Recently, I watched the newest version of Beauty and the Beast. A thoroughly pleasant way to spend a couple of hours lost in a good story that I have seen in many varied versions. Cartoon, live action, corny, realistic, musical, novel. It hasn’t mattered. I’ve been enthralled with the story for most of my life.
I loved the short-lived three season Beauty and the Beast with Ron Perlman and Linda Hamilton. Perlman is not your typical leading man that makes women swoon with his looks but it was with his voice that I melted. Like liquid caramel, warm and silky as it wound its way to the eardrums. Welcomed inside and asked to stay awhile. And I envied Hamilton her part along side him. Every time I see him in a new film, I get nostalgic for the Beast I know he can be.
Easy enough to see how I can relate to a bibliophile that is misunderstood by many around her. The looks I’d get in school for *gasp* voluntarily reading a book. Not even assigned, not even for extra credit. I had a few select friends who understood my addiction and helped feed it. Distinctly, I remember in tenth grade my best friend Heather giving me for my birthday The Witching Hour by Anne Rice. My first Rice novel but not my last.
And something about the Beast also called to me. Not so much the cruelty that merited his punishment, but the disdain he was given for his looks. To find someone who could look past the outer layer that wasn’t pleasant to behold but to the inner worthiness that his exterior hid. That’s what I could and still can relate to.
I’ve been huge since puberty set in. At least that is how I’ve always felt. Large in comparison to pretty much everyone my age growing up and now as an adult. Today, however, I would kill to be a size eighteen like when I was a teenager. I was actually pretty then in comparison to now. Not this walking, talking blob.
Other than my looks, I know I’m a cool cat. My sense of humor is off the chain. I love to make people laugh. Hell, I love to laugh. Great listener, empathic, and amiable in general. But I can never see anyone getting past my tonnage for my happily ever after. Or even my hey this ain’t too shabby.
This pity party partly explains why I’d like to attempt revamping this story. Rearrange the genders. Make the woman beastly and the man the beauty. A prominent woman in the fashion field maybe. She is cursed for her disdain of anyone wearing above a size six; I’m thinking a gypsy heritage for the magical element. Goes to hide after the curse in her hometown, rural setting. Lots of room but secluded. A loyal personal assistant, an elderly wisdom archetype, comes with. Now for the male lead. A drifter in trouble. Community service as his own punishment. Fixing our beastess’ house. Ohhh, carpentry, hot summer weather, sweat, shirt off… Calm down, calm down.
I think I’ve given myself a new writing challenge. 😁