Not So Ugly Duckling

These days, I believe that far too much emphasis is placed on one’s looks. Models provide unreal expecations for women to attempt to live up to, but no one even has second thoughts about their authenticity. The beauty that the mass market has produced is not only so extreme that no average person could ever come close, but the fact is that it doesn’t even exist. Every poster, every last ad, the models are airbrushed to death. Not even they look that good in real life.

Now I may be going off on a bit of a tangent, but I honestly wish that people wouldn’t be so quick to judge and label others based on outward appearance. When I found a crochet pattern titled “The Ugly Duckling,” I was expecting some grotesque mass of yarn in dark, dirty colors with perhaps an awkward yellow beak poking out. Driven mainly by curiousity, I went to go check it out, and discovered a stuffed animal that was anything but “ugly.”

Sure, her beak might be a bit large, but nothing begging for plastic surgery. She may have large feet, but they’re nothing to hide in shoes and feel embarrassed about. This sweet duckling knows the pain of rejection and being called names, but she doesn’t care. She and I both know how beautiful she really is, and that confidence is perhaps the most beautiful aspect of all.

I know it’s a bit of a far cry to be comparing a stuffed animal to the mass media, but it was all I could think of as I held the finished duckling in my hand. No, we’re not perfect, but that doesn’t mean a single one of us should ever aquire the demeaning and hurtful label of being “ugly.”

As a small after-note, I’m happy to hear that in Madrid, they are now banning models that are underweight. It’s a small step foward, but a sure sign that the times are changing, and hopefully for the best.