Why Beauty and the Beast?

It’s a fair question. There are plenty of fairy tales to re-imagine, so why choose something that’s been retold as often as Beauty and the Beast? I suppose the answer would be “because I had something to say about it.”

As a fairy tale obsessed child I saw the Disney film, having already been familiar with many other adaptations and variations of the tale. I still love that movie. There’s a video of me dressed as Belle singing “Something There” that will never (and I mean NEVER) see the light of day. I suppose that I could  always identify with the book loving, brunette heroine. But the idea of “something there that wasn’t there before” always made me wonder. Was it really that something kind suddenly appeared in the Beast one day? Or was it always there, but hidden well enough that Belle, and others couldn’t see it?

I related to the idea that you can get to know people better in isolated circumstances. I remember that when I was having trouble with another kid in school, our parents had us play together at one of our houses, and we became friends. Away from groups, artifice fades, and you can be yourself more easily. Others are able to do the same.

What I love about Beauty and the Beast isn’t the “true beauty lies within” message, or the  brave heroine sacrificing her life for her father’s life (what kind of parent sends his daughter to live with what he thinks is a murderous beast anyway?!). It’s the idea that something beautiful can be hidden in plain sight. We aren’t able to see it as beautiful unless we’re ready to.

5 thoughts on “Why Beauty and the Beast?

  1. And sometimes, I think we’re not able to see the beauty right in front of us because we don’t want to see it either. I think as Belle grew to know the Beast better, her eyes were opened and then she not only saw him for who he truly was because she was ready to, but because she also wanted to.
    Wonderful post. Loved your take on this classic story!

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s a good point too. When we’re include to dislike someone (and Belle and the Beast did get off to a rough start!) we look for things to confirm our negative opinions. When we’re confronted with enough contrary evidence (hopefully) we become more receptive and more aware of the good.

      Like

  2. Pingback: Research When You’re Writing Fantasy | Fran Laniado- Author

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