“Good God, Gwen, don’t you ever wear anything that isn’t gray? You need to put a little color into your life,” Cynthia Guthrie greeted her daughter at the front door.
“Why, Mother, so people will look at me?”
“You’re a beautiful person. When will you start thinking like one?” petite, blonde Cynthia said, sorting through the mail.
“Maybe when you start looking at me,” Gwen said to her Barbie Doll mother.
Cynthia glanced up sharply, “Spending your money on every beauty ad you read in the magazines is doing nothing but making us poorer.” She shoved a bright pink box into Gwen’s twisted hands. “Carillon Beauty? Another overnight remedy? Another miracle treatment? More like another disappointment. When will you learn, Gwen?”
“Look at me, Mother. Does that answer your question?”
Cynthia sighed, “Physical beauty isn’t everything. You’re beautiful on the
inside. The work you do in the Children’s Ward—the hours that you spend at the Homeless Shelter—you’re a kind, giving person. I’m proud of you, I love you just the way you are.”
But too often Gwen had seen it. That look in her mother’s eyes. That look screamed “how could someone who looks like me, have a child this ugly?”
Gwen, clutching her newest beauty aid, hurried past the telltale hall mirror to her room. Her mother would never understand. No one who looked like her mother had ever felt the pain of loneliness that rode on Gwen’s shoulders like a heavy, woolen cloak.
Carillon Beauty. Musical beauty. Gwen had seen the ad on television, had heard a few chords of the sweet elixir. At the time, she had to have it; she was positive that this time it would work where all the others had failed.
Continued in the next post.
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