Mom, am I pretty?

At birth she weighed half a stone.  My baby became a beauty but all she saw was fat.  Now, at sixteen, I see her smiling at the skull jeering in the mirror.


Trifecta this weekend asked us to create a story – a serious story, no humour allowed – using the word stone. They also told us to specify if we want constructive criticism on or post.

Dear Trifectans, readers, followers, stumblers upon my blog,

Please do criticise my story; tell me how I can improve it; how you would have improved it and anything you would have changed.  I also give you leave to do this with all my posts on this blog.

Your humble servant,


P.S. Pop over to Trifextra to read this weekend’s takes on stones.

I have absorbed your comments, pondered upon them and made some amendments as has been suggested.  I hope all is clearer now.

Thanks a lot for your interest! 🙂

48 comments on “Mom, am I pretty?

  1. The title is a killer! And the picture so dire and apt.

  2. lindaghill says:

    Since you asked… the only critique I can offer is that I’m a little confused over how many years later it is since birth. I can only guess based on the picture. It would make a larger impact if I understood that she was more than say, eight years old – which would make her pretty hefty at six stone.

    Other than that little detail, it’s great! 🙂

    • Sandra says:

      Yes you are right. At first it said ‘turned into a beautiful woman’, but then I went off the word limit and I thought I could do without the ‘woman’. I guess I couldn’t. Then again I still don’t know which word I should swap ‘woman’ with!

  3. Christine says:

    A hard thing to deal with, for sure. This is a heartbreaking little snapshot.

  4. The Edge says:

    This is deep and serious.

  5. Kir Piccini says:

    every parent’s worse fear, every thing as women that we hope we never fall victim to. What is too thin or too big and who do we let determine our worth?

    your use of the word was aching beautiful Sandra.

  6. Scriptor Obscura says:

    Reminded me of this song and video:

  7. Scriptor Obscura says:

    There’s 8yr old anorexics now….*shudders*…ugh…younger and younger…Its really sickening.

    • Sandra says:

      Technically…my story is about a teenage girl; probably 18…but I had no idea how to make that clearer in 33 words…I still have much to learn. Thank you for reading and stopping by though, I really appreciate it.

  8. Gina says:

    I have an older daughter. I know how self esteem/worth can be tied to a desired look. It is such a scary, scary thing with oftentimes disastrous outcomes.

    • Sandra says:

      I remember when we were teens; all my friends just wanted to be stick thin. There was this one friend who had the perfect figure without even trying and all the rest of us pear-shapes, heart-shapes and round-shapes could never be like her no matter how much we dieted. Ugh, the teens are the worst age possible.

  9. Suzanne says:

    This is so stark and sad. Very nice piece of writing about such a horrible thing. And I love your creative use of the prompt.

  10. k~ says:

    Painfully precise. Nice use of the prompt word.

  11. jannatwrites says:

    This is sad. The warped self image that roots in the brain is devastating. No way would I go back to pre-teen/teen years. No way.

  12. Cobbie's World says:

    As an elementary schoolteacher, I see this obsession with body image again and again and again. It is such a tricky problem to deal with when body image messages are so available in the media. Good for you for writing about this important topic.

    • Sandra says:

      The trickiest part about it is that no matter how much you try to teach and assure the other person how really beautiful they are, the realisation must be internal; earning self-respect is a slow painful journey. Thanks a lot Cobbie.

  13. A hard-hitting issue, but beautifully written. That last line is wonderful.

  14. I’ve read the comments and see that you struggled with how to tell us her age (under our ridiculous word limits). My suggestion, because I do think it’s a problem that we don’t know it, would be to get rid of the second mention of a specific weight and give us an age instead. We don’t really need a number for her teenaged weight, since you’ve told us she looks skeletal. If we had an age to go with the skeletal frame, we might identify more with the character in general. Plus, I think by avoiding that second weight, you also avoid people saying, “Well, I’ve seen thinner” or “Yeah, that’s terrible” or “My cousin. . .” It might be more universally compelling if we didn’t know the second weight. ??? Just a thought. I love the message. I’m dreading my children’s teen years, and I’m hoping I’m setting the stage for healthy body acceptance. We’ll see.

  15. It reminds me of the stupid pair that have moulded their bodies through plastic surgery to look like Ken and Barbie. How sad some have become, when they change their personal looks to an image they think is attractive. How you described anorexia, together with the pic was a powerful message that you have brought over the finish line.

  16. atrm61 says:

    A powerfully relevant topic in today’s world where outer “beauty” or the image there of becomes obsessive in some!It has more to do with how they learn to see themselves & how strong their belief in themselves is.While one is a teenager,one may be plagued with such insecurities but as long as one does not become fixated with it,it is alright.In this piece,you have brought this fixation forward so poignantly Sandra & that picture is heart breaking-I hope & pray no parent has ever to go through this.Well done:-)

    • Sandra says:

      For some reason this comment was caught in spam! Thank you Atreyee, and I agree perfectly.

      • atrm61 says:

        Oh,no issues Sandra:-)Am just catching up with old comments-tomorrow I hope to read the remaining entries for the week,its getting to be 4a.m & I must go to bed,have a busy day ahead:-)GN/GM,lol!

  17. Well written! This is frightening thing. I had the unhappy experience of watching a teen-aged employee of mine come very close to death due to anorexia. She finally got help and recovered, mostly. Some of the damage was permament.

    • Sandra says:

      Oh my that’s horrible! – for her and for all the people experiencing the disease through her. Thank you for sharing this Renee.

  18. steph says:

    Awesome title – says it all right there. I worry about my niece in this regard. She has a skinny mother who is obsessed by weight – could go the other way if she talks about it too much.

  19. joetwo says:

    Distressing but well written! Well done!

  20. Tina says:

    This made me sad, but maybe she is smiling because she is triumphing.

  21. Draug419 says:

    It seems I’ve arrived to this after some modifications were done. Well, the piece is awesome so you must have done a good job editing (:

  22. deanabo says:

    I have made sure that my kids think they are beautiful inside and out. We are very lucky. This is a really good message.

  23. Esther says:

    What an interesting take! And like Deana says, this is an important message. Thanks for sharing.

  24. Dayle Lynne says:

    This is so sad and intense. You did a wonderful job illustrating this issue with so few words.

  25. kymminbarcelona says:

    That image of the skull in the mirror, and mother looking on, is absolutely terrifying!

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