Picture this. Long long ago, in a land far away there lived a girl named No White. Yes, not Snow White but No White. She had skin as dark as coal but a heart very clean and pure. She longed for a man to accept her for who she was and how she looked for she believed that love was skin deep. But little control did she have over that fate of hers. She hoped for love, from a man, from her family, from the society but all she got was rejection and criticism. Who’d want to be associated with a girl that dark? Who was to be blamed? No White, for being born this way? The people who couldn't accept her for who she was? Or those silly advertisements about fairness creams that led No White to believe that a woman is truly intelligent, talented or attractive only when she uses a fairness cream and becomes gorgeous over night. Whatever happened to talent, skills and knowledge! She was tired of being presented like a showpiece by her parents before all the men and their families who’d come to ask her hand for marriage, sip the many cups of tea, reject her and walk away since they wanted a ‘fair-skinned’ wife for their son.
As for Rapunzel, she was certainly not in a happy state too. Rapunzel who once used to be the talk of the town for her long and luscious locks was losing all her hair. What happened to Rapunzel all of a sudden? What happened to her hair? Well, Rapunzel was suffering from cancer. Thanks to the grueling sessions of chemotherapy, Rapunzel was beginning to lose her hair. If the fight against the disease was not taxing enough, she was losing her self-confidence too. Rapunzel feared dying, but losing what used to be her biggest asset slowly wasn't easy for her either. No, she wasn't materialistic or beauty conscious. She feared that she’d drive away all the people around her, her fiance her family, and her friends, with her balding head. She thought they’d not want to be around her. How would you feel if one day you begin to lose what’s very dear to you and you have no option but to accept the fact, live with it and struggle to get it back? Rapunzel also felt the same way. She knew she was not well. She knew chemotherapy was her only hope to survive. It was making her lose her hair, she had no option but to accept the fact, live with it and struggle to fight against cancer and get everything she lost, her hair, her health and even her people.
Remember Cinderella? Yes, the one who lived with her two ‘beautiful’ step sisters? All her childhood, Cinderella lived under their shadow. Why did she? Did the beauty of her step sisters overpower her goodness and her intelligence or did her appearance simply didn't let her come out of the shadow? After all who would notice a girl dealing with anorexia, dark circles and over sized spectacles over those eyes? Cinderella’s sisters were beautiful. One of them had long hair, her skin shone like gold, her doe shaped eyes were enough to captivate any man and her long legs were every girl’s envy. The other had short hair, maybe because she didn't want her hair to hide those adorable dimples on her cheeks. She was slim, had light brown eyes and fluttering eyelashes that made it simply impossible to ignore her. Cinderella probably didn't even look at herself if she stood with them in front of the mirror. But yes, one thing her eyes always searched for was that guy from college she’d liked for two years. He was in her class but he didn't even know that Cinderella existed. All his attention was reserved for Cinderella’s beautiful elder sister, the one with long hair. Cinderella had no option but to watch him woo her sister while Cinderella remained the silent watcher and hoped that someday she’d get noticed.
Did I just ruin your favorite fairy tales for you? I guess we've probably got so accustomed to expect perfection from everything that we've forgotten that imperfection is also beautiful. Fairy tales don’t want us to believe that life is good only when everything is perfect, only when Rapunzel has the perfect hair or Snow White has the perfect skin. Fairy tales want us to believe that no matter what happens and how it happens, eventually things fall into place, and eventually there is a happy ending. So, you don’t have to be Rapunzel to be pretty or Cinderella to find your Prince. Also, for all you men, you don’t have to be the knight in shining armor Who says that a man has to carry around his armor at all times? You never know what he’s capable of doing until you've given him a chance. Burst the bubble and look beyond.
Since, we all love happy endings so much, how can I leave these stories without giving them their endings? Do you not want to know what happened to No White, Cinderella and Rapunzel? Well, No White is a writer today. Not only has she written the bestseller of the year but her book is also being adapted into a movie. Her instant fame and popularity have flooded her house with calls from prospective suitors, some of which had even rejected her. Rapunzel finally won the battle against cancer. Though she hasn't grown those beautiful locks back, she has started loving herself all the more and is proud of making way for herself and emerging as the survivor. She is currently working in a foundation for cancer patients and has also been donating generously for their treatment. And Cinderella? Well, she’s finally found her love. In the long ongoing attempt to win over the guy she’s always liked, Cinderella neglected her Prince Charming, her best friend who’d always been by her side and loved her unconditionally. She finally realized how much he loves her and they all lived HAPPILY EVER AFTER.