It’s a whole new world.
Never could I have predicted that my 7-year-old self would watch the animated Arabian classic Aladdin and one day, as a grown woman, have fantasies about the villainous Jafar spitting in my face, but here we are.
This is what 2019 has laid at my feet and I will make the best of it.
Just a bit of background for my current existential crisis: Late last year, Entertainment Weekly gifted us with some first-look photos at the upcoming live-action remake of Aladdin. Sure, we all assumed Will Smith as Genie would raise the most hype. Maybe, within the glossy pages, we’d find a photo of newcomer Mena Massoud as Aladdin and have a hot flash over his exposed nipples. Never would we have imagined lusting after the physical embodiment of an animated character who resembled a skeleton sporting unblended foundation and a sex-offender mustache.
But here we are.
More specifically, here he is: Marwan Kenzari, the man making me question everything I thought I knew about good and evil and the political machinations and hierarchy of ancient Egypt.
And here he is in costume, in case you thought clothes might somehow diminish his sex appeal.
Look, I don’t know why Disney thought to do this. Perhaps someone is getting some sick, twisted kick out of forcing us to choose between a handsome hero and a darkly sexy villain. ("It’s easier to hate the bad guy when he’s ugly" is not a revolutionary hot take, Disney.)
But I’m predicting that this backfires on them in a big way.
Oh, you thought I’d still root for the no-account street rat after bearing witness to Hot Jafar’s immaculate turban?
Oh, you thought I’d want to go on a magical carpet ride with that nipple-less riffraff when Hot Jafar is just beckoning me to lounge under palm trees while he details his evil master plan to rule the world?
Oh, you thought you could sucker me into swooning over that identity thief Prince Ali, a man happy to catfish Jasmine into marriage with the promise of 75 golden camels, 53 purple peacocks, 95 white Persian monkeys, and 60 large elephants? Who the f*ck needs all those animals, my dude? Your exotic menagerie cannot distract me from the BDE Hot Jafar is putting off with his muscled physique hidden beneath layers of luxurious robes and a well-manicured scruff that’s just waiting to tickle all the right places.
Disney, you’ve made a big mistake.