Saturday, 19 November 2016

Belle Inspired Outfit, The Happiest Place on Earth, and a Ramble on Beauty & the Beast

Outfit details:
Dress: thrifted
Sandals: thrifted
Felt flower crown: Nutmeg & Co. Designs
Aviators: Forever 21

‘Beauty and the Beast’ was never one of my favorite fairytales, growing up.

It wasn’t that I had any particular aversion to it—it was merely that it paled in comparison to some of the other stories in a certain book of fairytales that my sister would read aloud to me before bed. I mean, where was the charm and magic of falling in love with a nasty monster? No, I’d have much rather heard of Catskin and her peculiar wardrobe, or the Twelve Dancing Princesses and the dashing soldier that unraveled the enigma of their magical ventures.

In short, ‘Beauty and the Beast’ held no intrigue for me. It was predictable. It didn’t capture my fancy.

But there is something to be said for this story, something I didn’t recognize until I was older and my mind waxed whimsical as the cynicism of childhood wore off.

The story is not so much about the romance between Beauty/Belle and the Beast so much as it is about the choice that Belle made: to love the unlovable.

It’s a plot device that reoccurs often in the world of fiction—such as in works like ‘Jane Eyre’ or ‘Till We Have Faces’—and in mythology & other fairytales, including ‘East of the Sun, West of the Moon’ or ‘Cupid and Psyche.’

Why is this?

I think it’s because we, as human beings who are capable of reason and love, are called to go beyond the giving of love as pertains to emotion.  Love that comes naturally to us is only a small part of the body of love. Since we have been given the ability to choose to love, it stands to reason that each of us might have been imbued with the instinct to not only love that which we are inclined to love, but also that which we are initially disinclined to love—that which requires us to consciously love.

We are to love in the way that Belle does. Not the kind of love that she exemplifies, exactly—romantic love is not the end-all to be-all—but in the manner that she does so: consciously, with a selfless endurance for the fallen nature and eyes that see not only what is laid out for all to look upon, but that which requires effort and patience to behold.

For beauty lies in the soul that chooses to find beauty in the souls of others. 


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