Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Cinderella Syndrome

I know women of all shapes and sizes, and I've noticed something striking about them.

The least confident among them are also the most beautiful.

What I mean is that I know some very tiny women and some very large ones. I know some gorgeous girls and some who are not so pretty. Most of the ladies I know, of course, are simply average. They are of average build and average looks (because that's what average means, right? It's the most common.)

What I've realized of late is that my friends who suffer the most with issues of poor self-esteem are really much more attractive than the average. They are the pretty girls that don't think they're pretty. They're the ones who shy away from cameras and complain they look fat in their size 8 jeans.

The "average" ladies I know, the ones who blend in with the crowd, seem much more content with themselves. Even those who are very overweight seem not so discontent as their prettier sisters.

Cinderella syndrome, perhaps? Are the lovely ones convinced they are like the poor girl in rags who is waiting for a fairy godmother and a handsome prince to come rescue them? Admit it; we more often relate to the "ugly" stepsisters who felt deserving of the prize. The beautiful Cinderella who sits in the corner, covering her beauty with rags while patiently waiting on everyone else, really gets on our nerves.

Sometimes I think I'm one of those girls. It would be a lie to say that I'm grossly overweight or unusually unattractive. But sometimes I sit there with my broom, cinders on my face, waiting for compliments to come take me away.

I have several friends who are really beautiful. They have been blessed with lovely skin, lustrous hair, sparkling eyes, tiny waists, long fingers, and everything else the world says is beautiful. These same friends avoid posing for photos and complain that they look fat.

I have little patience with them.

Maybe they (dare I say we?) are such perfectionists that we are not happy unless we are "perfect." Maybe we feel that we're just so close to being "the total package" that we're regretting the tiny imperfections that keep us from that goal. Does the world expect too much from the beautiful?

Are we really just vain?

Or in pain?

I'm not sure I have the answer to that. But Cinderellas or not, we all better get ourselves off the hearth and to the ball. It's practically midnight, you know.

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