I watched Beauty and the Beast tonight. I do love a fairy tale. Fairy tales, in general, look at the world through rose-colored glasses, but Beauty and the Beast lends a mystery to the magic of love that always leaves me thinking. What is the real message? Are fairy tales as good as they make you feel? Am I wasting my time yearning for a happy ending where none exist?
Tonight, I have some theories about the truth. My Grandma always said T.V. was a waste of time. The truth is I adore a romantic movie. Don't jump to conclusions though, Grandma was right. Let me explain, if I can.
Fairy tales begin with the innocent, good girl who is lives and thrives on hope of a better future, in spite of the evil that has enslaved her. She is so kind that she has many loyal friends. One day, she accidently catches a glimpse of the wonderful man that will transform her world. The evil one wants to harm her and stop her from being happy with her dream "prince". The girl is so clever, strong and beautiful that her prince comes to save her and they live happily ever after.
You can insert any fairy tale girl into this basic story line: Belle, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty or even Ariel or Barbie. Isn't that interesting? You can put anyone in a fairy tale. A fairy tale is the lie that this world sells to girls. The prince in the story is the lie that the world sells to boys. "Be strong, handsome and smart and you will win the heart of your princess. You can protect her and make her happy for the rest of your blissful,successful lives.
In plain language,"you are a good girl, but your parents and anyone who makes demands of you, good or bad are making you do things you don't want to do. Just keep dreaming and you will find your prince. He will love you and make you happy, but only if you are beautiful, clever and strong." (Recognize these? "You can be anything you want to be." "Go after your dreams" "Don't let anyone stand in your way.")
The results of believing the lies are sad. A woman spends too much time and money on make-up, jewelry and the spa(anything for beauty) to impress a hunk of a guy who is doing the same thing. The lovely couple finds "true love and prepares to live happily ever after". At some point, or at many points in time, reality is slapping them both in the face. The truth is that the better future is an illusion that no one will ever, ever achieve. Money, things, fame, and not even "true love", will ever bring happiness to anyone. You can never be clever enough, beautiful enough or strong enough to win happiness.
The truth has the same romantic feeling as the lie. "In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth." (Genesis 1:1)That sounds like a classic story book opening, doesn't it? The difference is that those words are the truth. The first princess was Eve and her prince was Adam, but their true love was Jesus. He can make you happy too.