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.
“I don’t want to go,” she told her mom for the fifth time. But her mother didn’t understand. “What’s the big deal?” She shrugged and left. Preeya wished she could tell her what the big deal was without bursting into tears. She had tried telling her friend at school. But her friend was a size six so she just didn’t get it. Trying on nice clothes and feeling uglier than usual in a trial room wasn’t any fun.
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.
“If beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder, then I guess everybody thinks I’m ugly,” the young girl told her mother with no emotion in her voice. She was sick of feeling like she didn’t belong to the world. And she knew the reason. It was why she hated buying clothes and would kill all mirrors if she could. But her mother said something that made her think: It all starts with you, honey. Why don’t you see your own beauty?