It’s the season of Snow White and I have a review of a retelling it, as well as a whole treatise (it’s more like a treatise than a review).
Not since Naomi Wolf’s “The Beauty Myth” has such a compelling argument been made that basing a woman’s worth on her physical attractiveness is incredibly destructive. From the beginning of the book, we see the reinforcement of the Queen’s (and Snow’s) goodness reflected in the eyes of men around them. The Queen’s abusive father hated her and bullied her with taunts that she was an ugly hag and therefore unlovable. The king never compliments her on her thoughtfulness and kindness. It’s always how beautiful she is. Snow White isn’t a bright child full of empathy, she’s a beautiful little girl with perfect white skin (another aspect of this book I found disturbing). In this world, being beautiful equates to being loved. Or worse, being worthy of love. Which is interesting, because that is a bit of a running theme in Disney. Ugly characters are evil, good ones are beautiful. This book draws a direct line to this philosophy, creating a twisted and wicked queen. Then it takes that line and beats you over the head with it.
One thing that I’ve always wondered about Disney is, why don’t they have a line of Wicked Queen line of merchandise and apparel for kids like I was? The ones that lived Daria in high school? I would have made the best damn Maleficent you’ve ever seen. It would also cater to all those goth kids who get sick of pastel, sparkly dresses. I know I could have rocked it so hard.