Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Beauty and the Beast

My freshman year of college, I met this young man who prided himself on being contrary. He was cruel, rude, and totally self-absorbed.

I was feeling a bit risky and college freedom was getting to my head. I did so many things in the first 3 months of college that I had never done before - one being I tried out for the Dance Team...

When he was being rude and boarish, I was being optimistic, friendly, and persistent. In other words, I was being annoying because he was being annoying. For some reason, he liked it and I started to see a different side of him.

We started dating. And as much as my friends hated him because of how rude and mean he was, I justified it because he was someone else with me.

I thought that if he cared enough about me and I was nice enough to him, he would change.

So many girls out there think this - that if a guy is "broken" in their eyes, they can fix him by loving them and being loved by them. Its frustrating to nice guys, because nice girls will fall for the "bad boys". It leads to unhealthy relationships later when the "bad boys" don't change and wives become angry, bitter, and nagging - and those men get distant and self-absorbed.

One of my favorite movies as a little girl perpetuates this thing about love from a woman can change a man - Beauty and the Beast. I was watching it today and there are so many unrealistic expectations in it, its ridiculous. Thing is, Belle doesn't think she can change him...she just does with no real effort on her part. She doesn't give him any opportunities thinking he might change - he changes before she falls for him. And he changes because he wants her to fall for him.

Grease had the same dynamic. Sandy thinks Danny is a very nice guy (and he is when he is with her in Austrailia). When she sees him in the states, she discovers he's not such a nice guy and gives him the cold shoulder most of the time. Its not until the end that Danny finally gives up and decides to be the nice guy...only Sandy decided it was easier to join in.

You don't fall for a guy thinking you can change them. You don't marry a guy thinking you can inspire him to be better. If he's going to change with you as inspiration, he's gonna do it while you refuse to give him the time of day because he's such a "bad boy".

1 comment:

Elusive Wapiti said...

"....that if a guy is "broken" in their eyes, they can fix him by loving them and being loved by them"

This dynamic explains why so many women think that there are no good guys out there. They have imbibed too much fairy tale values and are attracted to the dangerous, edgy fixer-uppers. Then they are shocked to learn that an asshole is still an asshole despite their best efforts at effecting a male makeover.

Your Beauty and the Beast and Grease examples are false, I think. Tons of women date/marry bad guys, because his rotten demeanor gets them all excited.