Cinderella was supposed to be beautiful. She couldn’t be Cinderella. The teacher asked, “Who would like to audition for the role?” She felt her heart fall down. Even if she was brave enough to try out, the others would laugh at her audacity. A fat Cinderella could not exist.
“The chair will break!” A classmate yelled out as she sat down. Fifteen mean giggles followed. She didn’t look up as her vision clouded with tears. She could never get used to this. The others went back to their daily lives, not noticing her injured heart.
She wanted a boyfriend like the popular girls in class always had one. But who’d like her? “I’m so fat and ugly,” she told herself every time she dared to have a crush. Her sister told her to just go and say, “I like you.” But how could she? Sometimes she wondered if she hated herself. And sometimes she answered with a yes.
“The annual swimming competition will be next Monday,” announced the teacher. Rita’s heart started pounding. She needed to get sick by Monday. She couldn’t bear to see the other girls looking so nice when a swimsuit would make her look like a big hippo. But mother would be angry – five years of swimming lessons gone to waste, she would say. Rita wanted to run away.
The mirror was her enemy. She looked at it rarely. Tonight, she promised to look at her face because people said she was pretty. But she would try not to look below the neck. So she did just that until her sister remarked, “Isn’t that dress too short for you?” She looked down and cringed. Life would be so much easier if she looked like the other girls.