The Fairest of Them All

My husband and I handed the kids over to a very capable sitter this afternoon and took off for 7 hours.  Our agenda was to visit a friend in the hospital, shop for some work shirts for hubby, and test drive cars.  Car dealerships are closed on Sundays, so we had to be content with perusing the parking lot looking through the windows.  It was nice having no salesman around adding pressure to a relaxed day.  We capped off our late spring suburban-esque  night with dinner at a chain restaurant and a trip to the local cineplex to see Snow White and the Huntsman.

Beauty. It’s a slave master. When I graduated high school in 1993, I weighed 87 pounds. People either assumed I had an eating disorder or just hold me how lucky I was to have such a high metabolism. I hated being so gaunt and binge ate to gain 10 pounds before I left for college. Regardless, I was rather beautiful with long, chestnut curls, a pearly smile, and good cheekbones. I would have been better received in this decade, though. The early 90s was about being thin and voluptuous, and I was just thin.

In Snow White and the Huntsman, Queen Ravenna’s beauty is her only power.  As long as she is the fairest of all, she is also the most powerful of all.  She is a slave and a queen: a slave to physical beauty and a queen with magical powers sustain her beauty until someone more beautiful comes along.  If she isn’t the fairest in the land, she has no reason to live.

It always happens, doesn’t it?  Just when you think you are the prettiest, the smartest, the cleverest, the most talented person in the room, some bitch comes along with more than what you’ve got.  You strategize: crush her, flatter her, ignore her, vanquish her? You can’t sustain being on top without exacting high prices from others. And it makes you ask, “What on earth am I living for, anyway?”

I’m getting older and my beauty is fading fast.  I’m a bit horrified by it and tempted to make lame jokes about getting older, but I refuse to stoop to that. And while the beating heart of a virgin bombshell couldn’t help me, a trip to the vascular surgeon will. I’m heading there tomorrow to start zapping the spider veins that have shown up since I started having kids. I live in the South and it’s just too darn hot here to not wear shorts. But, it’s going to cost some change to get my legs done. I’ve thought about this a lot. So yes, I know that 26,000 children die each day of malnutrition, dehydration, and preventable diseases. I’m doing something exciting to help with those things, too. And lest you still think I’m only concerned with vanity, I leave you with this. Parental discretion is advised.

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