“I don’t understand.” Her sister harrumphed. “You’re going to an audition for a talent show, and you’re trying to make yourself look -uglier-?!”

“It’s all part of my plan, Joan.” She replied, carefully eying herself up in the mirror as she applied the tools of her trade. A cosmetic artist for films and television, she was as good as creating flaws as she was hiding them, and had been plotting this for months now.

“Well, I’m obviously not as bright as you, Jean, so why don’t you explain it to me?” Joan sighed, perching on the edge of the dressing table.

“I’m average looking. My voice is good, but I’m average looking. That kind of thing gets people a pass when they do these auditions in front of the producers.” Jean explained, taking a compact magnifying mirror to examine her eyes. “They don’t want average looking singers, they want pretty ones.”

“That part I get.”

“Well, there’s this huge lookism thing that goes on. People think that the beautiful people are the talented ones, that people considered ‘ugly’ don’t have any talents at all. So, I go on the show looking ugly. I sing and I’m much better than I thought they’d be, because all they’re seeing is the outside. They can put a whole narrative out about that in the show, so they put me through to the judges. They’re more likely to consider me someone that’ll get the public watching, so they’ll put me through. They might even try to give me a make over. The whole ugly duckling, beautiful all along, cleans up well thing.” Jean smiled, carefully working a comb through her hair to put it in as bland a style as possible.

“All this just to get far in some talent show?” Joan asked.

“No. To call them on it.”


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