Shauna stared at herself.

Not through any mirror – she hated them, using them only long enough in the morning to make herself presentable. But she found herself, more and more, having to use them.

She hadn’t counted on a life as a model. It wasn’t something she pursued – indeed, she had been mid-way through her master’s in biochemistry when someone offered her a surprising sum to appear in advertisements for them. She agreed, wanting to pay for her degree, and the part-time gig to pay for school became a full-time gig to pay her part-time thesis work. She was almost done the latter, still waiting to her about doctoral programs.

Now, though, Shauna stared at the ad in front of her, her own smiling face with it’s shining, too-white teeth – her teeth weren’t that white, and she could see other uncomfortable bits of photo-manipulation as well – staring at her, willing her to buy sandwiches or shoes or something other over-priced, poorly-made good. She sighed.

Shauna turned away, and someone let out a loud, “Hey, you’re her!” She smiled then, putting on her public-face, and nodded. The man asked for a picture with her, and she agreed. He stood uncomfortably close, and put an arm around her. She sighed.

As soon as the picture was done, she stepped away, and moved away from the ad. She say a few more of herself on the way home, but tried to avoid them, and avoid the gazes of the public. She didn’t want another word. Just to get home, to relax, to be alone with her thoughts and her work once more.


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