Looking for BEAUTY & THE BEAST type stories in which Beast wins without a makeover.

In case the thread title is not clear, here is what I mean. I’m looking for stories in which a beautiful/handsome person competes with an ugly/monstrous person for the affections of a third, in which the beloved chooses the ugly person WITHOUT the latter receiving any sort of makeover, transformation, or she-was-pretty-all-along revelation at any point. Stories like the B&B fairy tale, in which Beauty comes to love the Beast and the Beast is ultimately returned to normal, do NOT count. Only stories in which the Beast wins the affections of Beauty and yet remains physically repellent (or at least unpleasant) throughout.


Anyone who mentions Andrew Lloyd Webber will be beaten with this stick, incidentally.

Shrek? I guess its debatable if that fits or not since the “other guy” is also somewhat physically challenged.

I’ve only seen the second sequel, so I’m not sure. Does Shrek have a rival for Fiona’s affection in the first movie? (And isn’t she in her ogre form for the vast majority of that movie anyway?)

There was no love triangle involved, but in Robert R. McCammon’s Gone South, protagonist Dan Lambert is initially put off by the enormous mulberry birthmark on Arden, a girl he gives a lift to in the middle of the night (as are most other people). He thinks it’s especially sad since the other half of her face is so “achingly perfect.”

After they’ve shared a hair-raising journey together and she’s found the faith healer she was looking for, he sees her through completely different eyes and realizes that the birthmark itself is, in its own way, beautiful too.

No, in the first movie, she mostly looks like a beautiful human, and she’s being aggressively courted by a prince who’s about 4’6" tall. The movie makes lots and lots and lots of short jokes at his expense. Because outward appearances don’t matter - except for height.

Lord Farquad, and no, she spends most of the movie as a human, only being an ogre during one nighttime scene, and at the end after she and Shrek have gotten together.

In fact the only real reason Farquad was a serious rival for Shrek was that she was hoping that she could get rid of the ‘turn into an ogre’ curse by marrying him - but actual love for Shrek won out over that. (And got rid of the curse, just making the Ogre part the permanent form, not the human.)

Spoiler’s for Shrek I:

The ogre thing is a reveal late in the movie. She’s a human during the day, and believes she’ll be turned into a human permanently when she’s married.

Shrek’s rival is a prince, whose comically short, but otherwise handsome, and is explicitly more handsome then Shrek, whose supposed to be hideous and is initially physically repellent to the Princess.

But the choice she makes is more about whether she wants to be beautiful or not then about the appearance of her suitors.

In Barbara G. Walker’s Feminist Fairy Tales there’s a short story called “Ugly and the Beast” about a good natured but unattractive woman who falls in love with the kindly beast. His true form is the beastly one, and Ugly is fine with that. IIRC the beast tells her he is able to use his magic to take on the form of a handsome man and that he’d done this for the sake of a woman he had previously been involved with, but things hadn’t worked out with her. I think the other woman never could get over knowing he wasn’t “really” handsome.

Does the Good Natured But Unattractive Woman have a handsome suitor?

Robin McKinley’s Rose Daughter has the happy ending, and yet the Beast remains a Beast.

And of course there’s still a makeover, just one of Beauty matching Beast rather than Beast matching Beauty. (EDIT: That in reference to Shrek)

One sort-of example with the genders swapped is Real Genius. The protagonist is, shall we say, courted rather aggressively by the conventionally-hot blonde, but in the end winds up with the nerdy and less-attractive-by-Hollywood-standards girl, who remains nerdy and does not alter her appearance.

I don’t remember, but the Beast had two women interested in him (albeit not at the same time) – the beautiful one for whom he made himself look like a handsome man, and the unattractive one who accepted him the way he was.

FWIW I believe the idea of the Beast having a rival for Beauty’s affections was invented for the 1946 Cocteau film La Belle et La Bete.

I noticed that. I wouldn’t quite count that, though, because the Beast’s previous lover was not competing with the other.

Masha, from Robert Asprins MythAdventure series is courted by General Badaxe. She is very fat, and loves high fashion clothing in garish colors. I do not remember if General Badaxe has any women chasing him, but it is certainly plausible that he does, given that he is a man of power. They eventually marry, in fact.

Any romantic comedy with Gerard Depardieu?

Cyrano de Bergerac.


Have you ever actually read Cyrano, or seen it performed?

Cyrano, asked to help the inarticulate Christian woo the lovely Roxane, does so, and succeeds in sending the woman he loves into the arms of his rival. Why? Because he’s a nincompoop, that’s why. Anyway, Christian dies of a bullet or the plague or excess hair product or something, and Roxane retreats to a convent to mourn him; there she either has no sex at all or a great deal of sex, depending on the sort of convent it was. She only finds out that Cyrano wrote all of Christian’s letters to her and that he was always loved her when he is on his deathbed, and he, still being a nitwit, denies it to the end. He denies with nothing but his panache. Well, that and his virginity.

There’s a webcomic, YAFGC which has recently started a new storyline that I suspect will go in that direction, more or less. Though the creator keeps surprising us.

Link to first strip in the current story.

I’m going to have to re-watch that. Because I don’t even remember the conventionally-hot blonde, but I remember having a terrible crush on the nerdy girl. :slight_smile:

http://www.sparknotes.com/lit/cyrano/summary.htmlCyrano removes his hat, revealing his heavily bandaged head. Roxane exclaims that she loves him and that he cannot die. But Cyrano draws his sword and engages in one last fight with his “old enemies”—falsehood, prejudice, and compromise—slashing at the air insensibly. Then he collapses and dies, smiling as Roxane bends over him and kisses his face.From the OP:

While, as has been pointed out, Cyrano does not count, the sort-of remake Roxanne does.