This story just goes to show you that the latest trends in fashion are not always wise choices.
Once upon a time there was an emperor who loved nothing more than to get new clothes. He loved to change clothes all the time. Two men decided they could swindle the king. They told the king they knew how to weave a fabric that could only be seen by the worthy and intelligent.
The king commissioned a suit from the two men. They took the king’s money and set up empty looms and acted as if they were weaving. The king sent a man to check on the status of his suit. The two men remarked on the beautiful colors and patterns. The man did not want to be thought stupid, so he agreed that it was indeed beautiful. The emperor sent another man and he too pretended to see the clothes.
The day finally came when the clothes were to be put on. The two men helped the emperor get dressed. They told him the clothes were so light that it would feel as if they weighed nothing. They remarked that the emperor looked very good. The emperor himself could not see the clothes, so he went the whole thing because he did not want to be thought of as stupid.
He was to have a procession in his kingdom. Everyone lined the streets. They all remarked that the emperor’s clothes looked great, but no one could see them, they just did not want to be thought stupid. A child finally cried out that the emperor was naked. Everyone finally gave up the act and admitted that the emperor was indeed naked, but the emperor was too proud to go home and put some real clothes on so he continued with his procession.
Wouldn’t somebody have caught onto this before it got so out of hand?
These guys were some pretty good swindlers or else everyone in this kingdom was stupid, could be both.
Mary Antoinette supposedly spent a lot of money on clothing when she was the queen. There have been royal figures who have been known to practically bankrupt the kingdom with all their expensive custom and designer clothes, but all I can think of is Elton John. He’s had some elaborate costumes over the years.
Seriously, people, he was naked. NAKED! I mean, he can be naked if he wants to; he’s the emperor, but you know, why didn’t somebody tell him he was naked? Why didn’t his trusted whomever take him aside and be like, “Look, dude, these guys are con artists. They’re not actually sewing any clothes. Everyone else told you they were because they didn’t want to look like idiots to you.”
I hate the Tim Burton of Alice in Wonderland, so shoot me, but there is definitely something worth noting about the movie. Remember how the red queen surrounded herself by people who also had deformities? They all faked it. Their big noses and giant ears were all a ruse. They wanted the queen to trust them and like them so they pretended to be like her with her giant head. They thought that if they looked normal the queen wouldn’t pay them the time of the day.
This story is a similar situation. Everyone wanted to stay in the emperor’s good graces, so they thought, so they faked seeing the clothes. Sometimes just because a person is in power does not mean they make the best choices or should have loads of people agreeing with them. You’re an independent person you can speak up and say, “Hey, the emperor is naked.”
This also goes to show that the emperor didn’t really have any true friends in all his frilliness. It was more like everyone put up with him because he was rich and he was the emperor. A true friend would be like, “Hey, buddy, you’re naked.” Good friends aren’t afraid to tell you that you have toilet paper stuck to your shoe.
If someone tells you that they have some clothes only smart people can see, then by all means wear them so we can have a good laugh.
I will hand it to this emperor on one aspect–he owned his nakedness. He just didn’t run away crying because he was naked out in public, no, he held his head high and continued his march through the streets. Look, there comes a point when you do something so embarrassing that you just have to admit you did it and actually kind of brag about it, otherwise, you’re never going to live it down. Own your embarrassment so others can’t make fun of you for it. If you take the power in a situation like this, no one can really look down on you.
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Andersen Fairy Tales, Andersen-Hans Christian