Dear Mrs. Libba Bray,
Wherever I look, wherever I go, I cannot seem to escape the images of perfection. The paper thin models on the covers of magazines, the most beautiful actresses in the movies, and the airbrushed women on the billboards seem to haunt me. When I was younger, around seven or eight, I though nothing of it, just that those women were as ugly as Aphrodite, who, of course, is so very, very beautiful. As I went through elementary and early middle school, I began to compare myself to these women. There was always something wrong with me; my hair was a bird's nest, my complexion was disgusting, or my stomach was never flat. Could I ever be pretty enough? I asked myself this question many a time, only to com up with the same answer, "no". I wasn't pretty or extraordinary, and I began to hate myself for it.
My hair has always been a problem for me, being curly and frizzy, there wasn't too much I could do with it. Classmates of mine had straight, elegant hair that only made me jealous of them. When I was in about second or third grade I began to beg my mom to buy flat irons and other straightening products, but they only worked temporarily, much to my dismay. Even with that problem, I continued to use them. When I entered middle school my problem became much worse, the judging of people grew until it was almost unbearable. Sometimes I felt as if nothing was right about me, and the stress of it all was too much to handle.
One day while I was feeling exceptionally atrocious, I remembered your book, Rebel Angels, which I had read in sixth grade. Remembering the way Gemma Doyle questioned society about the "perfect" women really got me thinking. Whoever said that those women advertised for all to see were, quote, perfect? Not I. Women who make other women and girls feel amiss about themselves can't be impeccable, I though. Even though I was always told that there was no such thing as perfection, society made me think otherwise. If that was so, why was I comparing myself to these women who were supposedly the "image of perfection"? I then realized that to become beautiful and extraordinary I'd have to think myself as such.
I fought with my low self-esteem and began to change my ways. Instead of thinking that "I'll never be this lovely" (quote Gemma Doyle) I thought myself as beautiful, inside and out. No more was the low-spirited, timid girl, no, there was the new and improved me. I was no longer "powerless and helpless", I was as happy as a bee in May. Feeling this way made me want to do more than to just make myself feel wonderful. Soon enough I was trying to make my friends feel good, too. Allowing no more negative energy, I tried to make a difference in their lives. My plan worked, and I was "giddy with joy" to see it so. I could hardly believe what I was seeing, but it was true all right.
Gemma, Ann, Felicity, and Pippa always thought of each other as perfect. When it came to themselves, though, they all had flaws. Seeing this made me realize that we all have flaws and things we don't like about ourselves. Even after I began to think better of myself, I still knew that my flaws were there, all of ours were. I am not perfect though, and the only way, I figured, to live with my flaws was to accept them. Your book inspired me to do what I thought impossible, change my views. I found out that if I wish to be beautiful, I, too, would have to become a "rebel angel".