Saturday, May 22, 2010

Inner Beauty - Leslie Dicken

"Beauty is how you feel inside, and it reflects in your eyes. It is not something physical." ~ Sophia Loren

One a recent interview at a different blog, I was asked the following question regarding my latest release BEAUTY TEMPTS THE BEAST:

One of the strongest themes in your book, in my opinion, was Inner Beauty versus Looks. Do you truly believe in that?

I could answer that easily. The book was titled after the classic BEAUTY AND THE BEAST for a reason. I firmly believe that true beauty shines through a beautiful soul. I have seen many examples in my life where physical beauty covers an arrogant or unfriendly soul, while someone who is not so gorgeous on the outside has a wonderful inner beauty. I think if people take more time to get past the outside looks of a person, they will often be rewarded.

In the book, the hero has a scar down the length of his cheek. The villagers label him a monster. He believes it of himself, especially since the night he got the scar connects him to horrible images and flashbacks. Only one person is certain of the true nature of the hero and that is the heroine. She believes it, not because of his external looks, but because of his inner beauty. And she sets out to prove to him that he is not the monster he believes he is.

In the Disney version of BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, the hero was cursed to look like a beast for his callous act towards an ugly old woman. For the next ten years he believes himself to be this beast and frightens off anyone who comes near. Who would love a beast? Then Belle enters the castle. Little by little she draws out the man underneath, the man he can be when the shackles of exterior looks are taken away. Belle falls for "the beast" even though his looks are still hideous. On the other side, there is an extremely handsome villager named Gaston who wants to marry Belle. While he looks superior on the outside, his soul is mean and selfish. Belle chooses inner beauty over outer beauty. And her love for the Beast breaks his spell.

That story is one of my favorites and the theme shows up often in my works. Do you have some examples of when inner beauty clearly outshone physical beauty? What is your favorite theme to read or write about?


Laurie said...

Beauty & The Beast is my favorite Disney movie!!

To Beguile a Beast- Elizabeth Hoyt- Sir Alistair Munroe is physically damaged in the war and has been living by himself in a remote Scottish castle. Helen & her 2 children come and turn his house into a home, opens his heart to love.

In Kate Moore's To Tempt a Saint Zander must over come the stigma of being a bastard. He also must overcome his feeling that he failed his youngest brother as Kip was snatched while Zander was watching him. He also feels that he doesn't desrve to be loved. Cleo turns his world upside down.

johnslake at usa dot com

Laurie said...

I like the Beauty & the Beast theme the most. I also like: Cinderella, amnesia, marriage of convenience and lost loves reunited.

practimom said...

Kate Douglas's wolf tales. Stefan is a shapeshifter but does not know it. He is cought between man and wolf (due to a wizrd's curse, he thinks;)), but finds Xandi, who loves him even though he looks like a wolf. he realizes his love for her, even though he is a beast, he will apologize to the wizard who turned him, for he is very stubborn, so he can be normal for her. i think it is the ones with the most emotional scars i love the best because they have the fartherst to come with their love

Virginia C said...

I love "Beauty and the Beast". Does it not touch on aspects of human nature which are far uglier than the cursed Beast? Does that make the love story even sweeter? To truly love someone is to love them with your mind, and see them in reality, and to soften that image by seeing them with your heart.