I was sort of into Fairy Tales when I was little. I had my favorites. Honestly, they were a bit weird, because they generally involved trolls under bridges or old witches who liked the taste of a little kid’s leg.  I balanced it all with “Now I lay me down to sleep prayers”, which made sure that if death came in the middle of the night, all was taken care of.  Looking back now, they were supposed to be vehicles in which lessons about morality and character were taught. I can’t say that I recall the moral  implications for Peter Cottontail or any of the listed above. More than anything, they validated my childhood fears and  I sort of got it that if you did things you weren’t supposed to do, your leg could be some weird ole woman’s lunch. Strange the things even a small child can wrap their mind around.

However, there was one that left me clueless: the “Emperor’s New Clothes”.

In case you aren’t familiar, it’s a tale of narcissism in the form of a vain Emperor.  Two swindling tailors convince him that they can weave a suit of magic clothes for him that will be invisible to anyone who is hopelessly stupid. Of course, when they give him the suit, he can’t see it either, but he parades around completely naked for all his subjects to see. The man’s not going to admit his lack of vision and hence unfittness for his job as emperor.

The reason I didn’t like this fairy tale was because it was even beyond my childish imagination (populated as it was with all manor of made up creatures) to accept that someone would be so vain they would walk around naked rather than realize they didn’t have any clothes on. Seriously. I must have seen some illustrator’s drawing of this tale that was a bit more revealing, that or my mind went there, because even recalling it now, I see a big pot belly covering up the Emperor’s junk with his pimply white butt marching down the promenade, his subjects gawking. The whole idea was completely repugnant and seemed way more unlikely than trolls or  pigs building houses out of sticks or straw.

Come on. What grownup would do that naked down the street thing?

Well…

Imagine my surprise when watching the Academy Awards, which I’m not want to do generally, I stared in abject horror, as Angeline Jolie, she of the pouty, amazing lips, and lustrous hair that guaranteed her feminine fecundity, snaked her skeleton leg out the high slit of her black gown in a weird pose that looked like maybe there weren’t quite enough sinews and muscle to hold it there for long.  I have to say, I imagined her naked. Despite my inability to watch those advertisement to sponsor children in African whose emaciated bodies look like tissue paper across tiny bones, I had seen enough before turning the channel that I could imagine.  If the bones in her arm looked like that what in the world must her body look like? I imagined her as the naked emperor, knowing that if I saw her from the back, the ridge of her hips, load bearing for children, would be visibly jutting from wasted glut muscles, gone because once the body gets that thin it’s been eating muscle for awhile.

And she posed again and I was sure the world moaned at her state.

Let me tell you, I like Angelina. I liked her Laura Croft. I think the planes of her face are just right and heck, I’m willing to give anyone a second chance, even if they did carry vials of blood in a previous mating around their neck. (I should know better, I thought Jesse James was a bad boy gone good.)

The next day the media reported her “sexy” pose.

Really.

A million thoughts ran through my mind to try and explain how anyone could possibly accept Angelina’s own brand of nakedness. Just how swindled are we as a culture when it comes to obviously dangerous lifestyles such as this?

God didn’t give me any girls. One would have to believe there is a reason. But I’m here to tell you, any young girls out there: that wasn’t and never will be beauty. That was heartbreaking and sad. That was a fairy tale and it was a bad one.

If there ever was a call for those of us with two X’s, who strive to be beautiful inside and out, we should be indignant at the lie.We should be advising our girls that beauty, sexuality, and confidence are goals that should not be dictated by someone who is clearly unhealthy. It should be quite the opposite.

Tell them that. Make sure they know. Because if you let them rely on the what bombards them in the media, THEY AREN’T GOING TO GET THE RIGHT IDEA.

The funny thing, and this will make some of my gender who I love made at me, is that men, driven by physical beauty as they are, have a quite broad criteria for what they find attractive.  There is nothing shameful for a woman to wants to be attractive to that broad criteria by the way. It is a vital part of who we are.  Men are much more open minded than us sisters are too each other. I have it on a good, anonymous source that two of the best things to come along, in the eyes of men, are sun dresses and yoga pants.

Consider that won’t you. It’s not a skeleton they’re envisioning.