Once upon the time, there was a beautiful princess. She had long golden hair, rosy cheeks, cherry red lips, and a perfect hourglass figure. She was the envy of all the kingdom, and for good reason– she was the love of Prince Charming. The valiant young man, the horseback riding hero of every girl's dream was in love with her. One day, to the despair of every little girl in the land, he pulled a beautiful diamond ring from his pocket and slips it on her finger. The shining stone was every girl's reminder that she had lost to the fair-haired beauty. She was now married to the prince– she had won happily ever after.
The younger girls were silly though, and so refused to acknowledge that they had lost. They wore blush and lipstick to look like the princess and dropped by the palace weekly for tea with the couple, secretly flirting with the prince throughout. Still, after a few months, when the prince didn't so much as look at them, they decided that they still weren't pretty enough for the prince.
They dyed their hair and laid in the sun for hours to get the princess's bronze glow. Still, one had another idea: she stopped eating and bought a push-up bra, and took all her clothes to the tailor to have the necklines lowered, hems shortened, and sides brought in, so that when she went the next week, she was terribly revealed. She was rewarded though, since the prince couldn't stop staring at her through the entirety of tea, despite the princess's searing glare. Before she left, he dropped her a note. "Meet me at the palace tomorrow at dusk when my wife is in the village," it read.
The little girl was ecstatic– she was finally going to marry the prince and live happily ever after! She knew she could win if she were only pretty enough. So, the next day, she wore her finest clothes and caked her face with makeup like a mask. She couldn't stop smiling, as she walked across the meadow towards the castle.
When she reached the gates, one of the servants was waiting to escort her to the prince's chamber. She was surprised, but figured that the wedding proposal would have to take place in private, since the prince probably hadn't yet made arrangements to divorce the princess. But, when the servant left her at the door, she saw the prince laying bare in his bed.
She panicked– they were going to consummate the marriage now? But, she didn't want the prince to change his mind, so, she put on a second façade, a confident expression, slipped off her dress, and climbed onto the bed beside him.
Two hours later, she lay in bed next to him, hurting. But, she knew that a little pain was worth happily ever after. She got up and dressed, forcing a smile. She kept reminding herself that now she was going to marry Prince Charming and live happily ever after as she walked back home, picturing the self satisfied prince laying in bed.
But, when she went for tea the next week, the princess was still wearing that big diamond on her finger, and the prince acted as though nothing had happened. She kept her cool as she sat down, but when she saw it glint as she reached for another crumpet, she burst into tears, and ran from the room. Her friend covered for her, telling the baffled crowd that she had just lost her favorite pony, and then, concerned, followed her out the door.
When the friend finally found her, the little girl was sitting against the palace wall, curled up like a fetus and sobbing. Despite all her comforting and gentle prodding, she could not get her to talk about what was wrong. The girl, after crying all the tears her little body could make, slouched home miserably.
She sat in her chamber, staring into the looking glass with hate in her eyes. She still wasn't pretty enough, and she had lost her virtue! She couldn't marry anyone now! But, leafing through a magazine, she had an idea: plastic surgery. She went to the local barber-surgeon, who told her that the procedure was possible, but it would cost her more than she could possibly have. But desperate, the girl sold everything of value she owned– her identity, her self-respect, her soul, and finally accumulated the sum needed to undergo the procedure.
The little girl sat down in the chair shaking. But, she had paid, and she wasn't going back, so she allowed the surgeon to carve a new nose into her face, higher more elegant cheekbones, and fuller lips. He added two sizes to her breasts and she woke up a different person. When she next went to the prince's for tea, he couldn't keep his hands off her, even in front of his beautiful wife, who threw the big shiny ring at him violently.
The ring hit his eye, which swelled and bruised, but the little girl ran to get ice for him. She bent over and pressed the ice against it lovingly, and he slipped the ring, which he had been clutching angrily since it injured him, onto her finger. She felt a jubilant smile crack her bedside manner, but she didn't care. She had won happily ever after!
Eventually, the little girl grew into a middle-aged woman. Her face began to crease, her breasts sagged, and she was no longer the desirable maiden the prince had once lusted after. One day, the grown child returned from the market to find him in bed with the most beautiful girl she had ever seen, naked and giggling ignorantly. Once again, she ran crying, and curled up against the same rough stones of the castle wall she had leaned upon as a child. She lived happily ever after?