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Mem Beleco

a short story about my image. Mem beleco is Esperanto for self beauty

By Jennisea RedfieldPublished 3 months ago 3 min read
Top Story - November 2023
AI art by self


I look into the mirror, the mirror covered in uneven condensation, and I see a pair of eyes.

Double eyelids, shaped like almonds.

Dark undertones beneath the eyes, tiny scars that outline the lid.

But it is the color. The swirl and whorl of colors that shift faster than my own moods.

Hazel, is what my specific color is called. But I look into the mirror, wiping away the liquefied steam to truly, very truly gazing into the reflection of my face.

I don’t know how to describe the color hazel.





Dusky blue,

Hints of lavender.

All swirl into my eyes, accompanied with small bursts of black, like stars in reverse light.

These eyes, my eyes, I have seen before. Not in the identical face of my mother, or the similar symmetry of my brothers.


I keep on looking into the mirror, the water fading into a memory.

I see my lips, two pink petals that framed crooked teeth.

These lips of mine, I've had teachers, grown women, say to my face that they would kill me for my lips. Envious women demanding to know my plastic surgeon, ignoring the fact that I was 11. I have had grown men saying my lips are perfect for kissing.




Petal soft.

Upturned philtrum.

A curve of delicateness.

This is my mouth, a parted entrance into my being. It speaks, it sings, it shouts, it cries. It eats, it regurgitates, it salivates. It guards my teeth, protects my secrets. I can make my mouth a soft coo shape, blowing air and making sharp whistles in the air. It is scowling, pinched in concern. It says my name, my brothers’ name. This is my mouth.


I look again in the drying mirror, surveying the image that is supposedly mine. I see hair. My hair.

I see strands that are streaked from cosmetic alterations.

Women would tug my hair, complimenting its rich colors. Women would tug it, making snide remarks that it was dark, lush, while their own is pale and limp.

Ends slightly frayed from weakness. But this is my hair. My connection to my ancestry. It is long, connects me to the earth, the grass, the trees.







This is mine. All mine. This is my hair. This is a part of my beauty.

These are my bits of beauty. These are mine. Mine. Mine. And even though I can gaze into that mirror, water stained and starting to crack, I still see someone that doesn’t feel like me. Sometimes I look at the reflection, and it looks wrong. Too beautiful to be mine.

And sometimes I look and see a stranger, homely and plain. Little marks from picking at tiny blackheads that crown my nose. Scratches from fights, like I'm some sort of bobcat defending territory.

There are days I look at my reflection, not knowing who it is.

Who is that person? With her long dark hair? With eyes the color of woodland flickering in sunlight? With the petal pink lips, stained by genetics? Who is she?

Who is she?

Is she...

Is she me?


About the Creator

Jennisea Redfield

Reader insights


Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

Top insight

  1. Heartfelt and relatable

    The story invoked strong personal emotions

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Comments (6)

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  • Melissa Ingoldsby3 months ago

    Truly amazing work

  • KJ Aartila3 months ago

    It sounds like describing a self-portrait! Gorgeous! We should all do this, though - look at our reflections in a sense of reality, not hatred - we should appreciate our uniqueness and realities - things change - I myself am much older now and glimpse myself in the mirror wondering, "Who is that? Those are my eyes, but I don't recognize that woman!" Nice job, and Congrats!

  • Gerald Holmes3 months ago

    "With eyes the color of woodland flickering in sunlight? With the petal pink lips, stained by genetics? " I really love this line. What a beautifully descriptive voice you have. Congrats on a well deserved Top Story.

  • Hannah Moore3 months ago

    My son has hazel eyes. I love your description here, I adore his.

  • Naveed 3 months ago

    Excellent work! Keep up the fantastic effort—congrats!

  • Dana Crandell3 months ago

    A very nice bit of introspection. Congratulations on Top Story!

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