Addicted to Beauty
Helena brushed her red fur in front of a full length mirror
in hurried strokes. After oversleeping again she only had a few minutes to get
ready for Neoschool. She heard her sister Nadine, a pink Uni, blow drying and
hair spraying her perfect mane in the bathroom. Helena had no doubt she'd been
up for hours applying makeup and picking an outfit.
The red Yurble looked at herself in the mirror,
turning her face and twisting her hips to see how her reflection looked. She
sighed, remembering why she usually left all the mirror time to her sister.
Helena knew she wasn't very pretty, a quality that came so easily to Nadine.
The pets at school always noticed her, they admired the way she walked, the
shimmer in her hair, everything. They only knew Helena as Nadine's little sister.
"Okay, I'm ready," said Nadine bursting out the
bathroom door, bringing with her the sweet smell of Eau De Daisy perfume. "Oh
Lena," she said, "couldn't you at least do something with your hair?"
Helena shrugged as if she didn't care. But secretly
she did, more than anything she wanted her hair to fall sleek and strait or
curl elegantly like Nadine's did when she used Super Curling Gel.
But the Uni just dropped the argument and grabbed
a Small Wild Chocomato Smoothie from the refrigerator.
"Ew," said Helena stuffing a lemon sprinkled
doughnut into her mouth, "I don't know how you drink that garbage."
Nadine eyed her sisters sugar coated breakfast.
"I could easily say the same thing about your food," she said.
"Why you want some?" Helena joked.
The Uni grimaced. "No thanks, I'm trying to fit
into these new jeans I bought." She looked Helena up and down in her extra large
Wock Til You Drop T shirt and baggy ripped pants. "You know it wouldn't kill
you to lay off on the junk food a little bit," she mumbled.
The Yurble ignored her and continued to eat her
doughnut and slurp her chocolate milk. So what if she was a little chubby? Just
because she didn't wear light fluffy sweaters that made her look slender and
cute didn't mean Nadine had to treat her like some kind of freak.
At least that's what she told her friend Mel,
a rebellious split Kyrii with spiked black hair and dark eyeliner, in front
of their school lockers that morning.
"I swear," complained Helena, "if I have to listen
to that M*YNCI CD one more time I'm gonna freak."
The Kyrii pretended to gag as she pulled out
her algebra book. "That group of brain dead pretty boys is an insult to music."
Mel was obsessed with Twisted Roses; she had almost all the band's memorabilia
and had seen them in concert about five times. Even her locker was decorated
with ticket stubs and posters.
"Don't look now," she said with a smirk, "but
your best friends are walking this way."
Helena turned to see her sister strutting down
the hallway, showing off her brand new I Love Fyora T-Shirt. Everyone stared
as she walked by, jealous of her confidant beauty and expensive clothes. Nadine
was followed by her usual posse of Jada, the white Cybunny, Ivy the red Usul,
and Teresa the cloud Zafara. The occasional wanna-be wandered into their perfect
and popular group, but they were never truly a part of it.
"Honestly I have no idea how you two are related,"
said Mel, slamming her locker closed, "she must be missing some kind of essential
Helena just nodded, swinging her green backpack
over her shoulder as the two walked to class.
Nadia walked past without even looking at her.
Ivy and Jada whispered as they looked back at Helena, giggled girlishly. They
were probably wondering how the two were related also.
"Just ignore their brain malfunction," Mel said
as she opened the door to Neopian Literature 101. Sitting down at a desk in
the back of the room, Helena began to smile. This was her favorite class, no
matter how much Nadine made fun of her love for reading.
"Okay students," said their teacher Mr. Temson,
a striped Aisha who always wore thick glasses, "your commentary on Kreludan
Poems has been graded." A groan sounded throughout the room. "I'm happy to say
that we had one A and five B's. To the rest of you, I'm very disappointed."
He sat a paper down on Helena's desk, a large
A scribbled across the top in red. "I was extremely impressed," he whispered
to her, "not many students can get into the frame of mind it takes to understand
such deep poetry."
She smiled, thoroughly happy with herself until
she heard two boys muttering behind her.
"Great," said a voice she recognized as Chip
Murray, a blue Mynci, "another D. Temson probably would have graded on a curve
if that annoying girl didn't get another A."
His friend Doug, a purple Nimmo readily agreed.
"She probably just goes home and studies all the time. What a nerd."
Helena cast her eyes to the desk in shame. Did
they really think she couldn't hear them? Boys would never talk that way about
Nadine. Looking down at her paper she thought, is dumbing myself down the price
The rest of the day passed by in the same dull
blur it usually had. Nobody besides Mel noticed her and she felt completely
On the way home she walked behind Nadine's group
of friends and watched them laugh and gossip about "Shelly Mayfields new haircut"
and "how cute that new Rob Nelson was". It was almost as if they were from a
Helena was fully prepared to shut herself up
in her room while the gaggle of girls painted fingernails, read magazines, and
did whatever else ditzy Neopets do outside of Neoschool.
