Lessons from Shrek

My good friend and I took our kids to see Shrek today.  The local movie theater has a kiddie movie showing every Monday morning in the summer.

We walked, cause we live in town. It was fun.  We got discounted popcorn and drinks.  We sat in the comfy chairs in the darkness and waited patiently.

The movie started and progressed as usual. No previews! Shrek, an ogre who lives alone in a swamp, suddenly has more company than he wants due to Lord Farquaad evicting all the “icky” fairy tale creatures from Du Lac. We chuckled along and enjoyed getting reacquainted with the main characters again – Donkey, Dragon, Shrek and Fiona.

I realized something.  Towards the very end of the movie is the all-important wedding scene.  Fiona has essentially just married the Napoleonic Lord Farquaad and lacks only the “you-may-kiss-the-bride” part.  They never get to do it, because as the sun sets, Fiona backs away a little transforms into an ogre. This is what she becomes every night.  Shrek is stunned but quickly recovers.

Fiona thought she’d be regular, once she received “love’s first kiss”.  Normal.  Human.  Back to her willowy yet buxom, Titian-haired self.  But she wasn’t, and now, because of Shrek’s love and her love for him, she never would be.  She would always and forever be a green ogre.

Us girls get force-fed fairy tales from our earliest childhood.  Cinderella.  Snow White.  Little Mermaid.  Pinocchio.  Eh, scratch that one.  We expect the knight and the white steed and the rescue.  Sure, he can drive a Maserati instead, but it better be a newer model.  And he’d better have (most of)  his own hair, by God.

Does it matter what form love takes, as long as it’s real?  A person’s heart motivates their actions and makes their outsides even more attractive.  Or vice versa, should they be nasty.  That love, that heart, makes us – and others – beautiful.  Shrek thought Fiona beautiful, both as a human and as an ogre because he fell in love with *her*.  Isn’t that something?  Also, Fiona could see herself as beautiful because Shrek loved her.  Even if she had been back to “normal” she would never be the same again on the inside. Maybe Shrek isn’t just for kids after all.


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