance or not. “Thank you very much for coming,” said Lebo, with her arm stretched out to hand Karabo her portfolio.

Karabo leaned over to take it then walked toward the chair at the door where she had left her handbag. Just then, as she had picked up her bag and was opening the door, she heard one of the women behind her whisper, “No! Sorry, but she’s way too dark to take beautiful pictures. I mean, seriously . . .” Karabo’s heart sank and she felt crushed. Any hope she had had of getting the job withered under those whispered words.

Head down, trying to hide the sad expression on her face, she shut the door behind her and stepped into the waiting room. She almost felt sorry for her rivals, knowing the ordeal that awaited them. Karabo could read hope in every face.

She could not help but notice, now more than ever, how nearly every girl in the room had lighter skin than her. Why was it that they were considered more beautiful than she was?

The shade of her skin did not make her any less feminine or attractive than the next woman, did it? It shouldn’t. On her way out, from the corner of her eye, she caught one of the Flawless Beauty advertisements.

To be continued...

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