"Hey Lena!" she head Nadine say, a call that
was responded by annoyed tones from Jada and Teresa. "Oh c'mon, don't invite
her in here," muttered Ivy. Helena rolled her eyes. She wondered if they enjoyed
"What?" she asked.
The Uni held up two bottles of nail varnish.
"Which do you like better," she asked, "red, or purple?"
"I'm really not good at these kinds of things."
"Just answer, it's an easy question."
"Purple then," said Helena.
Nadine smiled. "Good choice, it's nice to know
that you have at least SOME knowledge of beauty." Her friends giggled.
Helena fumed. She'd had enough of people brushing
past her, or treating her like she wasn't worth their time because she didn't
accessorize and apply globs of makeup.
"Why don't you just lay off," she hissed. "Just
because you're pretty you think everyone in the world thinks you're fantastic."
"Oh stop being such a drama queen," Nadine said,
"you of all people should know that looking frumpy doesn't get you anywhere.
Having 'integrity' might be nice in all those books you read, but in the real
world only the beautiful people get what they want."
She rummaged through some makeup bags, pulling
out cases of blush and eye shadow. "You know," she said, "you really wouldn't
look so bad with a little makeup and maybe a new hairdo."
And that was how, for whatever reason, Helena
cracked and allowed herself to be sitting on the living room floor while Nadine,
Ivy, Teresa, and Jada furiously styled her hair and applied pink blush, red
lipstick, and gold eyeshadow.
"Oh my gosh, you are going to look so fabulous,"
gushed Ivy as she rubbed hair-gel into her fur.
When they finished, they opened the door to
the bathroom, shrouding her in a mist of perfume as she walked through the doorway.
She approached the mirror slowly; touching her
face to make sure it was real.
For the first time, Helena was pretty. She liked
"Everyone at Neoschool won't believe how great
you look!" squealed Nadine.
And she was right, because as she walked through
the hallway with her sister's posse, people looked. Heads turned to watch her,
and for the first time she wasn't invisible.
"Hey Lena," said Ivy, adopting the nickname
Nadine had for her, "we're heading over to the water fountain to check out some
cute guys, wanna come?"
Helena was immediately thrilled. The water fountain
next to the cafeteria was only the coolest hangout in the entire Neoschool.
"Sure," she said quickly, "I just have to go
to my locker real quick."
As she twisted the combination, Mel walked up
and eyed her skeptically.
"What's up with this look?" she asked, almost
in disgust. "Are you wearing a skirt?"
Helena smoothed down her pink mini. "Yeah, as
a matter of fact I am."
"Whatever," she said rolling her eyes, "let's
just get to class."
"Actually I was gonna meet some friends by the
"I dunno, just wanted to try it out, that's
all. Why, is that not okay?"
"No its fine," said Mel, even though Helena
could tell it wasn't, "I've gotta ask Mr. Temson some questions anyways."
Helena waved goodbye and then headed over the
fountain, where her sister was talking with Chip, the blue Mynci that sat behind
her in Neopian Literature.
"Hey," he smiled as she approached them, "you're
Nadine's sister, Helena, right?"
"Yeah," she answered softly, unsure how to respond
to one of the first pets who knew her name, even though he said horrible things
about her the day before.
Just then the bell sounded. "Mind if I walk
you to class?" he asked. Helena was too speechless to respond, so she just nodded
Despite her interest in Neopian Literature,
she found her mind wandering throughout the entire lesson. All she could think
about was how cool everyone thought she was with her new look. If she dropped
her pencil someone would immediately dive to pick it up for her. Nadine had
been completely right, pretty pets did get everything.
After class she saw Mel at their lockers again.
"So," said the Kyrii, "I was thinking we could
go by the coffee shop after school and check out the new poetry contest."
Helena watched Nadine, Ivy, Jada, and Teresa
walk by, motioning for her to come with them.
"Actually," she said, "I think I'm busy today.
Rain check?" She then hurried off to catch up with her new popular friends as
they walked off to their next class.
They all sat down at desks near each other and
"Lena, everyone just can't get over how cute
you look today," said Jada.
"Yeah," agreed Teresa, "I was talking to Samantha
Tomas and she was sooo jealous of your complexion."
They heard a tapping on the chalkboard. "Excuse
me ladies, lets get back to calculating numbers shall we?" said their Algebra
teacher Mr. Cham, a large brown Tuskanniny.
