Beauty and the Beast

Could the fairy tale ‘Beauty and the Beast’ speak to you?

To be honest I’m totally shocked at how the society we live in today judges people almost exclusively by pictures. Take Tinder for example – the smart phone dating app where you swipe left or right to say if you like someone based entirely on their profile photograph. It’s so shallow, so degrading and so misguided. We’d do well to watch Beauty and the Beast and rethink what we’re doing here.

I feel so strongly about this issue because I feel so many people are missing out on getting to know someone who could be so right for them, because they have judged them instantly on their picture.

I know in my own life that I have fallen in love with people who at first I didn’t consider as suitable matches because of the way they looked. It was only because we were in the same social circle and so I got to know them that I then ‘saw’ them differently because I got to know their character and that became so much more important than their looks. In fact I’d go so far as to say that their looks changed ‘in my eyes’ as I got to know them.

I think this holds true for all of us. Think about times you’ve set eyes on someone who you thought was unattractive. Perhaps someone at work or church. But then as you get to know them, you discover they are charming, or kind, or witty for example. You begin to see them in a new way. Similarly perhaps you set eyes on someone very attractive – but as you get to know them you discover they are a bully, or they cut others down, or a liar and cheat. Suddenly when you look at them now they aren’t the attractive  person you first saw. Their looks have changed in your eyes because your eyes now see deeper.

One of our much loved fairy tale illustrates the point so well. In Beauty and the Beast, Beauty is at first appalled by the Beasts ugliness and she has absolutely no desire for him. Naturally she longs to marry a handsome prince. But over time the character of the beast becomes what she sees and grows to love. He’s kind and generous, gentle and caring and above all he adores her. Slowly but surely she falls for him. And interestingly when she does fall in love with him, she no longer sees his ugliness – she sees him for who he is – his character.

I’d really ask you to think carefully on these things. I know they aren’t just true for me. They are true for most of us. And although I know we can’t help judging people on what we see at first, we can be aware of it, and determine not to make our minds up about someone until we have got to know them.