I remember buying the video cassette Aladdin. I was with my Dad & we were at Makro. I think my birthday was coming up or something so I got to choose two videos. Aladdin was one of them. For the younger generation, video cassettes were all the rage before your new-fangled DVDs & subsequent streaming; I’m old, sue me!
From the rags to riches plot, I loved this movie to value seen beyond the surface in being, “a diamond in the rough.” The one thing I didn’t love was the yellow brick road of lies that paved the way to Aladdin’s eventual victory. Here’s why.
Everyone seems to be a retailer these days; we can’t seem to stop selling dreams! It’s especially prevalent in relationships. We pretend to be something we are not, whether it’s lying about our cooking skills or how we are more dog than loyal, we lie through our teeth in a bid to gain acceptance. A house built on lies will never stand, but we have perfected the art of lying so much that we have shoddy relationships functioning way past their sell-by date. #Drops mic.
Aladdin serenades Jasmine with mellifluous tones of deceit that eventually become his grave as they bury him alive in a tangled web. Granted, he lies because based on his background, he has no standing in society & so can only dream of marrying a princess. This is an analogy for society’s obsession with beauty & fame, & our inability to see beneath the veneer to the reality within. Too many people are walking around as whitewashed coffins, polished & sophisticated on the outside yet horribly deformed within, spouting venom in waves.
Aladdin becomes friends with the Genie in the lamp, promising to release him as his final wish. Before I go further, Disney’s been selling this idea that there will be a Genie, a Fairy Godmother, or a fairy who will magically grant your heart’s desires. The fact is life is tough & anyone who made it anywhere had to struggle for it. Even privilege, however unwarranted, is built on the blood, sweat & tears of some far-off protagonist. We need to realize that anything worth having is worth fighting for & will not come easy, be it in relationships, business, or personal improvement. Too often we give up at the first sign of trouble because we are high on the drug of instant gratification.
Wait where was I, yes; Aladdin befriends the Genie, promising him freedom. Halfway through his exploits, Aladdin changes his mind, opting to use the final wish for himself. This alienates his only friend & ally. So, I’ve noticed that when we get into relationships, we often neglect our friends & family. People will discard hobbies, blow off friends, turn down job offers, just to accommodate & please their partner. This would be warranted in a marriage; mutual compromise is the foundation of a healthy union. Note I said mutual. But when this occurs in a relationship that is new & has yet to flourish into something sound, there is a problem. Aladdin barely knows Jasmine. She could be a spoilt brat or a psychotic mass murderer. Who knows? It could happen lol! Despite this, he loses someone who has risked their lives to save him for what? A girl? Too often when these ill-founded relationships fade & we are left alone, we hit rock bottom & keep digging. Why? Because in the throes of passion, we anchor our lives around one person, losing ourselves in their embrace. If everything we are is tied to them, who do we become if & when they leave. We are reduced to nothing more than their echo, ebbing into oblivion with each wave until we are lost.
So what’s the lesson? Firstly, looks aren’t everything. We know this but it helps to get a reminder every now & again. Also if you don’t cook, you don’t clean please do tell him before he gives you that ring! If there is no love, no love, no love, and she shouldn’t come looking for love then say so & say it with your chest! Relationships are hard, but brutal honesty is the apple a day that will keep divorce at bay.
The one thing I love about Aladdin is the beautiful illustration of “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” Aladdin is caring & compassionate. For all his faults, he has a heart of gold, yet the famed princes are trash despite their riches. Ladies, he could be scrawny & lack upper body strength but give you love that will resound into eternity. Gents, she could be the antithesis of a supermodel but treasure you like a king, building you & your children a loving home. Diamonds in the rough are nestled in thickets so you might just miss their ethereal splendor. Dig deeper to find these rare treasures.
This has been the Musing of a Whimsical Mind, out-the-door dinosaur!