Six Minute Story — Eye of the Beholder

When I saw the above Halloween movie poster that Christine Bialczak used for her most recent Simply 6 Minutes prompt, it looked like it was taken from the point of view of someone lying down on an operating table looking up and seeing ugly faces staring down at him or her.

That reminded me of a 1960 episode of The Twilight Zone. Written by Rod Serling, it was the story of a woman who has undergone numerous treatments in an attempt to look normal. She is shown with her head completely bandaged so that her face cannot be seen. Her face is described as a “pitiful twisted lump of flesh” by the nurses and doctor, whose own faces are always in shadows or off-camera.

Unable to bear the bandages any longer, the woman eventually convinces the doctor to remove them early. As he prepares, the doctor develops great empathy for his patient and he becomes displeased with concerns expressed by the nurses. He questions why she, or anyone, must be judged primarily on their outer beauty.

The doctor removes the bandages, and announces that the procedure has failed, and her face has undergone no change. The camera pulls back to reveal that, by the contemporary viewer’s standards, the woman is beautiful. But by those same standards, the doctor, nurses, and other people in the hospital are ugly, with drooping features, large, thick brows, sunken-in eyes, swollen and twisted lips, and wrinkled noses with extremely large nostrils, almost like pigs’ snouts.

17 thoughts on “Six Minute Story — Eye of the Beholder

  1. Aspen October 6, 2022 / 3:23 am

    How strange! I’ll have to watch this, sometime.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. donmatthewspoetry October 6, 2022 / 3:35 am

    I couldn’t see her beautiful face. Video unavailable in my country?. I’m living in the wrong place Fan……..

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Ron. October 6, 2022 / 5:47 am

    One of my favorite Zoners. Thanks for reminding me. Also really dug the one of the lady living alone in her shack, tormented by tiny creatures (as we are with mice, or roaches, etc) only to have it revealed that they’re Earth astronauts…

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Roy October 6, 2022 / 6:25 am

    Classic Twilight Zone episode! Simple, but unsettling. I remember thinking that the ones written by Rod Serling were usually the best.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Geoff Stamper October 6, 2022 / 12:11 pm

    A Twilight Zone episode that had a huge impact on me over my life. I have referenced it often.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Nope, Not Pam October 8, 2022 / 3:24 am

    A very clever plot

    Liked by 1 person

  7. leigha66 October 13, 2022 / 5:50 pm

    As I recall it was the actress who played on the Beverly Hillbillies as Ellie Mae. A great episode!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Marleen October 14, 2022 / 2:31 pm

    So gross. AVOID surgery.

    Liked by 1 person

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