10 Facebook Status Updates from The Ugly Duckling

Posted on by admin | in Nannies

There’s something about adolescence that moves even the tougher specimens to identify with Hans Christian Andersen’s beloved misfit, The Ugly Duckling. Awkward, transitioning bodies and the par-for-the-course sense of displacement are both prominent themes in the tale, making it the perfect story for angsty tweens and teens, even if they won’t admit it. There are also few things as essential to the modern adolescent as social networking; in the interest of combining these two elements, here are ten Facebook status updates that The Ugly Duckling might have made.

  • “No one understands me! Even my own mother hates me!” – Though she entertains the idea of loving her unattractive duckling equally for a while, the Ugly Duckling’s inadvertent adoptive mother eventually breaks down and says that she wishes that the cat had eaten him.
  • “Bullying is totally wrong. Share if you believe that bullies are jerks!” – In an early example of the pain that bullying and ostracism can cause, the Ugly Duckling suffers terrible treatment from those around him. “The ducks pecked him, the chickens beat him, and the girl who fed the poultry kicked him with her feet. So at last he ran away,20 frightening the little birds in the hedge as he flew over the palings,” Andersen says of his long-suffering hero.
  • “If you don’t love me at my worst, you don’t deserve me at my best.” – Usually reserved to the status updates of teenage girls, this oft-circulated quote is the rallying cry of the awkward adolescent. It’s not difficult to imagine a beleaguered Ugly Duckling identifying with it as he’s shunned by his peers.
  • “Everyone hates me because I’m ugly! I’ve had it! I’m running away, and DON’T come looking for me!” – Teenage runaways are no laughing matter, but that doesn’t stop angry kids from making these impassioned statements. The Ugly Duckling, however, actually does run away from the farm where he was born, in search of less hostile environs.
  • “I finally have real friends! Like if you have one true friend who loves you for who you are, not how you look!” – Meeting two wild geese is a turning point for the Ugly Duckling, as they frankly reference his ugliness but aren’t concerned with it in the slightest. They ask him to join them, providing him with the first true friends of his young life.
  • “Hunters found us today. R.I.P., my friends. :-(( ” – Almost immediately after finding a place of acceptance and friends that don’t care about his appearance, the Ugly Duckling and his comrades are attacked by hunters. The wild geese are killed, leaving the long-suffering Duckling once again on his own.
  • “Some people are so full of themselves! IDK why they think they’re so great. Ugh.” – After the death of his friends, the Ugly Duckling seeks shelter in a cottage inhabited by an old woman, a tom cat and a hen. Filled with a shared sense of superiority, the hen and tom cat sneer at the Duckling’s unattractiveness and inability to pur or lay eggs, lording their accomplishments over him.
  • “Today I saw the most beautiful birds ever. I don’t know what they’re called, but I wish I could be just like them.” – Having had enough of the clucking hen and purring tom cat, the Ugly Duckling once again sets out on his own to seek his fortune. Summer becomes autumn, which begins to give way to winter, and the Ugly Duckling catches his first glimpse of a group of swans. Overcome by their beauty, he feels a kinship that he cannot name. They fly away without noticing him.
  • “After yet another typically miserable misadventure, I guess I’ll be trying to figure out how to survive the winter on my own.” – As winter begins in earnest, the Duckling struggles to survive on a freezing pond, swimming incessantly to keep the water from freezing. Eventually he loses his battle with the elements and finds himself frozen into the surface of the pond, unable to free himself. He’s freed by a peasant and finds a brief respite with them, but is soon left to brave the rest of the harsh season alone.
  • “I never dreamed of such happiness as this, while I was an ugly duckling.” – The last line from Hans Christian Andersen’s tale is a fitting one for teenagers blossoming into young adulthood, more comfortable in their own skin and less driven by hormonal angst.

Though the Ugly Duckling eventually grows up and becomes the most beautiful of all the swans he’d once envied, he learns a valuable lesson about the nature of duality. Despite his overwhelming happiness, there’s an underlying shame and sense of unworthiness that is not resolved as the story closes.

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