My One Problem With ‘Beauty & the Beast’

Here’s the thing, I love Beauty & the Beast. It’s an enchanting movie. But I have a problem with it that I was hoping would be addressed in the Beauty & the Beast reboot starring Emma Watson and Dan Stevens. (Spoiler alert: it wasn’t.) But, as I was saying, Beauty & the Beast is a remarkable movie. One of Disney’s finest. The characters are well-developed, and memorable, the music’s great, the emotions provoked are real and genuine (I remember feeling nervous every time the Beast got angry)… It’s a good movie. But ever since I found out that the Beast’s name is supposedly “Adam”, I cannot for the life of me figure out why it was never mentioned in the movie. ??????????????

I’ve had this in my head for years now, and the more I think about it, the more it just doesn’t make any sense to me. First, you have Belle, Ms. I-must-go-into-the-dark-and-creepy-west-wing-even-though-the-freaking-enchanted-objects-in-this-freaky-castle-where-a-freaking-giant-and-talking-beast-lives-told-me-not-to. She’s a character that’s guided by her curiosity. Why on Earth does she never think to ask what the Beast’s name is? It really doesn’t make any sense. I mean, not only does it never come up, but she also actually calls him “Beast” at one point. (Please see minute 2:11 in the video below.)

  How does his name never come up? She freaking teaches him how to read! Scratch that, she freaking falls in love with him. How can she not even once think to ASK HIM HIS NAME?

HOW COULD IT NOT BE MENTIONED?

And I feel like mentioning his name would have added a lot more to an already good movie, because, I mean, other than it being OOC for Belle to not ask his name, just think about how it would have added to the Beast’s character development. He spends all those years under the curse thinking he is nothing more than the creature he’s been transformed into. He eats like an animal, he acts like one… He basically is one, because he believes he is. Just think about how Belle asking him his name would probably make him remember a self that he had forgotten long ago (maybe even before he was transformed? I imagine everyone at that point would have only been referring to him as “your highness” or whatever).  Also, I picture the scene to go down like that scene from LOTR when Frodo asks Gollum what his name is, and Gollum’s mind is just blown away because he’d forgotten that he had anything of the sort.

So, why did the filmmakers think that mentioning the Beast’s name was unnecessary? Whether it was “Adam”, or it was undecided, or it wasn’t even talked about, why on Earth did they think that the story worked best without mentioning it? Was it done intentionally? Was it not even considered? Was it because they couldn’t seem to find an appropriate place to add that scene in? Because I have the perfect scene in mind for it. It’d happen as Belle tends to the Beast’s wounds in front of the fireplace, after he saved her from the wolves. And that would be it. Voila! Character consistency, and development all tackled in one scene, and none of them would even have to mention it again.

But it never happens. I had hopes that it would be mentioned in the new BATB movie, but as mentioned earlier, it doesn’t. Why? I haven’t a clue.

@ Disney, I’d really love an answer if you have one. Because the amount of work that goes into making these movies, and the attention to detail is great I am sure. How could this get overlooked?

 

 

 

What I like about reality checks

1- Never am I more aware of the growing that I am capable of as I am when I get a reality check.

2- It’s sorta like a performance review? Of how you are as a human. Either you like who you’re left with, or you don’t.

3- They’re transformative. I hate when things are rearranged in my head, and the struggle that comes along with trying to make sense of your world again can be difficult, and frustrating, but I like the enlightenment that follows. When things click into place. A puzzle that’s always looking to be solved, is my perception of the world.

4- I like that it feels like waking up. But not from sleep. More like from being on autopilot for a while.

That’s all I got.

Peace.

There’s a certain self-centeredness in allowing yourself to believe that nobody around you suffers as much.
And I say this not to criticize, but to remind you that, as usual, the world does not revolve around you at the best of times, so why would it at the worst?

I Need Me Some Kick Ass Red Lipstick… 

Today is one of those days where I make a conscious decision to be grateful for having the face that I have. I only have these days when I’m either feeling really pretty, or, as is the case today, ugly.

Today I feel ugly. There’s no specific reason for this. Nothing I can really pin down as The Reason for Feeling This Way. I just woke up, looked in the mirror, and found that my face didn’t appeal to me. It’s too puffy and round, my lips aren’t full enough, my skin isn’t clear, my eyebrows aren’t thick, my nose is too big, my eyes seem to be angeled to the sides of my face, my pores are huge, my eyelashes seem to be non-existent… And blah blah blah. There’s a whole list of things to choose from on days like today. And I’m not saying that it’s necessarily bad to think those things. That it’s bad to not always feel so strikingly beautiful all of the time. I’m just saying that when I find I’m having a day like today, it’s so easy for me to let it get to my head. To wish that I had somebody else’s face. To wish I looked more like (insert name of person(s) I’m comparing myself to on this day in things that I have no control of). To linger on it all for as long as I can. Why couldn’t I look like so-and-so? Why didn’t I get my mom’s genes for fantastic legs? Why don’t I have beautiful wavy hair like my sister’s? (.ما شاء الله) Why why why. But, thinking like that isn’t fair. Letting it get to my head, isn’t fair either.

