I was tasked with reading Supermom’s children a fairy tale the other day as Supermom took a call. Logan acted disinterested in the entire idea until Tabitha pulled one of her brightly colored books onto my lap, then he happened to get a sore derriere on the floor and decided to take the seat on the other side of me on the settee.
I still had a bit of a headache from the unexpected party we had held the night before – poor Romeo was unconscious upstairs; I prayed he had the frame of mind to put some pants on before he descended the staircase. Fortunately he had the good sense to remain unconscious. So I was disinclined to read the story as much as simply tell it from memory. I opened the cover and began with the title: “The Poor Queen Who Merely Wanted to Remain Relevant and that Little Bitch Snow White who Stole her Throne Out from Under Her, Among Other Crimes.” Supermom was displeased with my “message.”
I have no issue with princesses – I adore them. I am still fairly convinced I am one. But they do get a bit uppity, don’t you think? They flit about mimping that they simply can’t do wrong to somebody and take it upon themselves to better their community; good lord, it sounds boring and exhausting. Not to mention their peculiar habit of saving rodents from the cook broom; honestly, who wants a bunch of stupid mice parading across their St. Andrew’s Day Feast? The princesses’ sheer perfection makes them lazy, in my most humble opinion. Being perpetually perfect means they don’t have to think about how to hold their chins up or which corset puts their breasts back in the same zip code as they once lived. They never learn to apply the proper amount of royal purple to their eyelids to make them look like a post performance drag queen because their precious little lips are perpetually pink; when it comes time to tart up for their anniversary, to whom will they turn? Those damn mice won’t be of much use now, will they? And what are they wearing? How do they intend to spike the punch bowl when those voluminous skirts won’t allow them within 3 feet of the drink table?
No, the villainess brings both the flair and the finesse. They are the ones who think to bring the entrails to the table… literally. They don’t dismiss your inadequacies by telling you to eat your heart out; they offer to do it for you. Their beauty tips are obscure, yes, but countless in number and source. They do everything with flourish; why call for the simple arrest of a maiden when you can order a murder of crows to remove her from your line of vision one piece of flesh at a time?
And they never, ever let a silly emotion like love get in the way of their plans.
So why a villainess instead of a villain? First of all, because men think too small; a proper villainess may have her eye on the crown, but her mind is set on the world if not the galaxy. Men set their sights on the banquet table and if they get past the roast beef, they may think forward to their 3-hour nap.
Villainesses dress fabulously, from the flowing capes to the magnificent headwear, every detail is tended to with the precision of a sinister fashion magazine editor (and what fashion magazine editor is not sinister?) Men dress for an ambitious slumber party. (Although, on this front, they actually fair better than their counter parts because heroes tend to dress like those ridiculous orbs that dangle from children’s crib mobiles.)
Villainesses have organized minions – generally an army of elegant if not curiously malformed creature she has transformed them into – who carry out her bidding. Villains, by contrast, have faithful pets that think the trebuchet is playing fetch. (The only place a villainess falls down is when she recruits men for her legion and they seem to muck it up.)
Finally, a villainess once, they have taken over the world, would use it for her purposes in the most efficient way possible whereas a villain would have to call the villainess to find out where he had left his newly vanquished kingdom.
My point is, darlings, the good may be good, but the bad is more interesting.