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Princess Gertrude, the Beautician

by Betsy Schneider, age 12, from US

Princes Gertrude Bernadette Fickleberry was not your everyday kind of royalty. She didn't like riding her Dutch Palomino, she disliked going out and helping unfortunate souls, and she detested going to Sickton's Manners School for Girls. To her parent's dismay, all she ever wanted to do in her pampered life was to curl, crimp, smudge, and blot. She would stand in front of the mirror for hours with her mascara, blush, pencils, and lipsticks. She wanted to be a makeover princess: Her dream was to become a beautician.

Gertrude was of middling size, and had skinny, scrawny legs. She was 11 years old and mused about what it would be like to decorate others' hair and faces.
"If only I could be remembered as something other than just a princess, I wish people would notice my beauty talents and skill with a curling iron," Gertrude would murmur to herself.

She had long hair, the color of which changed weekly. Sometimes she wore braids in her hair; other days it was curly. Gertrude had buck teeth, and she had freckles all over her body. She was very shy and embarrassed about her gangly looks.

No one knew the reason why Gertrude loved to use makeup and do makeovers. The King and Queen only knew that she felt better about herself and less self-conscious about her appearance when she could make other people beautiful. The King and Queen were hoping their daughter would have lofty goals that would prepare her for taking over the throne. They felt saddened by their daughter's ambition (or lack thereof) and hoped it was all a passing fancy.

"I am really very worried about Gertrude, dear," the queen sadly confessed to her husband.

"Oh Dearest, she's just going through a phase--this wanting to be a beautician nonsense-- this too shall pass," the king replied.

Unfortunately, the phase did not pass. Gertrude had just about every color of lipstick: Pomegranate-Orange, Jezebel, Soft Plum, Midnight Black, Fire-Engine Red, Kiss-Me-Pink, and many, many other shades from beauty supply stores all over the world.



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