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Mirror, mirror on the wall

In the early days of Disney movies the villain in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was simply known as the “evil queen.” She didn’t have a name, but she was one mean queen. She was vain, shallow and, well, evil.

In case you’re rusty with your fairy tale knowledge here’s a refresher. Everyday the queen would ask her magic mirror, “Mirror, mirror on the wall who’s the fairest one of all?” The mirror would always answer the same, “You, my queen.” Until Snow White grew into a lovely princess and the queen was bumped off the beauty throne.

I’m going somewhere with this — be patient.

The evil queen didn’t just want to make Snow White ugly, which I’m sure she could have done — she turned herself into an ugly old woman at the end of the movie — she wanted her dead. The queen wanted proof. Rumours, gossip and word-of-mouth wasn’t going to appease the angry queen. She wanted the huntsmen to bring Snow White’s heart back in a small chest she gave him as proof he had killed her so that she could once again be the most beautiful in the land.

That’s pretty twisted, but if you read the original Grimm’s fairy tales of Snow White, Cinderella and others you will find they were cruel and violent. Walt Disney just cleaned them up a little.

That brings me to my column that you are reading now. How important is physical appearance? What does beauty cost you? Do you look down on “less beautiful” people and who gets to decide who is the prettiest and who is the ugliest?

It sounds harsh because it is harsh — it’s reality.

We live in a society built on physical appearance. Think back to your days spent in junior high and high school. For some students it was the best years of their lives, while for others it was a living nightmare, but why?

I did it, you did and our friends did it. We are to blame for the kid that thought he was a geek because of his hair or the girl who shyed away from everyone because she wasn’t wearing the right brand of clothes.

We are guilty of the taunting, teasing and relentless torture of other people. Some are not as guilty as others, but everyone carries the scar of someone else’s torment.

Now as adults we cringe when we hear a child call another child fat, ugly or stupid. We discipline our own children for name calling, but who disciplines us as adults when we continue to make fun at the expense of others.

In the last few months I’ve experienced changes in my life that have resulted in taking better care of myself. I’ve learned to use blush and love it.

Knowing I had to cover an event for work one night I took some extra time and curled my hair, picked out nice clothes, put on makeup, fancy earrings and even wore high heels.

When I got to the event a lady looked at me and politely said, “My, I didn’t recognize you all done up.”

I smiled politely, quickly decided it was meant as a compliment and took my seat. In the back of my mind I thought, “How bad did I look before?”

I know she meant it with sincerity, but did people think I was ugly before? I pushed it out of my mind, decided and accepted that I don’t look too bad when I’m “done up.”

As for me making fun of other people — to be honest sometimes I see someone wearing a garment that should have never seen a sewing machine, but do I say anything? Do you?


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