Beauty in the Mending: Happily Ever After

Beauty in the Mending: Happily Ever After

By Iteti:

Have you ever really thought about fairy tales? Among others: Sleeping Beauty, Little Mermaid, Snow White, Beauty and the Beast, Cinderella, and [my very favourite] Shrek? I loved the ones with the princesses because they fed one of my fantasies, that someday I would be the girl in the tower being rescued by her Prince Charming; that I would be the girl riding into the warmth of that golden horizon, riding into her ever after and living happily thereafter. The fantasy that my Prince Charming would fight to set me free, break down those walls and machete those creeping hedges or thickets or whatever they are, because he longed to have his bride on his big, white stallion, riding into the sunset with him.

See, they never tell you what it's like after riding into the sunset. They never tell you the truth – that it's hell and high water [sometimes] from then on; that there's morning breath and seeing him on the toilet day after day; That there are headaches and unpaid bills waiting. They never tell you about the miscarriages and the ghosts of girlfriends-who-won't-let-go; or the late night phone calls taken in the bathroom, as far as possible from earshot. No, they never tell you about them because they want to sell you a dream. They want to keep you hoping lest you take your own life because of its reality. They can't risk the death of a potential customer, so they sell you a lie and brainwash you.

Golden hair, dainty feet and flawless skin; chiseled abs, muscled legs and “poppin” grins – Yes, that couple is the perfect ten. Eating anything and everything and staying so thin. And that prince! How does he manage to stay so perfect looking and flawless, even after mounting a tower in search of his starving, close-to-death bride? Does the princess have a shower up there in her tower? HECK YEAH, they lied to us! They didn't talk about the stretch marks or the effect of gravity, the protruding bellies and sagging breasts, the beard bumps or those tract infections; they hid the ring worm and the chipped toenails; they stuck tubes on his bold spots and put weaves on her thinning haired head. They airbrushed her thighs and photo-shopped that cellulite. Oooooh, they got us good, people.

Fairy tale my foot! They didn't tell us that the glass slipper almost never fits, that the cruel step-mother and her minions do win sometimes and NO, damn it, a kiss won't save your life from death by poison! They lied when they said it gets better. Sometimes you don't get to ride into the horizon because divorce has a faster stallion than yours, his baby mama called dibs on your prince and his lying behind is actually sitting on an over-worked donkey which will most likely cough to its death before you get to ever after. Because sometimes, the little girl doesn't wake-up from being beaten unconscious, and that man doesn't recover from that gunshot wound which he sustained trying to free his lover from her rapists; and because that random woman will die of AIDs after riding into the horizon with the wrong Prince Charming.

We got played! We got a raw deal! DO YOU HEAR ME? I wasn't born airbrushed, fair-skinned or lightweight. Damn it, I never asked to be THICK, big lipped or nappy haired! I was born this way. Answer me this, why is the kinky haired girl never the princess? Are they trying to say I'm ugly? Are they throwing subtle hints in my direction that I. Am. Not. Good. Enough? Growing up looking at Rapunzel – the skinny b*tch with the long, orange-coloured flowy hair. Call me jealous or a loud mouth but I've got to say, my head can't make hair that straight even if I concentrated really hard.

The rest is always left to our imagination because they never give you a glimpse of ever after. “What is it like?” you wonder.

I'll tell you since you asked so nicely. Prince Charming is not a sculpted doll but the troll living in the swamp a few metres from your backyard, read “boy next door”. He's the buck-toothed one; the pot-bellied one; the one with the funky breath and webbed feet. But he's the sweet un-prince charming because he's nothing like in the fairy tales but everything in the real life; The one who's got your back, and still looks like he actually fought to get it. Because tired, raggedy and disheveled is what, in reality, a man who has traveled for days on end, slain a dragon, killed a witch, chopped down some bushes and climbed a tower looks like after he’s fought to save your behind, princess.

**the end**

Founder and Editor in Chief of the Readers Cafe Africa

Comments (19)

  • Kizito "Kizzy" Katawonga

    Sounds like you've been meditating alot on Shrek. But yes, Hollywood does make us feel so inadequate. It has taken me forever to realise my long skinny self is the exact thing my wife dreamed of as prince charming. I simply couldn't believe it when every woman I know was pining over David Beckam or Richard gere. Sigh

    • Iteti

      Hahahaha! She's a keeper ;-) I've been meditating a lot on fairy tales, reality and values. In as much it is wonderful to dream, it is good to be a realist to an extent. Even Beckham and Gere have their un-princely attributes.

  • Aroriza

    "Sometimes you don't get to ride into the horizon because divorce has a faster stallion than yours" hahaha i love this piece Iteti!

    • Iteti

      So glad :-) I appreciate you reading!

  • Cynthia Ayeza

    Hmmm I hear you Iteti...and yet I still not finding my prince charming...and I do not expect him to be flawless...i think I just do not know what I want :) ... but hopefully knowing what I do not want is better than nothing?? :)

    • Kizito "Kizzy" Katawonga

      Ayeza, I have found that sometimes its ok to not know what you want because Abba knows whats best for us. However, you need to work on becoming a woman worthy of a prince charming. I think that's whats really key. Then you will attract him instead of finding him :)

      • Iteti

        I find that I am weary every time I'm told I need to focus on becoming a woman worthy of a prince charming. What is the standard? Is there a limit? It sounds more like I need to change my stripes or colours to attract a "good" man. It puts us under so much pressure to hide our flaws and wear as much make-up as we can afford to. And when we're rejected, it just feels like we're not good enough; the show we put up wasn't good enough for him. I believe in being yourself and giving the other person an opportunity to recognise your worth. If he doesn't, it's his loss. This business of "becoming" is just unnecessary pressure. A woman has the ability to love an abuser, a cheater, a thief or whatever [which is sad] until she dies from a worn heart and so does a man [case in point, Hosea]. It's a journey. That's just my take.

    • Iteti

      I've brought it down to knowing what you don't want, within reason :-) Sometimes life can pleasantly surprise you; you find out this person is giving you something you didn't even know you needed, and it's amazing. Not knowing what you want can be a good thing, I believe

  • Kathy

    "NO, damn it, a kiss won't save your life from death by poison!" Unfortunately not! But we still need these fairy tales to numb reality, no?

  • Moraa

    hehe, you such a hatterrr... but i love it! this is a wonderful piece, dawning reality on us like that... this is truly amazing!

  • Nick Twinamatsiko

    I love this piece, Iteti. So beautifully written, and so full of sense and humor! You have really cracked me up, especially with the last sentences.

  • Bahati Alex

    I've read all your comments. Very enticing. To Iteti, it's good to be who you are and not changing yourself to attract Prince Charming. Be who you are so long as you feel in agreement with your conscience and the real Prince Charming whom God prepared 4u will come your way no matter who you are, what you do, at al. God bless you

  • Bahati Alex

    Very true Ayeza Cynthia. Nobody is flawless as the Bible Romans 3.23 says that for all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, We are all imperfect before God and our fellow men. What's good is to find somebody who, despite being imperfect, tries to improve himself to God's required standards

  • amanda

    so true,well said indeed

  • Lori

    The only skinny princess types I know are as crazy as the rat that lives in the outhouse.

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