Once upon a time, there was a queen who was known as a “wicked stepmother,” although she was actually just misunderstood. It wasn’t easy ruling full-time and being a wife and a stepmom. The Queen was somewhat vain about her appearance because of the kingdom’s double standards and objectification of its female-identified subjects. She purchased a magic mirror that provided her with personalized workouts and gave it to her straight about her looks.
“Magic mirror on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all?” the Queen asked the mirror.
“Snow White is the fairest in the land,” responded the mirror.
The mirror meant “fair” as in palest, not prettiest, because “fair” is a homonym. Those can be tricky even for native English speakers, and the mirror was imported from France. (Snow White was attractive, but that’s not the point — also, the mirror knew that being lighter in skin tone does not mean prettiest. People of all skin colors are beautiful. The point is, Snow White was basically translucent).
Nevertheless, it was true: Snow White was the fairest in the whole kingdom. She religiously applied SPF 70 and wore a wide-brimmed hat, and it was mostly fine. But when summer arrived, Snow White’s pale skin burned really easily. She also had dark body hair that popped against her pale skin in the sunlight. She looked like a werewolf crossed with a ghost. People gave her strange looks when she wore shorts.
Snow White wanted to hide her body. She went deep into the woods. But the woods were full of ticks, and Snow White was scared because she was also covered in moles, which looked a lot like ticks (like many people, she shunned using an insect repellent with DEET even though it’s effective and safe). It got hot in the woods. Snow White longed to go swimming. But to do that, she’d need to wear a bathing suit that was flattering, comfortable, affordable, and offered some protection from the sun’s burning rays. Alas, such a swimsuit was impossible to find.
In search of maximum shade, Snow White went deeper into the woods. There, she came across a cottage where she met seven little people. They were named Shaving, Waxing, Plucking, Depilatory, Epilator, Laser Hair Removal, and Fuck It I Give Up. They took pity on Snow White and said they could help her remove her dark hair from her pale legs.
So Snow White tried shaving her legs. Although she liked how her freshly shaved legs felt against clean sheets, the hair grew back the next day. Then she set about trying to wax her legs. Three hours later, bruised and sticky, Snow White gave up. She told Plucking there was no plucking way she was removing her leg hair one at a time with a tiny tweezer. Epilator helped Snow White use a type of torture device that is slow and painful and also not very effective at removing hair. She got an ingrown hair that would later require antibiotics. Laser Hair Removal tried to talk her into trying a permanent method, but Snow White couldn’t afford it. Depilatory told Snow White about a magical, inexpensive cream that would remove her leg hair. Snow White covered her legs in it and waited. It smelled like chemicals burning hair. After five minutes, she couldn’t take any more. She rinsed herself off. 90% of the hair was still there. Fuck It I Give Up suggested she just let her legs be hairy.
Frustrated, Snow White ran away from the cottage, as fast as her pale, hairy legs would carry her. At that very moment, a handsome prince from another kingdom who was out for a hike saw Snow White running through the forest, sobbing.
“What’s wrong?” he asked her.
Snow White told the prince about her problems with being the fairest in the land, and how she couldn’t find a bathing suit that worked for her or a sunblock that had a high SPF, was reef-friendly, didn’t leave a white cast or smell bad, and didn’t break the bank. The prince was a good listener, and he didn’t interrupt her once or mansplain anything to her (that’s how you know this is truly a fairy tale).
The prince suggested that he and Snow White go shopping together for a bathing suit with a matching coverup. He said he would help her find just the right one, no matter how long it took. At that moment, Snow White knew it was true love.
Snow White wore her new ensemble to the beach with an extra wide-brimmed hat and a pair of huge sunglasses. Her stepmother happened to be there, taking a power walk.
“I thought you were the fairest in the land,” the Queen said to Snow White. “Why are you covering yourself up so much?”
“Because I’m the fairest in the land?” Snow White responded. Her stepmother gave her a blank look. “As in, the palest?”
“Ohhhhh, I get it now,” the Queen said.
“Care for an apple?” the Queen asked Snow White. Snow White suspected this was a subtle dig at her eating habits, but she accepted. She hugged her stepmother. Maybe the Queen really wasn’t so bad. They were both working on body acceptance. At that moment, they became true friends, and sisterhood ruled over the patriarchy.
Snow White lived happily ever after, pale skin, dark hair, moles and all. She also found a good dermatologist who took her insurance. Even though she had to wait six months for an appointment, it was worth it because Dr. B was in-network, had a great bedside manner, and never ran late.