Posts tagged ‘Fallen Womanhood’

April 17, 2012

Cross-Examination: Profile of a Witch

Welcome to the very first ever artist’s pick! Like the articles, this feature will vary depending on the artist covering it.

 I’m Lydia. I hold a Bachelor of Arts in Radio, Television and Film with a concentration in film theory. So, you guessed it – when I do my artist’s pick, I will be talking about movies.  I’m a highly analytical person as well as being an artist, so a lot of my artist’s picks will be geared toward getting people to think critically about the art they are consuming. If you would rather not think about what you’re seeing and hearing, and just be entertained, it’s okay. No judgment.

Normally, I would be talking about one movie that I got something out, but today I’m going to talk about a recurring theme I’ve noticed in three movies that have been released in the last few years: Stardust, Tangled, and Mirror, Mirror.

So what exactly do an epic fantasy, animated depiction of a fairy tale, and an updated take on an old classic have in common?  These three women.

 

  

The women above are the villainesses of Stardust, Tangled, and Mirror, Mirror respectively. All three of them are intended to be specimens of physical beauty. All three of them are obsessed with physical beauty and use magical means to obtain said beauty.  And all three of them attempt to manipulate and control true beauty through cunning. In the end, when their magical means run out, all three of them essentially disintegrate in varying degrees of drama. These women are all prototypes of an age old archetype, modeling what a woman should not be.

 These particular female characters typically draw one of two responses from us: we either view these women as a cautionary and moral tale of what we should not be; or, we are angered that the character of manipulator, controller and cunning seeker of beauty always falls into the form of a female character.

 I find myself responding both ways at times. When I see these women on screen, I primarily see fallen womanhood. I see Eve, walking in the Garden of Eden, toying with the idea of something she thought was physically desirable, something that she thought would bring physical satisfaction, something that she thought would make her better. (As if God had not done the very best in creating her).  I see myself, trying to hold on to things I’d be better off without, trying to grab attention by having that competitive edge at work, striving, always striving to be somewhere other than where I’m at.  I see everything I often am, but don’t want to be.

 The problem I have with this response is that manipulation, control and cunning are not exclusive to women. You see, what the movies never reveal is the real enemy. It’s not a witch disguised as a beautiful woman (except maybe figuratively).  It’s the duo-threat of lust and fear instilled into people by the enemy of enemies: Satan.  He says, Don’t you see that? Wouldn’t you rather have that? You deserve it. Why won’t God give it to you? Doesn’t think you’re good enough, does He? He’s holding back on you. Why don’t you just take it? He says, If you don’t hold on with everything you have, you’re going to lose everything you’ve got. You need to take control of this situation before it spirals into something bigger than you can handle. The real manipulator, the real one grappling to control is Satan.

I really enjoyed watching all three of these movies. I own two of them and will probably buy the third when it is released. But do you know what I’d like to see more movies about? Redeemed womanhood.

Who knows? Maybe someday I’ll be the one making them.