The new Beauty and the Beast film is just making me realise that Belle was kind of awful
Why was she just singing about how everyone in her town sucked right in front of them?
Watching stuff that you loved as a child back when you were older is a dangerous game. You notice things which are weird and uncomfortable (like how depressing is the death row in All Dogs Go To Heaven?), gaping plot points, or how weird you used to be as a child for enjoying it so much (why was I so sexually attracted to teenage Simba as a kid it makes me feel poorly). But since Beauty and the Beast’s big budget Emma Watson fronted remake is right around the corner, it’s hard to ignore a retrospective look back at the original Disney classic.
And when you do you immediately realise that Belle was a fucking dick.
Look, nobody really wants to stay in their hometown forever. You’d be bored, boring and pathetic if you didn’t want to travel somewhere at some point. It’s fine that Belle wants more for her life. But when I go back to my hometown now I’m like, this is really nice, these people watched me grow up, they all want the best for me, oh they’re saying hello when they see me in the morning. That’s the normal way to think about the people who live in your hometown, because while they might be small town people, they’re nice people.
You definitely don’t stand in the middle of your town centre in the morning shouting at the top of your lungs THERE MUST BE MORE THAN THIS PROVINCIAL LIFE THIS PLACE IS A SHITHOLE THESE PEOPLE ARE SMALLMINDED IDIOTS WHO AREN’T AS SMART AS ME, BELLE, THE GREATEST, SMARTEST PERSON EVER. Unless you’re Belle, she does that, because she’s a snob.Guys, I read, yeah?
But there’s more to Belle being a dick than just hating her town. The big problem with her is this: she’s a huge, smug, nerd in general. Belle is the kind of person who in real life would correct your Facebook statuses in the comments below (“um I think you’ll find it’s actually YOU’RE, sweetie”) and post Sunday night Instagrams of her tucked up in bed with a Sophie Kinsella (“just how I like to spend my weekends while everyone else is clubbing lol! #blessed #chilld #goodgirl).
As a babynerd I loved Belle, because I too had brown hair and little glasses and read books in a library and was generally just a massive loser. If you’re a child like that you probably liked Belle because she was supposed to be a different kind of Disney princess (the line they roll out literally every time they release a new Disney princess film). It’s that kind of mentality which nowadays is more than a little bit old fashion. A huge part of Belle’s schtick is about being “not like the other girls in her town”. Girls like these ones:
It’s the kind of thing you can buy into as a child but as an adult you glo-up and realise that actually, there’s not a huge amount wrong with other girls, and turned out the dichotomy by which you set yourself apart was a toxic mentality encouraged by the media and entrenched with internalised misogyny! Who knew eh? Not Belle, that’s for sure.
Also, I’m not saying that Belle should be sad about his death (he was a dick to her after all) but it seems like she knew Gaston for a long time and she, along with the other villagers, remains totally unaffected by his bizarrely brutal death??? Maybe Belle is a sociopath. She feels no emotion. I’m just putting it out there.
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