Beauty is a victim. She is the good girl in us all. She is the sacrifice in the family – the girl that does all the ironing and makes up for poor parenting. She is the girl that tries to make up for her family. She steps in. She parents herself. If it’s a story about abuse then the abuse is not from the Beast. It’s self abuse.
God loves a trier
I think we all secretly want to be Beauty in that story because we are conditioned to be good girls. We all want to be a beautiful woman that can see beauty in ugly people. Especially if we are already working in the caring or teaching professions. We have so much love to give! In abusive relationships we very often end up locked in a castle – even if it is only some grotty bedsit. The point is – we feel trapped. But because we are good girls, we believe that if we try harder the Beast will love us. The Beast is misunderstood! We can try harder, we can!
In a way, the Beast doesn’t really have to do very much. He can roar a bit and lose his temper but he can also wine and dine Beauty. He can be charming, that’s for sure. It’s Beauty that is doing all the work in this story. She has to apologise and cover for the Beast’s rage, suppress her disgust and actually go out for a slap up meal with him. She takes the line of least resistance.
She is the abuser – of herself.
In the Disney film, the Beast lets her go she becomes a grateful victim. Grateful for being able to visit her sick father! This tells us everything about the mindset of a woman in abuse. I vaguely remember being grateful for a birthday present costing £10 that I had bought myself. Reader, I had actually become a woman who was grateful to be given what was rightfully mine.
Lights, camera, action!
There is another theory about the Beauty and the Beast tale. That we are both Beauty and the Beast. The conflict between being a Bad Girl and a Good girl inside us all. The more we suppress our Beast, the louder she will eventually roar.
Either way, the story is about repression – of feelings and of freedoms. The 361 recovery programme can help you to see childhood patterns. Were you Beauty? Cinderella? Snow White? Did you sacrifice your childhood somehow for your parents? Or maybe you have lived with a Beast? The 361 can help you to see how victims and abusers are created in our minds and how we can challenge these labels in our relationships. The good news is that we can change roles. And Beauty is just an archetype. The 361 can really illuminate your thinking about the roles you play. You are casting yourself! You are the director of your life – you can’t keep blaming the Beast. Find the truth behind the fairy tales. Find you – not the prince. Find the one. The 361.
Alice Smith 2019
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