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Youth Culture Lesson Finding Teachable Moments in Culture From YouthWorker Journal and YouthWorker.com. You ’ re So Vain A Lesson in Real Beauty from Mirror Mirror. By Paul Asay Posted: March 27, 2012. What Happened:.

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Youth Culture LessonFinding Teachable Moments in CultureFrom YouthWorker Journal and YouthWorker.com

You’re So Vain

A Lesson in Real Beauty

from Mirror Mirror

By Paul Asay

Posted: March 27, 2012


What happened
What Happened:

In the past 200 years, the story of Snow White has been told many different ways. Sometimes, as in the original Grimm Brother stories, the tale can feel pretty dark. In Disney’s 1937 iteration, it can be sweet and innocent. In the new film Mirror Mirror, things can get downright silly.


What happened1
What Happened:

While the story can look remarkably different from version to version, its core conflict remains much the same: Snow White is growing more beautiful every day, and the beautiful but evil queen doesn’t like it one bit.


What happened2
What Happened:

In Mirror Mirror, the queen (played by Julia Roberts) goes to great lengths to stay pretty, and her beauty treatments are downright bizarre. Bees sting her lips so they’ll fluff up nicely. Fish nibble at her fingers. A servant spreads dollops of bird poop on her face. If all that isn’t enough to make her the prettiest woman in the kingdom...well, she’s not above knocking off anyone who’s prettier.


What happened3
What Happened:

The Queen isn’t the only one who longs to look a little different. Mirror Mirror’s seven dwarves wear collapsible, accordion-like legs to appear taller. Renbok, manservant of the dashing Prince Andrew, wears padding to make him look more muscular. Almost everyone’s trying to look like someone he or she is not.


What happened4
What Happened:

As silly as they sometimes look, these characters have reason to try to look a certain way—just as we do. Society tells them they should be pretty or handsome or tall. The pressure to be pretty can be overwhelming. We live in a reality in which we’re constantly exposed to chiseled abs and airbrushed models; and beautiful actresses can be lambasted for putting on a few pounds. Should we be surprised that anxiety and eating disorders are at an all-time high?


What happened5
What Happened:

In the end, Snow White serves to show this kingdom true beauty—and it doesn’t come from magic potions or bee stings. It’s about how you act and treat others, so people can see the true beauty inside.


Talk about it
Talk About It:

  • Have you ever worried that you’re not pretty or handsome enough?

  • Do you ever wish you could look like the people you see on magazine covers or in the movies?

  • Have you ever done anything silly to make yourself look or feel more attractive?


Talk about it1
Talk About It:

  • Does society put too much emphasis on how we look?

  • If so, how does that pressure manifest?

  • Where does that pressure come from?

  • Entertainment?

  • Your friends?

  • Your family?


Talk about it2
Talk About It:

  • Do you think people who try too hard to be something they’re not—such as the dwarves with their accordion legs—sometimes wind up looking more foolish?

  • What characteristics make you pretty—not externally but internally?


What the bible says
What the Bible Says:

“Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.”

Prov. 31:30


What the bible says1
What the Bible Says:

“Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

1 Sam. 16:7


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