Snow White's tragic stepmother

I’ve got a pretty high regard for the human female, but if there’s one thing that lets her down it’s her vanity. Look at Snow White’s royal stepmother. She was a fine-looking woman with the body of a cheerleader and the cheekbones of Faye Dunaway. Yet because of her silly obsession with being “the fairest of them all”, she commits unforgivable crimes for which she is justly tortured to death. Why did she listen to that stupid mirror anyway? Had I been a guest at the palace, I would have taken the queen aside for a quiet pep talk.

“Queenie,” I would have said, “the mirror is a paedophile. I’ve seen how he rattles in his frame when Snow White reflects off his surface. That child is no competition for a woman like you. Take off the headgear and let your hair down; then slip into something tight and skimpy. There won’t be a dry codpiece in the palace. Who needs mirrors with a body like yours? Woof! Woof!”

What many women don’t realise is that there’s a level of attractiveness which is “good enough”. Which is to say, good enough for ninety per cent of heterosexual men aged 16-30 to jump all over you if you ask them politely. If you’re already at that level, there’s not much point getting a nose job to satisfy the remaining ten per cent. It’s better to work on other things, like your sense of humour and your cooking. Or why not learn to play the harmonica? I’ve always thought that little organ looks quite fetching in a woman’s mouth.

Of course, it’s possible that the queen’s obsession with her physical appearance was the symptom of a deeper malaise. One is forced to wonder whether all was well in the royal bedchamber. The king may have sired Snow White, but I doubt he possessed either the patience or the technique to warm up the nether regions of his icy consort. Perhaps she should have had a wild affair with some young buck to soften herself up for Old Vanilla Pants.

Selecting a suitable lover for the queen would have been a challenging yet rewarding assignment. Would Richard Gere, the American gigolo, have been the right type of gallant to loosen her corset strings and caress the inhibitions from body? No, he was too vain and mercenary. What the queen really needed was to be idolised by a fancy boy who would have gurgled with gratitude every time she curtsied on his face. A job, I feel, for a fervent little Frenchman in the Charles Aznavour mould – an Energizer Bunny of Love who would have taken pride in being the queen’s official sex toy.

Sadly none of this happened and the queen died horribly for her sins. But in my view, the king shares a good part of the blame for not dealing with the jealousy and intrigue festering under his royal nose. A man whose wife is reduced to fishing for compliments from a looking glass is not a worthy husband. And a widower who marries a woman who hates his only daughter is not a worthy father. A more fitting ending would have had the seven dwarves giving the king’s kneecaps a good toning with their porridge spoons.

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