"Why don't you calculate your weight?" muttered
Nadine. "That should keep us busy."
The group giggled furiously, and didn't really
stop until the end of the day. It never really occurred to Helena that she hadn't
taken down any assignments or paid attention to a word her teachers had said.
"C'mon guys," motioned Ivy, "there's a sale
on conditioner at the Grooming Parlour!"
They all rushed out the school doors and into
the Bazaar as soon as the final bell rang.
When they entered the store Helena felt like
she was in the Virtupets Space Station. Everything was foreign to her, all the
bottles, shades, colors, and scents where overwhelmingly confusing.
"Don't you worry about a thing," smiled Terasa,
"we'll pick out everything you need to be completely glamorous."
They immediately began filling a basket with
bottles of conditioner, perfume, nail varnish in every color of the rainbow,
three bottles of hair spray, two bottles of hair gel, and more shades of blush,
eyeshadow, and lipstick than Helena could possibly count.
They set the items on the counter and a blue
Usul rang up their purchase cheerfully. "Your total is 5,670 Neopoints," she
said. Helena's mouth dropped.
"That's a lot of money guys," she whispered,
"are you sure I need all this stuff?"
The girls all nodded seriously. "Beauty is expensive,"
Helena sighed and forked over the money. There
was no way she was going back to the way things were before the beauty supplies.
Three days later, Helena was applying three
times the makeup and spending three times more money at the Grooming Parlour.
Nadine approached her in the bathroom one afternoon as she was doing her hair
and drinking a diet Neocola.
"Uh, Lena," she said slowly as she looked at
all the makeup containers and hair products that were scattered across the counter,
"don't you think you're spending a little too much money at the Parlour?"
"Nadine, you're a riot!" Helena laughed, tossing
her hair, "you of all people should know that's impossible!"
But afterwards she started going to the Beauty
Parlour after Nadine was asleep.
The pets at school never seemed to get tired
of her excessive use of products and Helena never got tired of the excessive
attention she received. She had so many new friends that she didn't even care
her friendship with Mel was falling apart.
"Oh I wish you wouldn't wear that Twisted Roses
shirt so often," she complained to the Kyrii, "that whole angry metal band thing
is so passé."
Mel looked at her and shook her head. "You've
changed," she said, and walked away.
Mr. Temson didn't seem to be too happy with
"I'm really disappointed in you," he said, handing
back her paper based on their reading material, The King of the Desert. An F
was scrawled across the top of the page. "I used to think so highly of your
But all of that wasn't anything a nice bottle
of Yurble bubble bath and Rain Water Shampoo couldn't fix. After she had finished
bathing she applied some Moisturising Cream and was about to sunbathe on the
patio when Nadine burst in the door.
"This has gone far enough!" she huffed. "I found
your receipts from the grooming parlour."
"You went through my stuff?" She rolled her
eyes. "That's so not cool."
"Helena you spend a total of almost 20,000 Neopoints
in this week alone!"
"So? You're the one that told me I needed to
be more glamorous."
"Well when I said more glamorous, I didn't mean
for you to spend all our food money! What do you think we're going to eat?"
Helena eyed her sister. "You could afford to
slack off on the eating a bit dear, your thighs look a little chubby."
Nadine's eyes blazed and her face turned a furious
red. "THAT'S IT!" she screamed, brushing all of the beauty products off of the
counter and into a little wastebasket. "You've obviously got a serious problem
Helena, some people can handle a little beauty but you've obviously become addicted
"Hey!" she shouted. "I need those things! There's
no way I'm going back to the way things were before!"
Nadine picked up the wastebasket. "They don't
have to," she said, "but until you learn some moderation, all these are mine."
After the scent of perfume finally cleared her
nose and all the makeup washed off, Helena could finally think clearly again.
What was wrong with her? It took ditzy Nadine to show her the way when it was
usually Helena was the one who knew right from wrong. She'd been blowing off
Mel, her truest friend that loved her even when she was just an average looking
She opened one of the drawers and saw some pink
lipstick and blush that Nadine had left behind. After applying just a little
blush and pinning her hair back with a Blue Daisy Hair Clip she finally began
to realize what Nadine had been trying to tell her.
She didn't need to wear a million shades of
eyeshadow or layers of foundation to look pretty. All it took was just a little
confidence and a hair clip to have a naturally pretty look.
The next morning she saw Mel at their lockers,
and smiled uncertainly.
"I know I haven't exactly been the nicest person
lately," she said, "but I just wanted to know if you'd like to hang out after
Mel looked her up and down; the little skirt
was gone and replaced with some nice jeans and a flattering Chia Babydoll T-shirt.
"You're back," her friend said.
"Yup," agreed Helena, "back for good."