Identity theft was just a warning. Those were the final days of identity itself. But we didn't realize it until the tidal wave was upon us. Within decades, technology made it all but impossible to tell people apart.

In those final years, we still had our vanity. We still hated our bodies, and worked constantly to change what we hated.

"This will be the last time you see me like this." And it was true. At least at first.

We had become a society of shapeshifters, and she had a vision in her head of what her ideal self would look like.

We all did.

"Become you, only better!" went the advertising of some of the major cosmetic studios. 

We had gone far beyond minor surgeries into the realm of rewriting DNA and even molecular rearrangement. For the first time, humans began to look like other species. Even fictional creatures.

Halloween was no longer about buying a disguise. It had become possible to transform into the object of your desire, then return to normal after the holiday was over. Whatever normal meant by then.

"I had wanted you to see the best version of me, but..."

When change became too easy, it lost its value. When anybody could look like anybody else, appearance lost its status. For the first time, people began to return to their original forms, what we had looked like in those final days before we had become shapeshifters. It was the last unique thing we had in our lives.

By then, anybody else could transform themselves into the version of ourselves that we once hated. We didn't used to care, but we started to care. It began to be seen as a violation. As rude. But there was nothing we could do about it. The fight was no longer worth it.

The uniqueness we once hated was now something so precious to our own self-perceptions, but we could no longer maintain it. Technological advancement had turned another cultural value upside down.

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