The Beautiful People
“Are you tired of being ignored? Do you want to be noticed?
Are you a social outcast? Don’t you just want to fit in?
Are you tired of your lackluster appearance? Don’t you want to be one of the Beautiful People?
Call right now for your chance to be part of an ongoing study. If you qualify you could be compensated for your participation. Space is limited. So call right now!”
The television announcer sounded so convincing. This was something worth trying, she considered. Who doesn’t want to be beautiful, socially accepted, and noticed? Something was compelling her to call. As she began to dial the number, she wondered if it was self-improvement talks, subliminal messages, group therapy, hypnosis, even cosmetic surgery, or was it just some giant scam. Who cares, she thought. What did she have to lose? After the recent loss of her job and the uncertainty of her financial security, her future looked dim. Not to mention, she was still trying to pluck the emotional splinters from her heart after her fiancé left her just days before their wedding. Life seemed to be one hurdle after another, each one getting higher and higher, making it impossible to clear. She knew she desperately wanted to change her life. Maybe this was what she needed after all.
She had relentlessly been enamored by The Beautiful People and longed to be just like them, everyone did. The Beautiful People were the exclusive trendsetters of society. They had it all, money, fame, and most importantly, beauty. Anyone who was anyone was one of The Beautiful People.
After answering a few questions on the phone, she was surprised to be given directions to the location of the “study.” It was a place she had never heard of and certainly never been, but she carefully wrote down all the information from the person on the other line. It seemed she may need to stay there for a few days while undergoing some “tests” that were indeterminately unclear as to what she might be asked to do. She felt both anxious and excited to have been considered part of, what she considered a great opportunity so she didn’t ask too many questions about the procedures.
Several weeks dragged by and today was the day that she would finally change her life. With this single decision, she realized, she may never be coming home again. She scanned her surroundings including a pile of unpaid bills and the engagement photo she couldn’t quite bring herself to discard. She breathed a sigh of relief. She was happy to leave this all behind, her unsuccessful job searches and the debt collectors harassing phone calls. She wondered if she would feel different after today, if her heartache might even finally heal. She climbed in her car and sped away, not looking back.
The drive seemed endless, through roads of steaming factories and shadowy buildings. As the car steered up the long vertical driveway, she noticed enormous stretches of the greenest grass she had ever seen. She laughed to herself thinking, “Maybe the grass really is greener on the other side.”
When she finally arrived there were hundreds of people already there, eagerly awaiting their turn to let go of their drab existence and be accepted among the Beautiful People. They wanted to see
themselves in a new way by becoming one of the elite. She gazed over the crowd, noticing most people dressed in plain, casual attire with average appearances. She felt a comradery with them. They seemed to have so much in common. She wondered if they would have a chance to get to know each other before they all went through “the change”. As she continued to scan the attendants in line, she spotted the familiar face of a woman that she had been acquainted with on a few occasions. It was the woman that worked at the perfume counter at the mall. She had always envied the woman’s poise and beauty and was convinced she would make an incredible model. What was she doing here she thought to herself. Why would she need a change? She was already incredibly beautiful. What was so irrevocably missing in her life?
Before entering the line, each participant was expected to sign a waiver giving up control of their life as they now know it. She noticed the woman from the mall sign the paper without hesitation. For a split second she waned, surprised by the other woman’s eagerness. She still couldn’t conclude why this woman was here, but it solidified her resolve to stay.
An imminent buzz of excitement seduced the crowd. Just then the tower door sprung open, all the watchers caught sight of the Beautiful People walking out in a single file line, each one as beautiful as the next. Their posture, elegance, and flawless features created a glowing aura that made them seem other worldly. The air was still and silence enraptured the crowd. She couldn’t believe she was so close to them and was hypnotized by their magnificent grandeur. The Beautiful People were the ideal and soon everyone in the crowd would be just like them. EXACTLY LIKE THEM. She speculated how they would all be transformed? Would it be painful? Would it be worth it?
“May I introduce to you The Beautiful People,” bellowed a voice from the tower, “You have probably seen them before.” “Come inside, one and all, for your chance to become part of this exceptional group of society. Each one of you made that call to us because your life needed a change for the better. That is why you are standing here today. THIS IS YOUR DESTINY! THIS IS WHAT YOU HAVE BEEN LOOKING FOR! YOUR LIFE IS ABOUT TO CHANGE AND THERE IS NO GOING BACK NOW. COME INSIDE!” the voice more insistent this time. The willing crowd moved forward trying to get a glimpse to what awaited on the other side.
She felt frozen for a minute until she heard the voice again thundering in a way that pierced through her, saying, “YOU DON’T WANT TO BE THE ONLY ONE LEFT BEHIND, DO YOU? WHO ARE YOU ANYWAY?” The voice was speaking right through to her soul. She began to feel uneasy, knowing this decision was permanent and there was no going back. That thought thrilled her a moment ago, but now she wasn’t so sure. For most of her life, she had felt ignored, forgotten, and useless. It makes sense to let go of those feelings once and for all to be accepted, to be desired. She felt conflicted reflecting on who SHE really was and what that meant. Maybe the life she was leaving behind didn’t seem so bad anymore. Surely, more existed inside of her than these people knew or cared to see. She felt as if she were waking up from a bad dream. The Beautiful People started to seem like just a collection of mindless drones that society accepted without even knowing why. This place just wanted to erase her mind and turn her into a robot! What had she done? Was this really what she wanted? Was it too late to turn back now? How could she have fallen for something so irrational? Her mind was reeling with all of these new thoughts and emotions.
“Isn’t this what you’ve always wanted?” asked the voice from the tower.
She was reluctant to move forward. She didn’t know! Was this right for her or was she was just giving in to her fears again? She had always been afraid to try anything new and usually had a way of talking herself out of things that were probably good for her. The Beautiful People had it all and certainly never had problems. She needed to stop worrying so much. She realized she had an important decision to make in the next few seconds. Either she would go through that door and live as one of The Beautiful People or she would get in her car and drive away back to her life as she had always known it. Whichever way, she would be changed forever.