Oxana slithers quickly out of the thousand dollar beaded dress and spiked heels she is wearing, plops the Cartier necklace and matching earrings into the jeweler’s outstretched hand, and switches into jeans, sneakers, and a child’s tee shirt. Before she zips, she pinches the flesh of her midriff and utters a groan of intense disgust.

Slim as a reed, sleek as a stalk, and as slender as the chopsticks in her purse, Oxana has posed for a high fashion magazine all morning long until someone announces lunch. Breezing past the photographer, his mouth already too full of jelly doughnut to speak, she announces, “Shopping,” and is gone.

Her mini-shopping excursion goes quite well until she catches a glimpse of her reflection in a store window. She winces almost in pain, not at her anorexic, wasted body, nor the sunken cheeks and hollowed eye sockets of the nearly starved child pitied by passers-by, but at a grotesquely plump girl, straining at her clothes, stomach bulging, arms heavy with weight, face pudgy and unlovable.

In the crowded food court Oxana keeps a promise made to her family to eat. She chooses a salad without dressing, a diet drink with zero calories and a plain yogurt. She picks at her salad then licks the end of the chopstick languidly and throws the half-full yogurt container into the trash. Guilt-ridden, she returns to work and vows silently to skip dinner to make up for her over indulgence.

Back in the studio the shoot begins again.

“Smile, girl, smile, let me see those beautiful teeth.”

Oxana throws the photographer a sultry look that would make her mother cringe, and wide-eyed, teeth bared like a wolf at the end of a long hungry winter, she smiles for the camera.

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