Why?

Because it isn’t fair to focus on all the positive things that you could have had whilst ignoring the negative, and it also isn’t fair to forget all the times that I have felt so completely beautiful.

There are days, I kid you not, when I look at my face and think “whoever is going to marry me is so lucky.”

And I can assure you that when I have those days, I’m looking at the same face I’m looking at right now. (I’m typing this on my phone as I stand in front of a bathroom mirror, okay?)

So, on days like today, I make it a point to make a conscious decision to be grateful for having this face of mine. This is my face. I don’t feel great about it today, but it’s an off kinda day. I can guarantee that I will be thinking very highly of it some time in the near future, inshaAllah. It’ll still be my face then, too.

When I was a little girl, my mom taught me this little duaa (prayer) to say whenever I found myself lookin’ reeeeeal good. We were in my Teta’s house (الله يرحمها/ may she rest in peace) in Syria, and I believe we were getting ready for Eid when this happened, because I remember myself standing in front of the bedroom mirror whilst I admired myself in what must have been a new outfit. Anyways, Mama saw this happening. Saw me enjoying my new pretty clothes, and, with a smile on her face, told me that whenever I’m feeling pretty, I should make it a habit to say:

‎”اللَّهُمَّ أَحْسَنْتَ خَلْقِي فَأَحْسِنْ خُلُقِي”

Which roughly translates to: (As found online)

“Oh Allah, as you have perfected my outward creation so too perfect my inward character.”

As you can probably tell, I did make it a habit to say that when feeling pretty. But! I also made a habit to say it when I’m feeling not-so-pretty.

Why?

Because the shell matters. Try as hard as you can to say and convince me that it doesn’t, and I’ll still think that it does. But it isn’t what matters most. Looks fade, and beauty trends shift. What once was considered desirable/trendy/beautiful etc., has now taken a backseat, if lucky. Saying the duaa not only helps to remind that it is my aim to have as good a character as I can manage whilst dealing with those exterior changes, but it also helps to make me feel grateful for what it is  that I do have, even if I amen’t feeling particularly appreciative of it at this certain moment.

 
(Please note that this has nothing to do with my perspective on plastic surgery. That’s possibly a post for another time.)

Accepting Beauty Standards

I first thought about writing this post after reading some random post on yik yak (I’ve got a lot of time on my hands at the moment, sue me) about how “ugly faces can look pretty in pictures, but that doesn’t change the fact that it’s an ugly face” (or something like that).   And while thinking about where I wanted to go with this post (what point was I attempting to make and all that), I was initially going to focus on how some people (I’ve got my eyes on you Yik Yak OP) think that their opinion is true enough to set standards for everyone around them, and how that isn’t the case at all. That, “just because you don’t find a face appealing, that doesn’t make it ‘ugly’. It just means that YOU don’t like it.” And how “beauty is very much subjective.”

RIP to that post. I very much agree with all that is stated above, but I feel like there are thousands upon thousands of posts, articles, campaigns even, and yada yada yada like that available online to those who need to hear it. (Or that’s all I seem to have ever read on the topic of beauty standards online anyways.) The point being, what’s stated above isn’t exactly something that hasn’t been said before. And while the point I’m trying to make isn’t either, I feel like it isn’t said often enough. Especially in relation to beauty standards.

I like to write (I swear there is a point to this), and when I was younger I came across this long list of tips for writers that I have mostly forgotten, but I do remember one tip clearly, and it is: When writing something, you should avoid using words such as “I think” and “in my opinion” because they are pointless. It should be obvious that this is what you think , and that this is your opinion, since you are writing it.

So Yik Yak OP thinks that because they find someone “ugly” they will always and forever be ugly?

Ok. That is very clearly their opinion, and you know what? They’re entitled to it, too. What someone finds unattractive–especially when they’re random people– shouldn’t be accepted as the general opinion. Same goes for what people do find attractive. Because nobody speaks for everybody, and this is even more true in online communities. In fact, when someone makes generalized statements about something, you should definitely take it as them stating their own personal thoughts and opinions, and not take it as them speaking as the delegate of (insert applicable group of peoples here). Even if they do think that their opinion is the generally accepted truth, it doesn’t have to matter to you.

People don’t really ever use the words “in my opinion” and “I think” when stating what they believe, and know. And it shouldn’t really matter because, in the end, you are a person with a brain, and you can decide whether or not this person’s generalized opinion matters, or applies, to you or not.

Let’s say your hear your cousin saying, “Big noses are ugly.” It sounds rude, because who are you to say that big noses are ugly, like, so, what? We all have to have noses like Natalie Portman’s, or we’re forever doomed to have something “ugly” on our faces, unless we choose to alter it surgically to fit this standard of beauty?

The things is, who died and made your cousin the Setter of Beauty Standards? No one. Because this is an opinion that goes back to them. It is their opinion, and you don’t have to conform to it. And while, yes, there are people who agree with them wholeheartedly, there are definitely people who do not, as well.

