Performance Anxiety

Larissa cut her face shaving with a blunted razor. She knew she shouldn’t have done it but somehow did it anyway. She’d seen the video on Instagram, an advert appearing between stories—a small dermatological scalpel scraped over the skin to remove dead skin cells and peach fuzz. The model in the ad had beautiful glass-like skin. Then it flicked off and a girl who’d gone to her school was singing “Sweet Home Alabama” at a karaoke bar wearing comically oversize sunglasses. Then an advert for period-absorbent underwear, each pair getting skimpier and skimpier to match the lightening of the cycle. Then a screenshot of the new Fontaines D.C. album on Spotify with a little GIF of a cartoon dog headbanging. Then nothing because she’d sighed, clicked off the screen, and put her phone down to go and try the face-shaving thing with a rusted Venus razor blade.

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