Archive for April 8th, 2011

“Tale as old as time

True as it can be”

And so begins a song from a story that brings out “ohs and ahs’ in little girls, and makes the boys stick their finger down their throats in a choking gesture.

It really is a tale as old as time (minus the wretched ‘curse’). The person given ‘credit’ for writing this tale is Mme. Leprince de Beaumont, and the date of it’s publish was 1757! But the plot, the story, even predate that! In earlier versions the ‘beast’ is a pig, or a man with black skin who wants it white again (and we think racism is new?), or, get this, one version is called ‘The Girl Who Married A Snake’ … I can’t see that title being a big hit for Disney (and I definitely would not pick that book up)!

But, as old as the story is, the premise has not changed. A lovely lady and an undeserving, beastly man, meet. They spend time together, her loveliness rubs off, then she sees him in a new light, they fall in love … and live ‘happily ever after’ (imagine a sunset, pretty little birds fluttering, stars in each of their eyes … ahhhhhh).

Why does this story so appeal to us that it’s plot lasts hundreds of years? Do we females believe, as Diana in Anne of Green Gables, who said, “it would be nobler to marry some wild, dashing, wicked young man and reform him”?

All this makes me wonder, why has this plot, this premise, not been duplicated with role reversal? In other words, would this story fly, would it ‘sell’ if the physical ‘beast’ was the woman, and the ‘beauty’ was the man? Would the man be able to see her beauty from within? Or would he never even give her a second glance? I know from my estrogen-filled body, soul, heart and mind that I would go to a ‘chick’ flick with that story line! This could sell … to females!

But could it happen? Because for such a story to touch us, to grip our very being, there has to be some element of truth in it, some element of ‘this could happen’. So, could it? Could a man choose to see beauty in a visually unappealing lady?

I wonder …




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