There are people who are going to find me beautiful, as surely as there are those who will think that I am just plain old ugly. It’s ok. You can’t please everybody. It’s a sad (?) truth we all have to come to terms with.

And while it’s ok to try and change someone’s opinions on a topic, and it’s also ok to let your opinion on a topic that matters to you be known, (respectfully, because it isn’t ever nice to bully, or to act as if you are better than anyone) it’s important to note that some people just don’t want to have their minds changed (and those people are usually the ones who start/join arguments), so choose your battles (of wits) wisely.

It’s all in your hands, just as it should be. Just as it always has been. As long as you think you’re beautiful, and you’re happy/content with how you look, and, more importantly, who you are as a person, and how you treat the people around you, then other people’s beauty standards need not apply to you.

 

 

 

 

 

The Period Between Transitions

There’s something exciting about standing on the edge of something big. Or, at least, on the edge of something that feels big.
There’s something exciting about standing on the cusp of The Emergence, especially after having spent a good amount of time wandering through, and waiting in that limbo that is the space between places. Between what was and what will be.
And the journey to that edge is fun. Because that’s where all the possibilities and hopes take root and grow, right? And, even though you don’t really know what it is you’re exactly in for, it’s that very notion that gives way to the thought that anything can happen, and that just fuels that excitement of yours. Makes you carry on walking towards that edge, despite your impatience.
And there’s something so satisfying about making it to that edge after having lived through the journey towards it. Not that the journey is something that needs to be endured, but sometimes the uncertainty can take a-hold of you, and there’s something incredibly satisfying about not allowing it to.
And when you finally see that edge right there in front of you, you can’t help but feel your chest swell with exhilaration, and your stomach swarm with nerves; it’s time to cherish what is left of the journey within the space between places, you will never be here again. Because it’s right there, it’s finally happening. All your wandering has lead you here, and you are finally taking the step you’ve been dying to take. But you’ve gotten comfortable in this limbo of yours. You’ve gotten comfortable in the thought of your possibilities, and the comfort of your hopes. What if it doesn’t live up to what I want it to be? What if it’s better than I imagined? And there’s something so, very GENUINE about those feelings felt when walking- running- jumping into that unknown. Because nothing is guaranteed, and yet, here you still are. Charging towards your destination, ready or not.
There’s something exciting about just watching it all unfold, no matter the outcome.

The Story of Becoming… The Hard Way

Today, while I was on my way to the gym, thinking about some things that I like to avoid thinking about (worrying), I was listening to ‘Test Drive’ by John Powell. It’s the song that plays when Hiccup is taking Toothless out on a test drive in How to Train Your Dragon. The scene is one of the most exciting I have ever seen, and the music itself is one of my favorites. Listening to it makes me feel like I’m the one on the dragon’s back, going fast with the wind in my hair, as the world lies beneath me, and the sky swallows me up. It’s a great song.

If you haven’t listened to it before, here you go (you’re going to need to for this post to make some sense, I suppose):

And it’s when those two things crossed paths (me worrying about future hardships while listening to Test Drive), that something wonderful occurred to me.

Okay. So, whenever I listen to Test Drive, I always have to endure the part from 1:20-1:52. It’s not my favorite part. In fact, when I first properly listened to the song (which was right after I first watched the movie), I kind of wished that part wasn’t in the song. Though I quickly chastised myself for having that thought because “this song is perfect, and nothing you say will ever change that.” But still, to this day, it always feels like I’m enduring that part (though this is consciously thought subconsciously). Like I’m waiting for it to finish so we could get back to the better parts of the song. But, today, while I was on my way to the gym, I realized that the part I look forward to the most is the part right after the one I have to endure. And then it occurred to me that the part I look forward to probably wouldn’t carry the same weight it does if it didn’t come right after the part I have to endure. And, I mean, the beginning of the song is great. I get goosebumps every time the song begins. It’s powerful, and it’s booming, but it’s not like the part I look forward to. The beginning of the song is smooth sailing. A great adventure. You feel free, and let-go. Like you’re safely free-falling into a gigantic sky. And then the part I have to endure starts to play, and it sounds loud, and panic-y, and like you’re sinking into solid ground, as if you were in a nightmare. It’s a bit scary.

But then.

Then, the part I look forward to starts to play, and it’s epic. Especially the part that starts playing at 2:00. It sounds like those moments when you get a sudden burst of strength to carry on doing what it is you were doing, despite the struggle. To fight back. To not let it bring you down. And it sounds exactly like the beginning of this song, but it’s intensified. It’s a statement. “I will not allow you take away from my being.” It’s thunderous, and it’s monumental. It’s heroic.

And, it was while I was thinking that, that I made a link between those thoughts and my worrying. Maybe my hardships are those 32 seconds of music I have to endure. Which would make the me after those hardships the part I look forward to in the song. And while the beginning of the song is great in and of itself (i.e. my life without hardships), I don’t think I’d like to miss the opportunity of being something greater.

It’s just a thought I had.