If you are in a relationship or not, you can benefit from this short post. The movie is in theaters as of today. I remember watching the original Disney version as a child. Belle was kind of a jerk at first to this misunderstood gentle giant, but ultimately he won her heart and they lived happily ever after. Why, pray tell, am I writing about this age-old tale?
We judge people by their appearances every day. We judge people we see in stores, people we walk past on the street, and practically every person who we don’t know. Even the most conscious person cannot deny first impressions are lasting and occur often before a person opens their mouth. Is it wrong? Not necessarily. But if we are aware, we can more consciously combat this judgement and not let it determine how we feel about a person or situation.
How many of my friends and acquaintances are looking for the perfect guy or girl. She’s gotta be “5’5” With Brown Eyes,” or you see him and he makes you wanna Salt-N-Pepa “Shoop.” Excuse my old song references. What about Nicki Minaj’s “Anaconda.” Is that better? The point is, does the outward appearance make for a good companion? We want forever but we look for sweet gift wrapping and don’t care what’s in the box.
Well, much like Kate and Toby (This Is Us), or any other couple you see that may be considered less than attractive to the superficial eye, love can be found anywhere. Am I advocating for considering people for companionship who are less than outwardly attractive? Yes.
One could say, “easy for you to say, Dr. Wendy, you are married to a devastatingly handsome man” (that one was for you, Ed). Well, I honestly was not attracted to my husband when we first met. I am not saying I didn’t think he was handsome, I am saying I thought of him like one would think of a brother or cousin. No romantic intentions for this first year med student (me) whose entire purpose was to finish med school. If you weren’t a part of my study group, or a truly platonic friend, I did not have time for you. Ed was both. We studied in a diverse group of men and women from all backgrounds, and struggled together to get these degrees. It wasn’t until we completed our second year of medical school and first round of STEPs (obnoxiously tedious and expensive tests required to practice medicine) that we dared each other to go out on a date. We literally did not even believe the dare, and to this day neither one of us will admit which one of us was actually serious about the proposition of going out on a date first. He is fine, but I didn’t see that at first.
In my first children’s book which is soon to be released, entitled My Body Is My Temple, my main premise is that the main character, Nia, is proud, fearless, and willing to choose a person to love one day who loves her, no matter what they look like. She admires her friend’s parents because one of them is disabled. The sentiment is “that is love.” All that I am trying to say is let’s take a lesson from this fairy tale and not fall for supposed-to-be-fine-but-actually-an-a-hole Dartanian, but instead wait to see what the “Beast” has to say. He or she may surprise you.