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Oakdale Confidential:
An As The World Turns Novel

Monday, November 27, 2006


I took my seven year old son to see Beauty and the Beast on Broadway over the weekend.

Amidst the dancing silverware and happy, French peasants, every effort had obviously been made to show Belle as a positive role model for little girls. She's smart (the townspeople call her odd for being bookish, but her doting Daddy assures her she's perfect the way she is, and later, she charms the savage beast not with music but by reading to him), she's brave (taking her father's place in the beast's dungeon), she's kind (treating the beast's wounds after he saves her from wolves) and she's loving. The perfect girl, the perfect heroine, the perfect role model.

Meanwhile, this is what we learn about the Beast. He was spoiled and arrogant, thus deserving of a curse (why exactly the wandering sorceress gets to stick her nose into his upbring -- was he bothering her? It's a big woods, you don't like this prince, keep going, lady -- is never explained, nor why her meddling should also extend to cursing his poor servants by turning them into objects). After the cursing, the Beast possess super-strength, being able to singlehandedly fight off four wolves who are attacking Belle.

After Beast fell in love with Beauty, however, he apparently not only loses his nasty temperament, but his ability to fight, as well. For when Gaston (Donny Osmond; yes, Donny Osmond) breaks into the castle and begins pummeling him, the Beast doesn't even bother trying to fight back.


Has falling in love sapped him of his strength?

Has being "tamed" made it impossible for him to defend himself?

Do girls only like boys who have been completely emasculated and cut off from their basic natures?

Are all boys spoiled, arrogant and violent, needing of first a nosy sorceress and then another girl to come in and make them more like... more like... them?

What a delightful message.


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