Why Grace isn’t named Beauty
By Rachel Rossano
From the first time I read Beauty and the Beast as a child, it struck me how much emphasis was put on Beauty’s appearance as well as her internal beauty. Although the Beast is trying to get Beauty to fall in love with what is beneath his unappealing surface, he demands that she should have a lovely exterior for him to look at. Because of this double standard, I decided to tweak a few things in Grace by Contract.
My heroine is not ugly, but she is not strikingly beautiful either. In a break from the fairytale, she isn’t the youngest sister, and her moniker is not Beauty. That name is allocated to her youngest sister who is strikingly beautiful, innocent, and a bit too childish for her age. Instead my heroine is named Grace.
Playing on the premise that outer beauty is fleeting and inner beauty is forever, Grace is very still very similar to her fairytale counterpart on the inside. She sacrifices herself for her family despite great difficulties. Her father’s foolishness becomes the source of most of the family’s troubles, and she willingly steps in to help. She is hard working, kind, and gentle. All the things one would expect of a fairytale heroine. But, she isn’t overwhelmingly beautiful. That way my hero must see past the shining beauty of the younger sister to the more lasting beauty of Grace’s inner strength.