So, I saw Beauty and The Beast recently and I’m amazed. Really. The original was one of my favorite movies of all time, but this really rocked my socks. It blows my mind how people in film can put these things together and imagine a new world for us to dream about. But it also got me thinking...
The original Beauty and The Beast just taught me to not judge a book by its cover. Pretty simple, pretty straight forward. Watching it as a child, teenager, and adult I never thought of any hidden meanings. Maybe I wasn’t in the right head space. But now, every sentence Belle spoke, I was in awe.
This girl has an entire town telling her she’d different, she’d odd. They’re saying her dad is a quack and they don’t belong. She has the most handsome man in town competing for her attention. Now most women would love to have a stud like Gaston vying for their affection, but not Belle. This woman is high value. She has strong convictions and morals. She never waivers from what she truly believes.
It’s amazing to me. Belle sticks to her values and lets no one tell her different. Now how many women can really say that? Actually, how many people in general can say that? Not many. It’s so refreshing to me. Belle is a fucking feminist.
I can’t believe I never saw this before. I can’t believe the underlying story never registered with me. Belle is a book worm. She loves learning and imagining a whole new world. She lives alone with her dad, and her mom isn’t in the picture. So what does this tell us so far? Belle has a trauma in her life. Then you have Gaston who has every woman in town begging for his love. Yet, he chooses Belle. Why? Because men love the chase. She doesn’t give him the time of day, and even says she won’t be with him. And that makes him try harder. He tells her women shouldn't read, because the begin to think. WTF. No wonder she can't stand him.
She meets the Beast, who also has a trauma in his life (duh, he's literally a beast.) He puts his wall up, and is afraid to let her get close. She doesn’t pay it any attention though. She treats him as her equal. They start spending some time together, getting to know each other. Now it’s not all rainbows and sunshine, they have a couple screaming matches, and they argue. They really have to put in some work. Which is just like every romantic relationship and even friendships.
The more time they spend together, the more they realize how much they have in common. And then Gaston comes to try and take her back to his place. We’ll say this is when another man, an ex or even an argument comes in between the 2 people. Belle still has strong values. She knows she doesn’t want Gaston, no matter how hard he tries to win her over. But Belle also doesn’t beg for The Beast to be with her and vice versa. They have a mutual respect, and they know what’s meant to be will be. He lets her leave because her priorities aren't him. He knows that, and he understands. But when it really counts....When Beast knows he loves Belle and sees someone or something trying to take her away. He fights for her, he fights for their love.
I feel like up until recently little girls were taught to wait for Prince Charming. To be saved and rescued…but from what? Danger, from being an independent woman, from being single? Who knows. I came up with a quote late last year after watching a string of romantic comedies…and it goes “I don’t need a Prince to save me, I need a King to help me take over the world” People have taken this in very different ways. Women usually love it, and guys think I have set my expectations too high. Obviously, I’m not referring to a real king. Duh. But it basically means to wait for someone who is your equal and your partner. Belle and Beast became partners, she went from being his prisoner to being his Queen (spoiler alert.)
I write all this to say, shouldn’t we be like Belle? Shouldn’t we stand so firm in our convictions that nothing and no one can shake us? We shouldn’t settle for a Gaston, because he’s handsome and can pay for our dinners. We should wait for our Beast, who is everything we could want, and more. And maybe it’s not a romantic relationship. Maybe it’s a job you hate, or a friendship that is constantly one sided. Stand tall in who you are and what you believe and everything will fall into place.
I’ve never wanted to be more of a Disney Princess than I do right now. And I literally cried the entire movie (see, I do have feelings.)