Disney just released the first proper trailer for the live action version of Beauty and the Beast. Whilst stalling on my next NatNoWriMo daily word count target yesterday I couldn’t resist a little click of the mouse. The moment that music started I was transported back to the original movie and how magical it had been. I was just a teenager back in 1991, so obviously way too old and too desperate to be cool to watch and enjoy it. But I did. I loved it. I loved the magic of those songs and the idea that a bookish weirdo and a deformed recluse could find happiness together.
Now, obviously this thread isn’t helpful to my intention to embrace my spinster status but it did made me realise once again just how few beastly females there are in fairy tales. Elphaba in Wicked, maybe, though she’s pretty attractive in the stage version which has filed off a lot of the harsher elements of her that Gregory Maguire had left in. There are also pretty few magical moments, or fairy tales, for older people in general. Older women tend to be dangerous crones or cuddly grandma types and the men befuddled yet harmless fools. The people in the middle tend to be well-meaning but often mortal or inept parents, unless they are the wicked character. I sometimes wonder if, even as adults, we still subscribe too readily to these stereotypes from our childhood.