Once Upon a Time…
…there was a young girl, this little girl was a sad little girl, a lonely little girl, a lost little girl and she thought she was an unloved little girl. Her name was Sophie. Sophie’s parents had just recently divorced, so she worried that they had stopped loving her, like, sadly, they’d stopped loving each other. Sophie was so terrified of this idea, that she wanted to do everything and anything she could to ensure that this didn’t happen. So she decided in order to be loved she MUST be a good girl. Sophie worked hard in school, she did all her homework, she helped with chores at both houses, kept her room tidy, tried not fight with her older brother (although sometimes it was hard) and she tried not cry or show her feelings. She wanted to ensure that she did not make any waves to rock the boat further. She already felt adrift and she was clinging on to being “a good girl” like it was a life line. But she somehow felt like she needed to be even better.
Sophie wasn’t always a sad, lonely little girl. She and her brother lived in a suburb just outside of London, with Mum and Dad, but that was before… Now Sophie faced life between her parents and this made her terribly sad. Before the split, Sophie loved to squish in between her parents on the sofa, wiggling her way in to a snuggly bug warm hug. She would, proudly, bring home her best bits of school work to be displayed on the fridge, now she felt torn about which parent she should give it to. Which fridge should it go on? She loved playing catch in the garden with Mum and creating masterpieces in the kitchen with Dad. Sophie knew that changes and choices were inevitable and this scared her. What she didn’t realise was that, despite her fears, her Mummy and Daddy still loved her very very much.
Sophie is Dazzled by the Glossy Princesses
Sophie loved to leaf through her mum’s glossy magazines, feeling the smooth pages between her fingers and drinking in the smell of freshly printed pages. She adored looking at all the beautiful women in their glamourous fashions, looking like glorious princesses. All the colours, luxurious fabrics and the patterned prints jumping out of the page, Sophie was spellbound. After a while Sophie’s attention turned towards the models, rather than the dresses; she saw they all looked strikingly similar. They all had long lean legs, bronzed toned tummies, shiny hair, sculpted cheek bones and tall slender frames. As she stared at these spectacular princesses, she started to take notice of her own body. She didn’t look like them at all! Sophie let her hand touch her soft skin and she felt the cushiony warmth of her tummy and thighs. She stared in the mirror at her pooky, rounded, rosy cheeks, her short legs and her gentle round face. Sophie cried “I don’t look like those princesses one little bit!” And she started to worry. Sophie thought to herself “In order to be the best type of “good girl”… A PRINCESS! I need to look like those magical ladies in the magazine.” She huffed at her own appearance in the mirror and held up the magazine like it was a precious painting.
Everyday Sophie sat in front of the mirror and wished and cried. She wished that she could be different, but her wishes went unanswered. She looked at the other girls at school and day-dreamed she could be more like them, more athletic, more blonde, more… well… less like herself. One day Sophie drew in a deep breath and walked toward the popular girls. She had decided to speak to them about how to look more like them, how to look more like a ‘Princess’. Some smiled politely and shrugged, others laughed and one girl, one really mean girl, started pointing and laughing at Sophie. “You can never be like us! You Silly Fatty! Fat Cow!” Sophie didn’t understand that the ‘Mean Girl’, was pretty on the outside but ugly on the inside. The ‘Mean Girl’ said terribly mean things to all the girls, commenting on their appearance. She liked to ensure they were all scared of her. She was a bully. Sophie heard the words “Fat Cow” screaming in her ear like a siren. The other girls followed the ‘Mean Girl’ laughing and chanting. Sophie felt dizzy, confused, her face flushed hot and prickly tears filled her eyes. She looked around for some help but no-one was willing. Some girls stood sheepishly by, too frightened to get involved.
She ran as fast as her legs could carry her. Shame and embarrassment fogging up her head. She ran and ran and ran until she found herself deep in the woods. As she caught her breath, she looked around, the wood was dense and dark. She saw a small hut, a hut she had been repeatedly warned to stay away from. Sophie cautiously walked towards the hut, remembering the rumours about an old, evil, witchy woman that everyone called ‘The Crone’, who lived there and practised black magic. Sophie wondered, “Perhaps ‘The Crone’ might have a special spell that she could use to shrink my body, so that no one would ever call me names again?”
The Crone & The Book
The Crone’s house was dark and creepy. Strange smells and vapours wafted around her. As she opened the creaky door, ‘The Crone’ turned in her chair and laid her beady eyes on Sophie, looking her up and down with malice. Instantly Sophie felt a chill run down her spine but there was no turning back now, she had to complete her quest. ‘The Crone’ smiled a grim, toothless smile. Sophie could smell her rank breath as she began to speak, “Hello Sophie, I know why you are here….I know what you have come for….but it will cost you”. Sophie swallowed hard, she had never been so terrified but she was determined. “I’ll do anything…” Sophie replied, not realising the true cost. ‘The Crone’ leaned closer, “I will help you to change your body and to become a true princess but, in return, I require something from you.” Sophie had no money of her own and she felt red hot tears fill her eyes “…but I have nothing to give you”. ‘The Crone’ smiled, and replied “You have something I want, if you give it to me freely, it will not cost you any money or riches but you have to agree to give it to me. It is your soul.” Sophie, having no clue what her soul was, or it’s true value, willingly agreed. ‘The Crone’ handed Sophie a book, it was a magic book with lots of spells, recipes and rules to help her succeed in her quest.
Sophie had never felt so elated, she was going to be a Princess, AT LAST!
Her heart brimmed with joy and determination. As Sophie left, ‘The Crone’ swore her to secrecy, “No-one must know about this book but in order for it to help you, you must read and follow its every rule, no matter how difficult it might seem. Becoming a Princess isn’t easy.” As Sophie left she didn’t notice ‘The Crone’s’ smile turn into an evil, twisted sneer, as she rubbed her hands with glee.