Hi! You were asked a while back about the ouat version of beauty and the beast. I was also weirded out by the direction they took it, but I only ever saw one episode of that plot line. What exactly did they do that you found so problematic? I’m just curious about the pitfalls of batb narratives like this, and you’re the worlds leading authority on the subject (in my mind at least)
Haha, wow, that’s a lot of responsibility! I can’t speak to anything but my own biases, so nobody reading this should take it as a call to arms or passing of judgement. It’s just my personal, off-the-cuff emotional response.
I felt like The relationship between Belle and Rumplestiltskin fell into every pitfall Beauty and the Beast stories are accused of; a captivity based romance, plausible stockholm syndrome, distressing power imbalances, one party isolating the other, one party being depicted as mentally ill or incompetent, etc etc. I should confess my own initial bias, of course, but I greatly dislike stories with drastic age differences in the relationships. The real-world potential for abuse of power and manipulation when a very young or very vulnerable person is involved with an older, worldlier, wealthier or more powerful party is just so high. It sends my anxiety into overdrive to see it portrayed as romantic or desireable in fiction (naturally, I know that there are many exceptions to every rule, that the older people are the less of an issue age differences are, your Aunt Betty is older than Uncle Carl and they’re fine, shades of grey etc.) so OUAT’s setup would ALWAYS have sent up red flags for me, even if everything else was handled delicately. I must confess that it likely wouldn’t have distressed me nearly so much if we had had inhuman “beast”, though… Robin mcKinley’s Beauty features a couple with a huge age difference and it doesn’t set me off the way OUAT did… possibly that’s just that it’s more firmly set in the realm of fantasy in that case.
At any rate. That was my personal feeling on it. I’m here for furry beasts, not emotionally manipulative men, I guess!