50 shades of the beast

Dear Dr. Brilliant Cliché;

Every time I turn on the TV, I am seeing scenes from Fifty Shades of Gray.

I never thought I’d live to see the day that Hollywood was, essentially, promoting S&M. One thing I do find interesting is that the woman who is the “love object” here is not some beauty queen out of Glamour. She looks like she could be the girl next door. Since when is the girl next door into this stuff?

Curious Clara


Dear Clara,

The target audience for this movie is women, so I would assume it is good marking to use Plain Jane rather than Barbie. Fifty Shades of Gray is a poorly written Beauty and the Beast story. It’s one of the myths our culture is founded on: love will redeem the beast. In reality this type of female sacrifice just leads to dysfunctional codependent relationships. Unfortunately, that is the nation’s romantic norm- sacrifice for love and all will be OK. A man will be redeemed because a woman nurtures him back to grace. Fifty Shades dresses the Beast in leather and gives him a private jet but it is the same old story so I am not surprised to see it on the silver screen again.

Dr. Brilliant Cliché

Granny says: perhaps it is because he is not a woman, but I think Dr. B is missing the boat when it comes to why women are so intrigued by this book. They are not lured by the idea of taming the Beast. They are lured by the idea of being taken by the Beast. They don’t want to sacrifice themselves so they can redeem the Beast. They want to be in the hands of a strong man who is expert and aloof and fabulously rich, yet somehow so drawn to Plain Jane that she is whisked into his fairy tale existence.

Screw the cultural dysfunctional codependence. This is about sex, about being with someone who is masterful and whom you wouldn’t dream of saying no to. S&M has always been in the top 10 of sexual fantasies. Sex sells and this was a very attractive package, so of course it’s a hit. It will be replaced by another hit in a few years and as long as the public wants it and will pay for it, this stuff will keep coming out.

Granny has a word of warning though- Women! Do not be fooled by this movie. If there is ever a fabulously rich, masterful man who lures you into such a relationship, it will not be for long. Anyone this young, and this good at the Game, is going to want to keep playing. Beasts cannot be tamed. And they will never willingly walk into a cage.


About Dr. Brilliant Cliché

Dr. Brilliant Cliché and the Granny Dr. are a fictional web presence and advice blog. Together we offer a joint perspective that is deep but not academic, entertaining but not fluff, and educated yet street smart. By joining the internet community we hope to share thoughts and stimulate insightful conversation around pressing issues that affect us all. Looking forward to hearing your thoughts. (This is not a site for therapy nor does it intend to replace medical or other professional care. ) You can leave comments here or email The Dr. at dr.brilliantcliche@yahoo.com and don’t forget to like us on facebook. Our facebook page is Dr. Brilliant Cliche
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1 Response to 50 shades of the beast

  1. Hi Clara,
    When the writers create these stories, who are the people they really know? They’re not thinking of the glamor girl on the screen, but their own neighbors and relatives. We do not consciously think of the plain girl next door as wanting, much less knowing anything about S&M. But these behaviors do not come from thin air or Hollywood. They are experiences practiced every day all over the world. I’m not saying you personally practice these things Clara, but you wouldn’t have to go to far in your neighborhood to at least find someone who doesn’t think about it!

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