Once upon a time…there was an evil society. This society was so corrupt that it convinced girls from a young age there is a “fairest of them all”. Wait . . . is that fictional?
This isn’t just a clever article title, it’s a sad and harsh reality.
Since a young age, we have been wired to discover who is the coveted “fairest” at all costs. We’re pitted against ourselves since the day we’re born and it’s only gotten worse!
I want to cure the disease. With the help of five fabulous females in our school community, I’m rewriting these obscure fairy tales.
It’s time to introduce our Protagonists…
(Once upon a time in a portable building far away)
Our fairytale starts off with the feisty and equally fabulous Ela Acevedo. She epitomizes the fire of every strong female character ever written (think Katniss Everdeen meets Beyonce). She has that undeniable kickbutt beauty and confidence.
The next lovely lady to enter this plot is Savannah Simon. Savannah’s sweetness is comparable to a giant cookie cake, two dozen donuts, a gallon of ice cream, all with a side of cinnamon rolls. She lives the phrase sugar, spice, and everything nice.
Stumbling into the narrative is the cute, quirky, and beyond lovable Emma Gautreau. She is cuteness personified. From her adorable glasses to her sweet smile, she’s guaranteed to brighten anyone’s day.
Strutting in is the stunning Addie Vidrine. She is a strong woman in every sense of the word. She’s a queen on the volleyball court and is the kinda girl that walks in and everyone takes notice.
Arriving into our story fashionably late is Miss Olivia Matherne. Olivia is a mixture of the best characteristics of the most powerful villains and the most admired princesses. She is undeniably powerful but uses her powers for good. She owns every room she walks into and has a closet that the whole kingdom would envy.
(What you didn’t know happened at the ball)
Our five ladies strut into the ball (because doesn’t every fairy tale has a ball and we do in fact go to Ascension where attending Mardi Gras balls is the norm…).
Sweet Savannah walks into the ballroom feeling confident. She says that she “feels her best when she’s dressed in nice clothing”. She feels insecure about her skin, but she’s not alone in that, Ela feels the exact same way, and here she is now!
Ela enters beaming with joy, spirit, and spunk. She beautifully owns the fact that she’s a very confident person and when asked profoundly stated “I think I’m really pretty”. While she recognizes her beauty, she stills feels insecure about her size.
What Ela does not know is that all of the other girls interviewed said the same exact thing. Now, back to the story.
Confidently entering the ballroom is Addie. She looks and feels beautiful. When asked she said, “Getting dressed up for something like homecoming or prom makes me feel most confident.” She then added, “Being someone that hardly gets dressed up for things it feels good to do so every now and then.” While she feels and looks beautiful, she also wishes that “that the guys would see her as more than just a best friend”.
Intriguing, because now Olivia enters wishing that the guys could view her as “more than just a pretty girl.” She feels as though her petite frame has her at a disadvantage.
Here comes Emma looking beautiful as always. Similarly to Olivia, her petite frame also makes her self-conscious. She added that “It’s the worst going and sitting in a restaurant and someone asks you if you would like the kid’s menu.” She’s wearing a dress that fits her wonderfully and she stated that “when clothes fit me right, I feel pretty confident.”
Addie and Ella yearn for the petite frame that Emma and Olivia struggle to clothe.
Addie said that “when I see all the extremely tiny girls I get really down on myself. Why can’t I look like that?” and Emma wishes she was taller like Addie.
Both of them said their biggest insecurities were their body shapes.
While Addie and Savannah feel most beautiful at a dressy event, Olivia feels the exact opposite. She said that “It’s easy to feel insecure when you’re looking your best, but everyone else is too”. She added that “it’s easy to compare yourself to other people looking their best and wonder if your best is even good enough”.
All of the girls are eyeing each other admiring the traits that they wish they had.
But wait? Didn’t the Fairy Godmother fix all of this? What? This is a lot harder to follow than Cinderella..!
Here’s the conflict
(and it’s not a sword fight over who will take the hand of the frail pretty lady…)
We’re going to step out of the story now because our conflict is far from fictional.
As teenagers, women, and people in general, we are constantly picking ourselves apart. The things that we aspire to change about ourselves is what others long for.
It is so hard to remember that someone else’s beauty does not take away from your own, but society today has us pegged against each other. We are all fighting a battle with our own self-doubt; we shouldn’t be in opposition to each other.
While we are not living happily ever after right now, we can and we will. We need to rewire the way we are thinking and acting towards ourselves and each other. I challenge you to look through Instagram and acknowledge another’s beauty and know that it doesn’t take away from your own. Compliment and love each other. Do more of what makes you feel secure and confident and do not apologize for loving yourself in a society that has made it a trend to wallow in doubt and fallback on self-deprecating humor. While we cannot change the circumstances we were raised in, and we can’t just delete all our social media (unless you have the self-control and more power to you) but we can work to fix our mindset. I’m an optimist and I believe in womankind. We can do this. We can change this narrative. My fairy tale is to be continued. I encourage you to help me change this story.