|Drawing by: Alyssa Zell|
Like many of my fellow American youths, I grew up with folk and fairy tales. One of my aunts used to work for Disney, so I had easy access to the early perversions of the classics. In addition, I was exposed to the live version of Cinderella as well as the gruesome Into the Woods. I often saw those along with the ballet versions of Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty, which were my parents' favorites. Despite the push towards those stories, my favorite has always been Beauty and the Beast. Yes, I'll admit the Disney version of that story set me on the path, but I've loved every version I've read to date. In a way, I have always associated myself with Beauty, and not just because of my good looks (just kidding). You see, in my family, I was the unassuming youngest child, who was happy to get anything at all, like a simple rose, whereas my older siblings wanted jewelry and weapons. For me, it has almost always been about being loved instead of showing strength or wealth; finding beauty in simplicity instead of extravagance.