My painted blue eyes, lined with rows of synthetic eyelashes, knowingly stare out at the crowd. My full, pink lips are frozen into a sickening smile that reveals my pearly white teeth. My plastic body is arranged into an appealing and inviting pose, which is flattered by my tiny, floral, custom-made dress. Every strand of my blonde hair is neatly and perfectly styled. In whole, I am the ideal image of a doll, an idealistic human. I used to take pride in my enticing and flawless appearance and demeanor, but I know better now, that there are thousands of exact replicas of me. Here, sitting on this shelf, we are all competing for the attention we crave.
It's nearly impossible to stand out among an army entirely compiled of copies of yourself. Side by side, we all try our best to smile a little wider, to glow a littler brighter. Children with wide eyes and gaped-toothed smiles will gape while we each try to yell, "Pick me!" as if they could hear us.
I used to be so depressed that I just wanted to cease existing, but now I know that it's still possible to be adored, cherished, loved. Now, my ambition is too be bought, and forever prized, to have my charms and beauty preserved forever.
I smile wider as a child beams up at me, her eyes set on me and only me. I grow excited; this could be it! The day I finally get out of here!
I am envisioning my happy future while the child is suddenly pulled away, and my heart sinks. "You're lucky, you know," says a voice beside me. I strain to hear through the cardboard box. "Sure, the kid will be gentle with you for awhile, brush your hair and tell you your beautiful, but soon, it turns into a complete nightmare. They'll pull your hair, leave you out on the floor over night for the dog to chew, never fully dress you. They'll swing you around upside-down and bang you like your a piece of dirt, like you can't feel it. Then, when they've had their fun, they'll dump you and leave you in the attic to rot and grow dust, your beauty wasted."
"How do you know this?" I stammer, shaken by what the doll is saying. I try to hide the panic in my voice.
"The worst is yet to come," she warns. She remains silent after that, and I am too terrified to say anything else.
Do you have any idea how frustrating it is to know that you have absolutely no control over your own life? I have no where to turn, and am comforted by nothing. The doll's words never leave me. They ceaselessly repeat, like a chant. There's no way to escape the inevitable prison that I was destined to always be locked away in. If a doll could cry, then I would.