Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The Allure of the Wolf ...

We all know this story. Tale as old as time, song as old as wine, Beauty and the Beast. Beautiful girl falls in love with beastly dude after discovering the heart of gold under his savage exterior. The bad boy tamed by his desire for that one special girl, the one who turns his world upside down, the one he can't live without.

Just like millions of girls before and after, when I was growing up, I really, really, really liked bad boys. I didn't want the wolf in sheep's clothing. I wanted the wolf himself. Christian Slater in Heathers, River Phoenix in Stand By Me, Kiefer Sutherland in The Lost Boys; hell, Kenickie from Grease was my favorite of them all ("Hey, cheer up .... A hickey from Kenickie's like a Hallmark card").

Tough, sly, virile, sexy, often funny. Misunderstood, baby. I always hoped that underneath all that bravado there was a good guy. Sometimes there was, sometimes there wasn't. I'm still a sucker for this "type" (Alcide in True Blood really floats my boat).

I find this film, now, utterly disturbing; when I was 15, I didn't. Why didn't I?

How many of us females have been taken in by this narrative, only to discover that, usually, under the savage exterior lies ... savagery. The allure of the wolf is the idea that a girl can tame his animalistic side, that his savagery is reserved for those who deserve it, that if he is rough with the girl it's only because he loves her so much. How twisted and demented is such a love. Jason Dean, after all, is just a really bad dude. He may want Veronica, but his desire for her turns her into a pretty evil thing herself (As Nikita Khrushchev supposedly once said, "If you live among wolves, you have to act like a wolf").

Most of the time, a wolf is just a wolf. The sooner a girl learns that the better.

Here's hoping you keep the wolf from your door. ~Alice

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