What if you’re in love with a beast?

Thanks to His Golden Eyes I was alerted to this spoof of New Moon recast as Beauty and the Beast:

(cross-posted at Seduced by Twilight)

This mash-up seems particularly fitting given the message of B&B – that if your love is strong enough, good enough, you can tame the beast. As argued in the excellent documentary Mickey Mouse Monopoly, this Disney film teaches young girls (and others) that “beasts” can be turned into “princes” if only WOMEN will love them enough. Twilight, as well, has this message in spades.

As Dr. Carloyn Newberger, who specializes in family violence argues, when you view Beauty and the Beast as an allegory depicting domestic violence, the beast’s “behavior is, without question…abusive.”  The same can be said of Gaston (or Edward in the above mash-up). I think we can also safely say the same of Edward and Jacob. Yet, the New Moon spoof above does not seem to be critiquing these dudes as violent parntners. (There are many posts addressing Edward’s violence, for ex see here, here, or here. There is even a Facebook page entitled Edward Cullen: Abusive Boyfriend.)

I don’t get a sense from the spoof that portraying Jacob as the beast was meant to highlight the racialized replaying of men of color as beastly either. (For once, couldn’t we have people of color NOT associated with animals? Yes, I am thinking of you Avatar.)

So, I enjoyed this spoof, but I longed for an indication that the filmmaker was critical of the violent masculinity the saga romanticizes, as well as of Jacob’s depiction as beast. And, if you ask me, Edward is portrayed as the real “beauty” in the text – though, since he is male, he does not have to “tame” Bella, he merely has to use those golden eyes to transfix her into the simpering, love-struck girl worshipping at the altar of his beautiful bod. Ugh.

1 thought on “What if you’re in love with a beast?”

  1. Great analysis. I always saw the Twilight books/movies as the preteen/teenage version of the children’s Beauty and the Beast – same misogynistic shit, slightly older age group.

    The spoof is cute and well done in that the voices and mouth movements seem to line up, but you are correct that it does not analyze gender violence, which I believe are truly at the core of both films/messages.

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