Hmm, tightening of sagging skin? Reminds me of this ridiculous, disturbing fairy tale...
This one may be rather long, but believe me: it’s a story worth reading.
A king mistakenly believes that two hideous, smelly, deformed old women are actually the most delicate, beautiful and scrumptious of young tender maidens.
As you might expect, he has never actually laid eyes on them, since (fortunately for them) they’re hidden behind a large wall – but he becomes so passionately aroused after kissing one of the old woman’s fingers through the keyhole in the gate, that he begs to be able to spend the night with her. She agrees to bed him, but only if he will take her in the dark – since, according to herself, she is ‘far too modest to expose her nakedness to him’. The king rushes home to wait in anticipation for night to fall and his love to come to him.
In an attempt to make herself feel more youthful to the king’s touch, the old woman takes all her loose, sagging skin and ties it behind her back with string. She then covers herself with a long shroud, and limps in the dark to the king’s chambers.
After he has finished ‘the deed’ and she’s fallen asleep, the king discovers the secret his ‘tender maiden’ has hidden behind her back, and after lighting a candle he finds that his bed-mate is actually a disgusting old hag. He freaks out and throws her out the window (as you do).
Luckily the old woman has so much loose, sagging skin that she gets caught in the branches of a nearby tree and is left hanging there. Some fairies fly by and find the sight of the old woman so funny that they endow her with gifts of wondrous beauty, intelligence, and youth as a reward; she now has the body and face of a 15 year old! The king looks out his bedroom window in the morning, discovers a stunningly beautiful girl sitting in his tree, and immediately takes her for his wife.
The new queen, not wanting to reveal her beauty secret to her sister, tells the old hag that she has had herself skinned alive. The remaining old woman – presumably not wanting to be left out – takes herself quick-smart to the nearest barber shop, and requests that she also be skinned alive. When the barber has removed her skin down to her navel, the old woman dies of blood loss and pain (letting out a big fart as she does so) and her sister and the king live happily ever after.
The moral of the story? Something to do with the vanity of aging women I guess – but regardless of the moral, that is one damn bizarre fairy tale. -(Giambattista Basile – Il Pentamerone (Entertainment For The Young) 1634) -- http://listverse.com/