“Beauty and the Beast” starts with an unusual woman named Belle who, get this, is both beautiful and intelligent. Now Belle gives the audience hope that this might actually be a movie that accurately portrays women as three dimensional characters and human beings rather than dolls who are pretty and sing a lot. However, throughout the next eighty four minutes that argument is severely different.
In the beginning we see the town ostracize Belle for being herself because she does not change herself in order to fit in with the rest of the women in the town. As well, the rest of the women in the town are not taken with reading and Belle is constantly outcasted by these women. Gaston, the most popular man in town, takes an interest in Belle because even though she is a bit odd, she is pretty and that’s all that matters right?
Then on the other side of the love triangle there is the relationship between Belle and the Beast. The Beast literally captures Belle in his castle and won’t let her leave until she falls in love with him. I think that through this relationship Disney is portraying an abusive relationship. Belle is forced to give up her family and life in order to be with the Beast. She spends time being yelled at and threatened by the Beast in order for him to get her to stay. When Belle does leave she still comes back to “save” the Beast, in hopes that he will be different. Then in the end the Beast does change back into the a man which seems to be sending the message that for abusive relationships if you can stick through it you will be happy. I believe that “Beauty and the Beast” sends the message that, for girls, you must stay in a relationship even if your partner is holding you, emotionally, hostage and is abusive.
Today’s blog post was written by campus organizer, Priyanka.