The Price of Beauty

    I recently met a woman who looked like an older version of Hannah Baker.

    An aside: If you read/hear the name Hannah Baker and say, “Who?,” I need you to go to Netflix right away and start binge watching 13 Reasons Why from the very beginning.

    Now I’m back: The woman was stunning. Creamy skin, wavy hair, perfectly set eyes. I thought to myself, “WOW! I wonder what it’s like to go through life THAT stunning. She must have it so easy.” I kept raving to her about the similarities in their features when she finally mentioned that she’d never seen 13 Reasons Why and had no clue who I was talking about. Of course, that was my cue to dive into the details of the series. A profound story set in a high school where the lead character commits suicide and her friends and family are left to pick up the pieces. After hearing the synopsis she turned up her nose, said “well that’s not a story I’d be interested in,” and stormed off. I was a little taken aback by the swift reaction but figured she was just one of those out-of-touch adults unaware or uncaring of issues affecting young adults. I shrugged my shoulders and went on about my day.

    Later that evening, a friend of hers who witnessed the exchange reached out to me to explain the reaction. Turns out the woman had suffered a great deal of loss in life and suicide was an intimate part of her story. In short .. her college-aged daughter committed suicide a year after losing her own boyfriend to suicide. Not long after this woman lost her daughter, her husband died of a terminal illness. She was just now getting her life back on track after several years of picking up the pieces.

    Have I ever mentioned that I often put my foot in my mouth in epic ways 🤦🏽‍♀️. I mean, OUCH! That was a stark reminder to me of an old adage ..

    Never envy what someone else has.
    You don’t know the price they paid to get it,
    and you don’t know the price they are paying to keep it.

    For a second I wished I had her beauty. After hearing her story I realized that I wouldn’t want to walk two inches in her shoes, much less a mile. That price was much too high. Her beauty didn’t bring a life of carefree ease. It was anything but. I can’t even begin to fathom the weight of her heartache and grief. I wish her well and hope she continues on her path to healing. Yikes! You truly just never know what someone else is going through. I thank God for my relatively easy, sometimes boring little slice of life over here.

    Since I mentioned it: For those interested, 13 Reasons Why is back with Season 3. Apparently this entire season is (or should be) called What Happened To Bryce? I didn’t like Season 2 but I have a need to finish things and I’m so glad I’ve continued with the series. I’m only 3 episodes in but the storyline has re-captivated me. Again, I encourage you to give it a looksie, especially if you have children. I can say from firsthand experience that MANY of the issues discussed are realistic and no parent can afford to be out of touch regarding the suffering many children have to endure. Children, especially teenagers, can be cruel. Let this series be a conversation starter in your household. I pray this series saves many lives.

      About Nadia Gilkes