Part of the Berettaflies thread of Polychrome Heroics, created by ysabetwordsmith. Title comes from a list of her prompts for the January Creative Jam Session. This is a little late for that but . . . you can only do what you can do.
“Eye of the Beholder”
Beauty was a tricky thing.
It was subjective.
What was beautiful to one person
might be irredeemably ugly to another.
It wasn't always that extreme
but the point stood.
Which was why Jean-Claude and his team
did not focus on beauty as a general concept.
They didn't try to have their clients meet
some kind of arbitrary standard of aesthetics.
They focused on what made their client feel good.
That could be quite the challenge.
In more ways than one.
Part of that challenge was purely physical.
Depending on their client's needs,
they might have to invent everything from patterns
to the materials out of whole cloth.
And that was just for clothes.
The same could be said for meeting
some of their clients' other personal beauty needs.
It could and often did take considerable experimentation
to find what worked and what didn't.
This required patience and a willingness to adapt
when things didn't go according to plan.
Fortunately Jean-Claude had good people.
The bigger challenge was not physical.
It was emotional and mental.
Because many (far too many) of their clients
had been made to feel ugly.
That there was something wrong with their bodies
because it wasn't a certain way.
Sometimes for years.
That is not the sort of wound
that heals easily or quickly.
It sometimes took all of his effort and the efforts of others
to get clients to see themselves worthy of having clothes at all,
never mind ones that fit or didn't hurt them.
It made him angry
and it made him sad.
It also made him determined to show them
that anyone who said otherwise were wrong.
That they were entitled to have clothing
that fit them, that didn't hurt them.
That they were entitled to the products
to wash and style as they pleased
that didn't damage their skin, hair, feathers, fur, or scales.
That regardless of what they looked like or wore,
they were beautiful.
And to hell with anyone who thought or said otherwise.
Beauty was in the eye of the beholder.
The most important beholder was yourself.
Jean-Claude would do what he could to help them
see their beauty for themselves.
Because everyone was beautiful.
They just sometimes needed help to see that.