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Beauty and the Beast Revisited

August 3, 2011
Beauty and the Beast

Don't get me wrong, I watched the whole thing and I kind of cried when he touched her face. But still, what are we teaching the kids?

I watched Beauty and the Beast on Saturday night for the first time in years. I really enjoyed it. I was having a nostalgic moment. Re-living a little childhood. And getting a crush on the Beast — all the while realizing that he reminded me a bit of my college boyfriend. Whom I was also feeling a little nostalgic about. Interesting coincidence, eh?

I know the idea of the tale is to teach kids not to judge things by their outer appearance. And as superficial as our culture is getting I do think it’s a good lesson that needs to be hammered home in as many ways as possible. But while I was watching it I could help but feel that maybe the lesson had gotten a bit to specific.

The Disney version of the story really seemed to be teaching women (small girls) to explore beyond the surface and encouraging men to pursue women who are beautiful even if you think they are considered weird.

And I wonder if we really need either of those lessons in modern-day America.

Men already seem to put aside every other element of women and pursue them primarily (or at least preliminarily) based on their appearance. And woman are far less likely too eliminate a man based solely on looks. So maybe this tale did it’s job and now it needs to be reconsidered in order to do another job.

(Of course there are other elements I take issue at. Like the fact that the girl who likes to read is weird. Or that a “provincial life” of simplicity that isn’t urban is fundamentally lacking something important. But on to my main point.)

Maybe what our culture really needs is to flip that fairy tale around and encourage the men to go beyond appearances to find the heart of a woman. Perhaps even encourage the women to give the seemingly odd men a chance.

Because really, if the Beast had been a woman, don’t you think she would have wound up single and alone watching the china sing for her?

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22 Comments leave one →
  1. August 3, 2011 9:44 am

    Beauty and the Beast is timeless. But so is the reality that people have to be physically attracted to each other first.

    Anything else is living in clouid cuckoo land.

    • August 3, 2011 11:41 am

      Have you ever seen Beauty and the Beast? The whole point of the story is supposed to be that initial attractions and physical appearance aren’t important — especially in loving romantic relationships.

  2. August 3, 2011 1:42 pm

    The point is that initiall they are all important.

    • Brianne permalink
      August 5, 2011 6:04 am

      The blog is about Beauty and the Beast, Michael. A story in which it’s encouraged that those things are not the end all be all.

  3. August 5, 2011 10:50 am

    Honesty is always appreciated. (I hope you aren’t implying that any of the people commenting here are dishonest.)

  4. August 11, 2011 12:06 am

    Did you see “Beastly”? Its a 2011 movie, hero’s an extrovert douche bag and heroine’s an introvert but ordinary one. She believes in “substance over style”. Although I watched it just because of my wife(can’t just digest chick flicks), but it was a modernized version of B&B. The guy insults a witch twice in his school, she puts a curse on him turning him into a weird freak. So he’s hiding his face all the time, even his own dad leaves him. Won’t tell entire story here :)
    In fact I’m thinking I should write about “Beastly” on my Urdu blog with a Pakistanized theme ;)

    • August 11, 2011 8:37 am

      I appreciate the input, but even in this new version the man is the Beast and the woman is the one who has to overcome appearances. My point is that women already do this when it comes to love. Men are the ones (in my culture) who are generally led by visuals.

  5. August 11, 2011 10:58 am

    Blue eyes, blonde hair, 5.4 height… All these are packing, once the packet is open only quality content makes a mark… But most of the people don’t understand this very basic point. Unfortunately pop media’s almost always focusing on how hot that blonde looks or how cool that hunk smells. Here in Pakistan, TV is pumping all this into our current generation’s mind, but in America the idiot box’s got a mighty presence since decades. Plus men got general tendency of “just shaking it off” and moving on, which seems pretty appropriate with super sonic American life style.
    We often don’t know how interesting and complicated the corridors behind a plain or even ugly facade could be. A person, whether male or female’s got lot more than just “packaging”, but you see men are not entirely to be blamed. Hot chicks don’t hang around with broke guys :)

    • August 11, 2011 11:06 am

      All good points and a very interesting perspective because you are from another culture. I also understand your last point, but I would argue that the entertainment world is aggressively attacking that idea through movies and TV. The movies “Knocked Up” and “She’s Out of My League,” come to mind immediately.

    • August 11, 2011 4:50 pm

      //Hot chicks don’t hang around with broke guys//

      Precisely.

      • August 11, 2011 5:01 pm

        So “hot chicks” are all shallow, greedy money whores? Thanks for the insight. Good to know. I must say I’m offended though. I guess I’m not hot.

  6. August 12, 2011 4:49 am

    Our friend, Naeem Akram Malik has a real point here.

    In my opinion, it’s a rare woman who is not put off a poor man.

    Today’s modern miss is full on, the coyness of yesteryear is gone.

    • August 12, 2011 8:13 am

      Most poor men in modern America are so because of their own doing — or lack of doing. And a man who can’t at least take care of himself isn’t in a position to begin a relationship. Because, in a relationship both parties need to take care of one another. Sometimes that requires a little money. So, to all poor men out there looking for love I would advise getting on your feet first and then looking for a lady.

      Also, women have abandoned being coy because it doesn’t work on modern men who are inundated with pornographic ideals of women and female sexuality.

  7. August 12, 2011 4:51 am

    Hot chicks are vulnerable and probably bored by being hit on every five minutes by shallow men.

    • August 12, 2011 8:14 am

      All “chicks” are vulnerable. It’s one of the default states of human being.

  8. August 12, 2011 5:46 am

    I think putting a “Usually” behind my statement would have been better…
    Usually hot chicks don’t hang out with broke guys… Sounds good?
    BTW I’ve downloaded “knocked up” and “She out of my my league”, will watch them later on…
    Well Michael, today’s “modern miss” is also severely affected by static on the wind a.k.a T.V Broadcast and other forms of “mindset tuning”… Both males and females got misconceptions and problems…
    Crystal, no I din’t even remotely mean “money whores” thing honey…

    • August 12, 2011 8:16 am

      Oh Naeem, sweetie, I understood what you were getting at and I did assume the “usually.” Michael’s repetition of your statement, however, upset me due to the context of my conversations with him. I know you didn’t mean anything deeply disparaging (due to the context of my conversations with you).

  9. September 3, 2011 1:36 am

    Just finished “She’s Out of My League”… watched “Knocked Up” last week… both flicks were nice… You didn’t write anything after that Tom Hanks post, busy somewhere? Try writing movie reviews, you’ve seen a lot(I guess) and I feel that you got a good taste…

    • September 5, 2011 12:17 pm

      Thank you Naeem. I actually used to write movie reviews as a part of my job. It was fun for the most part. And yes, I have been busy. I’m currently working two jobs and trying to start my own business. And, I have to keep the info about the business quiet for another month. So…it cuts down on my time to blog and my ability to be fully open and honest with my readers. And being completely open and honest with the readers is kind of the point of the blog for me. Hang in there a little longer. There will be more in a few weeks!

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