The Ugly Duckling – a real story

In elementary school they used to make fun of the kids wearing glasses, the one with the fierce red hair, the one with the terribly long legs. The kid with the braces, the smart ones, always studying, getting great results. The freckled face, the chubby one. Kids express terrible creativity when it comes to hurtful nicknames. The group against the individual. The ‘normal’ kids against the ‘weird’ one.

Years later and – all of the sudden –  glasses, red hair and long legs are sexy. Intelligence, straight teeth, freckles and curves are flattering. The initiation of admiration and lust.
A lot of adults still seek the safety of being an invisible part of the group, but it’s no longer a sign of strenght and power. It becomes the exact opposite. The one who stands out in a crowd is now the one they wish to be (but are probably too afraid to become). The group now looks up to the power of the individual.

Do we need to be tormented before we get appreciated?   Is it faith that the one who struggled his or her way through childhood and school now becomes the center of attention? How much sense does it make that being bullied for being different turns into being attractive for that exact same reason? Is the story about the ugly duckling turning into a beautiful swan inspired by Hans Christian Andersen’s personal experience? If not, he was a great observor.
The underlying messages in fairytales never fail humanity. Morals and norms taught in a beautiful story. It’s a pity we stop reading them once we become adults. And it seems like a lot of grown-ups forget all about the fairytale lessons. Even though life really is better when you allow some magic in it…


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