The Disney Princess that Breaks the Mold

October 14, 2011 astridmartin1116

Beauty, romance, riches. Although these luxuries are great to have there are better things to life than the physical.

Knowing that I have been lately focusing on the negative aspects of how the media portrays women I felt  it was necessary to follow a more positive route this week. The best way to do this is to talk about my favorite childhood movie–Beauty and the Beast.

While many people my age wanted to become firemen and teachers, I wanted to choose the less traditional route—a princess.

Okay, now that I re-visit these memories I start laughing. After all who would say no to a world of lavishes, beauty, and romance. Fortunately for me I had Belle’s character to whip me out of this materialistic ideology and preview me into the magical world of female empowerment.

Unlike Sleeping  Beauty and Snow White, damsel distresses hopeful to find love interests, Belle was portrayed as an independent and free-spirited women ready to break out of her society’s expectations.

Not only was Belle portrayed as an intelligent women, as seen through her obsession of books, but the idea that she wanted more than “this provincial life,” as she famously sings in the clip above, demonstrates her feministic qualities. Seeing an influential character turn down a man like Gaston, the village stud, taught me that  there was more to  life than to meeting your prince charming, getting married, and starting a life.

Although this traditional route sounds great for many women, I myself know that I wanted to do something more influential than just becoming a mother and a housewife. Plus, who would want to be stuck with a man like Gaston. Not only is he rude, but he is short-tempered and self-centered. Although many women in Belle’s town would be flattered by such a request,  Belles’ unconventional choice immediately teaches young children, especially young girls, the importance of judging people’s personalities rather than their looks.

No longer will we be a society that judges people, especially women on their looks and their place in society.

________

Beauty and the Beast

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5 Comments Add your own

  • 1. seeherinthemovies  |  October 21, 2011 at 12:15 am

    I’ve always that Belle was the most progressive of all the Disney Princesses. Her ability to see past the “charm” of Gaston and go straight to the prince that lies within the heart of the “Beast” is what makes “Beauty and the Beast” in an instant classic. Instead of being gaga over status or appearance, she falls in love with someone’s true heart. Beautiful. Also, Belle is a very independent, self sufficient woman who is not afraid to make her own decisions and to live her own life. She is strong and intelligent, but at the same time wanting to be “free.” Good choice!

    • 2. astridmartin1116  |  November 8, 2011 at 1:50 pm

      Thank you so much. I am so happy that you agree with my post. I think that’s the best part about Disney–every Disney princess have different and unique qualities. Although there are those several typical damsel in distress princesses, there are just as many princesses that are just as independent and self sufficient as Belle.

  • 3. marti410  |  December 2, 2011 at 12:31 pm

    I think that Belle IS one of the strongest Disney princesses along with Mulan. On the overly analytical side though, Belle is subjected to torture and sacrifice so in this way she is set as vulnerable as the other princesses. Her sweet and caring nature eventually turns the Beast into a human which makes her the hero of the story. Belle is set to be weak and such but she defies this nonsense and goes out to do what she wants to do.

  • 5. ginganinjaprincess  |  December 9, 2011 at 4:24 pm

    My favorite part about this movie is that although Belle is also known as Beauty from Beauty and the Beast, she is really intelligent and quite the bookworm! It just goes to show that you can be beautiful and smart. I think that this makes her a great role model for little girls, because not only do they get the great romantic story that they crave, they learn that women who are intelligent and like to read are also cool! Disney may have a horrible reputation for sexism that I try to dispel whenever possible, but I think Belle is one of the strongest examples that Disney isn’t all that bad, it’s just how you analyze it. If you look at almost anything intending to find sexism, you’re bound to find it, simply because sexism, along with feminism, is subjective. If you stay positive as I try to be about these things, you will see the positive aspects of children’s entertainment (hey we all watched these things and we turned out okay!). Thank you for your thoughts, I really enjoy your blog! 🙂


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