I’ve seen it crumble, crippled with stress.
I’ve seen hearts break, ripped from aching chests.
They’ve taken away my fairytales,
Stripped me of my Romeos,
And left me in the dust.
Yet like a loyal servant, I will never cease to believe –
True love is more than anything,
A spark that knocks us off our feet.
Above is an extract from a poem I wrote about Love. Reading over it, it has made me feel rather confused. Because other than some stupid romance novels I bury my nose into once and a while, I know absolutely nothing about love. My Mum and Dad were the worst matched couple in history. My Dad was sickeningly oppressive of her, never letting her out of the house when she wanted, not letting her visit friends or go out at all. My late grandfather was an alcoholic who used to beat my Granny. My great-grandfather beat up my Great-Grandmother too. My entire family history is a trail of terrible marriages, and yet I had the indecency, the sheer stupidity to write - as a what, thirteen year old girl? - that I believed in true love.
Because now I know better. I sat and watched a film on Wednesday called Beastly. I haven't read the book (I kind of got sick of the whole dark romance novels after a while), but I was bored and I fancied whiling away the small hours until my Mum got in, so I stuck it on. And I enjoyed it, until the ending. For those of you who don't know, Beastly is the tale of a beautiful, popular boy who is cursed by Kendra, a crazy teen-witch, into becoming ugly - all scars and weird black marks and all that jazz. Anyway, she tells him that unless he finds a girl to tell him she loves him in a year or something, he'll have to stay that way forever. And so, he does. Like any true Hollywood film, he gets the girl, she tells him that she loves him, and he returns to his beautiful self. Huzzah. (Apologies to anyone who was planning on reading/watching it, but surely you could have seen where it was going anyway?).
And this is what bugs me. Society depicts these incredible whirlwind romances, that seemingly crop up out of nowhere, but I simply don't believe them anymore. All that right time, right place; eyes meeting across a crowded room rubbish that we all cling too is pathetic.
Moreover, what about the AVERAGE people? Average people with average lives and average faces to match. Beastly was meant to be about seeing past the ugliness and falling for the person within: and yet in the end they just both end up being as beautiful as ever. When was the last time you sat down to watch a film about average people? And I don't mean average characters, we get them all the time. I read One Day, and in the book, the main character is slightly podgy at times, wears square glasses and cuts her hair badly. And in the film, it was played by the drop-dead gorgeous Anne Hathaway. How is that right? I want a love story about AVERAGE PEOPLE. I don't want another ridiculous romantic-comedy about two people kissing in the rain or exclaiming their feelings to one another with passion glinting in their eyes; dripping in beauty product and designer clothes.
I'm not beautiful. I'm plain and bland and cripplingly average at times. There are so many girls like me all over the world, and yet we are forced to watch and drool and swoon over the far-fetched love affairs of the Beautiful Ones. The plain girl falling for the gorgeous boy. The out-of-his-depth guy making it with the beautiful cheerleader. Well I say enough is enough. I think we Averages deserve a love story of our own - a love story that does not need beautiful faces or manicured fingers or overly manufactured dialogues to make us believe in true love.
My biology teacher said something to my class once.
"Beautiful people are attracted to beautiful people. Ugly people are stuck with ugly people. It is how the human brain works. Ugly people settle, because sub-consciously they know they can do no better."
I remember feeling really angry when he said that. But all of a sudden, I am suddenly terrified he might have been right.