Tag Archives: Stockholm syndrome

Accurate Story Titles: The case with Disney’s Princesses Part 2

In the game of creating-accurate-story-titles-for-your-audience-to-read, you either

meme

Make them laugh or be lame!

The latter is pretty much death on the internet. Just much slower and more painful than loosing your head.

Let’s see, we’ve cover Mulan, Little Mermaid, Sleeping Beauty, and Cinderalla…

Who’s next?

Wait…You. So we meet again.

My mortal Enemy

My mortal Enemy

From the dawn of my existence, your theme song played in the background of my home whenever you saw the opportunity, like your cousins the sirens when they saw new ships with young sailors, to tempt the women in my family to have a ‘girls’ movie night’. I was forced to watch treacherous ill gotten stories which neglected the very fabric of healthy relationships.

It nearly drove me mad. But I survived, persevered even because I knew one day, I shall have my vengeance upon you.

Then, you decided these taunts were not enough to thrill you in our game of TV remotes. You recruited countless radio stations and music stores to promote, sell and replay what only your most loyal of banner-men  or..um women, to sing your theme song over and over again. Along with that Titanic song I still believe you were one of its main architects.

I thought patience was the best way to go about my plans, but then you did the unthinkable.

You infiltrated my ‘real book’ of saxophone sheet music.

Tonight, I shall unveil to the world your true tale.

Prepare yourself!

This is our final battle!

Alright, Beauty and the Beast is one of those classics that will probably haunt humanity until we’re extinct or be a treasured artifact in  a post-apocalyptic zombie world where alien archaeologists are trying to figure out what happened.

A tale of Stockholm syndrome, forced redemption and re-enforcement of certain stereotypes

A tale of Stockholm syndrome, forced redemption, re-enforcement of certain stereotypes and how you can change your man with your love!

At the beginning of the film, the narrator tells us of a spoiled and selfish prince who was unkind. Hey, he turned away an old woman during a storm! That’s just extra points on the ‘typical-bad-guy-meter’.

Hmm, selfish, unkind to the poor, appreciates beauty, only apologized when there’s a bigger more powerful fish in the kingdom, you know he’s just an incestuous lineage and headless main character away from being-

Joffrey

Joffrey.

But Joffrey being a powerful beast would not be good. Tyrion Lannister won’t be able to protect us.

Anyways, Belle sings how boring her life is and she doesn’t want to marry the village quarterback. Funny thing, in the end she just ends up marrying the ‘changed’ prince and lives happily ever after. What’s the difference between that choice and marrying the quarterback? Both of them had their failings and issues. The only difference is one is rich and a prince!

At least Arya Stark knew she wanted something different and she wasn’t afraid to say what it was. And that’s a princess who knew what she wanted and what to sing about if she broke out into a musical number.

So let’s cut the plotline and get straight to it, she plays hostage trade with the beast. Then, begins a love story of stockholm syndrome.

Firstly, the beast gets pissy and actually orders the servants to let her starve (this sounds like something Joffrey would do). It seems like the time spent not being a human prince with everything didn’t teach him any humility.

If anything, just enraged him.

The enchantress that cursed him is obviously not an accredited psychologist. We need to alert the Enchantress Psychologists Board about malpractice and proper certification of a certain someone. Seriously, if I was an enchantress and wanted to teach him about inner beauty and humility well, there’s a whole bunch of recycled plotlines I could use that would fit better! Make him ugly and a peasant, then he learns his lesson, etc etc etc.

Okay, so the beast starts becoming nice and all lovey dovey with Belle because love changes you! This of course is one the major assumptions about relationships in today’s society. Kiddies, you can’t make people change. You can help them but the whole causality is wrong.

Also, it takes steps. A long process to get a person to change. I’m not saying people can’t change but….

Have any of you watched Gargoyles?

One Disney character (I'm still in shock) that tells you the hard truth

One Disney character (I’m still in shock) that tells you the hard truth

 Do you remember what Goliath told Angela, his daughter, about her mother’s actions in season 3 (Generations)? Well, I can’t post a direct link to the speech, but it sums up everything I want to say about changing a person:

“To truly change or redeem oneself is terribly difficult. Some work their entire lives and never manage it. “

-Goliath

I read that in Goliath’s voice….Anyways, Demona didn’t really change even in the face of her own beloved daughter’s pleas.

How can you expect the Prince to change?

This only re-enforces two stereotypes or tropes in romance media, (1) Stockholm = love and (2) your love can change him!

Here’s another issue, the woman is always beautiful. The man can be ugly. If its ever reversed, the woman is actually a flower waiting to bloom and turns out…wait for it…she’s actually beautiful!

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Attention all writers: Before making your characters fall in love, first learn about Stockholm syndrome

There’s a reason why I don’t like most mainstream romances.

Its not their impracticality.

Its not their perfect endings.

Its not the unrealistic sex scenes everyone wants to try out.

Its the (in)direct applications of psychological issues.

How many movies/books have you seen where the girl is kidnapped by the ‘hero’ and after a few days of impromtu-togetherness-time they fall in love?

I expect to be killed by school girls and nostalgic young women tomorrow

“Blogger killed by Disney school girl fans and nostalgic young women” is tomorrow’s headline

A while back I published on this blog the ultimate writer list which had two rules I’d like to follow up on:

“22. Stockholm syndrome does not mean its true love.

23.When writing a romance piece, I will pretend that the male character is not in love with the female and if he sounds like a stalker/murderer/rapist, then I will rewrite the story.” (Myself, THERE APA! HAPPY? YOU WILL NOT HAUNT ME HERE)

Stockholm Syndrome happens when hostages express positive emotions, empathy and sympathy towards their captors/kidnappers. This syndrome has been widely discussed in media and stats show that a majority of victims do not associate with their kidnapper/captor. Despite the criticisms and stats of Stockholm syndrome, I think its important for any author to keep a mental note of it.

Objectively speaking, stories are generally about the exceptional characters in sometimes exceptional circumstances in whatever world the author has built. Many ‘romance’ stories have been built using the trope of kidnapping someone and then falling in love. By definition, these characters are the exception to the rule.

And most likely to suffer from Stockholm Syndrome.

If you think tropes like these (among several others) are harmless, think again.

Before writing any romance genre, please read this first.

Before writing any romance story, please read this first.

References and other links to look at:

http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1920301,00.html

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/AbductionIsLove

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Love-Romance-Mass-Media-Communication/dp/0805848320


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