As a young girl, I was crazy over Disney princesses, they were the bane of my existence and nearly all the clothes and toys I had had something to do with being a princess.
That or either housewife/mommy baby toys.
The Disney princesses were an amazing role model for me, they were beautiful, strong in their unique ways and kind hearted. I definitely favour the older set of Disney Princesses; Snow White, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty and of course…Beauty and the Beast.
My utmost favourite is Belle.
Belle is smart, a little different from everyone but loves her family (her father) so much, she supports him and eventually the Beast as well. She is caring and kind but brave when she needs to be and she makes wearing a yellow gown look gorgeous. A true princess through and through.
I never cared for all the feminist bullsh*t about how Beauty and the Beast is about Stockholm Syndrome, because anyone with two brain cells can actually understand that the point of their love story is unconditional love and understanding. Putting someone else before you (and they you) as an ultimate act of love. Belle was trapped by the Beast, yes, but he was also trapped in his own horrible ways and she freed him, people forget he actually freed her not very long after. Like the song, she saw there was ‘something there’ in the Beast, underneath his horrible looks and surface personality.
When you think about it, the Beast was merely a child when he was cursed, a lot of negative, conflicting emotions were instilled in him when he was young, on top of his bratty attitude. The guy had a lot of lessons to learn, it wasn’t exactly very easy when you’re that young.
So imagine my disgust when I discovered Emma Watson was going to play Belle in the new remake.
I tried not to judge, I really did try not to. I love Belle, how could she ruin Belle? Surely they won’t change the story, so maybe it’s just the acting. She’s just playing a role, maybe she loves Belle as much as I do.
Turns out she did.
Though just like how everything feminism touches becomes poison, not even my favourite Disney ladies are immune.
Now I did look forward to the movie for a while, I saw the trailers and I will admit now the visuals are just stunning. Absolutely beautiful. I was okay with the new Beauty and the Beast song by Ariana Grande and John Legend. It seemed like it would just be an exact copy of the original but in real life, I was actually going to be happy about that.
Until I saw a behind the scenes video with Emma Watson and the cast about Belle. I also knew that recently Emma was on Vogue in relations to the release of the movie, and the title of the article was ‘Not Your Mother’s Disney Princess‘ or something like that. I remembered that and felt some dread. Emma started talking about how Belle was more ‘independent’ and the clip showed scenes of Belle actively researching, planning and strategising as to how to break the curse. She’s even confronting Gaston rather fiercely!
This is not Belle.
The point of Disney Princesses is that the prince saves the princess.
Of course, she better be a princess worth saving and these Disney princesses are!
Not the other way around, the Beast is the one to save Belle as a part of his learning from his past and mistakes, his journey into becoming a better a man for her.
Belle is not helpless and being saved by the Beast is not being weak, she is already brave by stepping forward to getting to know him despite the initial danger, by reaching her hand out to understand him. Despite the risks. She is already brave by taking care of her father and taking his place. That’s true sacrifice.
Why the hell does Belle have to do bloody everything in this movie?! All the Beast has left to do is claw at Gaston a couple of times, this movie has reduced him to a snivelling mutt!
That’s feminism for you, disrespecting men and their abilities while putting women above unjustly as Queen B*tches. It’s already known that Emma intended to add feminism to this classic fairytale. With an attitude like that being shown as the new role model for this generation’s little girls?
They’re being taught that to prove they are ‘strong’ they have to do everything for a man and override him and he doesn’t have to do anything. His strength doesn’t matter, his abilities to provide and support doesn’t matter. His masculinity doesn’t matter.
Then everybody wonders why men are marrying less and less in the wake of rising divorces. They don’t want this crap.