Gabrielle Lewis, "Vanity: A Capstone Investigating Mental Health, Overcoming Adversity, and Reaching Self-Fulfillment"

Mei Feng has secured a place at the dance company of her dreams, Lupin Ballet Company, and has just moved in to live with her older sister, Jia, during her first season there. But throughout her first few months as a professional ballerina, she can't fight off the feeling she doesn't deserve the spot she's worked so hard to earn. If Mei stares long enough into a mirror, she can enter it and talk to May, a girl who lives in her mind and who she always turns to for advice. As Mei navigates Lupin and her own feelings of anxiety, she talks to May to try and figure out how to prove herself to her new peers and finally find where she belongs—but little does Mei know, she might have not needed May's help at all.

Vanity centers around mental health —specifically surrounding issues regarding anxiety — and learning how to cope and overcome the obstacles it puts in people's paths. The website contains a virtual novella dealing with Mei's own struggles with anxiety, imposter syndrome, and low self-esteem as well as her journey to overcome these challenges, and educational mental health resources.

Through this pandemic, I've noticed the effect it has taken on my mental health and my perception of myself, and I know I'm not alone in this phenomenon. I wanted to use one of my passions, creative writing, to address these topics in an interesting and engaging way so readers can see media actually focusing on these topics and possibly see themselves in Mei and learn alongside her.