Beauty by Kerascoët
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Publication Date: October 1st, 2014
Publisher: NBM Publishing
Recommended Age: 16+
Genres & Themes: Graphic Novel, Fairytales, Beauty, Dark
When the repulsively ugly Coddie unintentionally saves a fairy from a spell, she does not understand the poisonous nature of the wish granted her by the fairy. The village folk no longer see her as repulsive and stinking of fish—they now perceive her as magnetically beautiful—which does not help her in her village. A young local lord saves her, but it soon becomes apparent that Coddie’s destiny may be far greater than anyone ever imagined. Caustic and flamboyant, this fairy tale offers grownups an engrossing take on the nature of beauty.
From the creators of MISS DON’T TOUCH ME.
But aside from the author and illustrator, the two have nothing in common. Even the graphics are more beautiful in this one. The scenes are more detailed and the settings more varied.
It’s as though Hubert and Kerascoët created a fairytale world, with its own history and people from scratch. It’s an ambiguous world, however, because just like the gods of Game of Thrones, the fairies here are revered and feared but their presence is mostly in the spiritual world.
They’re more of an idea, a belief than tangible creatures.
Except one did grant a girl a wish. Coddie is the ugliest in her village and she goes through hell every day for it. Verbal harassment. Mistreatment. Nasty glances. If only she could be beautiful like the other girls.
Well the fairy made her so. Not “just” beautiful, the fairy made her the “most” beautiful girl in the world. Men look at her and go nuts. They lose their senses. All they can think about is Beauty, Beauty, Beauty. Thus her new name.
At first it seems like a blessing. Coddie is basking in the adoration and love. But the men’s reaction is unnatural. They become too obsessed and want to possess her. And Coddie, although she’s found a gentle man to love her, wants more, more, more. She thinks she deserves more now that she’s become as magnificent as a goddess.
This story is full of symbolism. I was afraid it would convey the message that women’s beauty is dangerous and therefore women should always be modest, or they will be possessed by men and raped, but the ending definitely proves that is not the case. Although beauty can be a weakness, it can also be a strength, depending on the one who holds it.
Gorgeous and full of depth.
PS. NOT FOR CHILDREN.
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