Every 90's kid has seen, been inspired by the beauty of characters, and fell in love with Disney movies, especially stories revolving around princesses. Many are unaware of the fact Snow White is the oldest of the Disney princesses, not Cinderella.
But there is one Disney movie that brought a different perspective in mind. Who knew a Disney character disguised as a beast was a hero?
I realized some things after experiencing the animated Beauty and the Beast original. The beauty standard is far from the original attributes of a person.
Once Upon a Time, There was Belle…
What a shy, timid character she was right? The epitome of beauty moving all around the village, with no care of the world or people for that matter, lost in her books, Belle dotted her father very much. There’s much to synthesize from this character. To be smart or beautiful you do not need to be a princess (that’s a first) and not timid! Comparing the new release and the original version I realized;
We challenge ourselves with our appearance and not with our character
Belle’s character represents three major things; her personality as a nerd, love of freedom, and her aloofness regarding her beauty. It’s exactly like mind over matter, she didn’t pay any heed to her looks rather to the information unread inside the books screaming to be read and absorbed by someone worthy.
Was she a worthy reader? Sure enough, she was as she couldn’t resist the great library in the castle either. The film version however focused on the challenging part; how much we weigh our impressions based on their looks. Belle became an ultimate role model for many girls who inspired to be praised for more than their looks.
The true beauty indeed comes with a brain too.
While on The Other Side We Have…
Gaston, a handsome lad played by one of our favorite actors, Luke Evans, portrays the shallow character to perfection. I really couldn’t imagine a more perfect actor to take lead on this one.
But what comes in your mind despite the rugged handsomeness of this character? Such people can treat others as objects and such objects take on the human characteristic. Beauty doesn’t justify a person’s ill-behavior towards someone, as Gaston proved it. To him, Belle was the token of beauty only that would raise his standard in the eyes of everyone. So where this does leads us?
This part represents the idea of “prize and object”.
And Here Comes the Beast!
Beauty standards are captivating. Take a look around; every other person is dipped into the idealism of so-called toxic beauty standards.
Oh, you got a bumpy nose or a double chin? Well no worries, Say hello to injections and suction pumps!
Who are we kidding? Ourselves probably, imagine if Beast could use a good hair laser treatment or shaving cream, would that have turned him into a handsome prince he once was? It’s a moot point.
The enchantment captivates beast with a spelled rose, and each fall of a petal is like an hourglass speeding towards his doom. Well, I really can’t complain, he did deserve it after all because once upon a time, our hero, The Prince, was a spoiled and arrogant brat who denied helping a woman just because she was ugly.
A little late to say sorry when she turned out to be a disguised character. This gives us a modern lesson, actually two;
Appearances are deceptive and everything that glitters is not gold.
After clearly re-watching the movie, it got me thinking that it constitutes the concept of captivity and freedom. Beast desperate to break the spell captivates Belle in exchange for her father’s life. Now how come a rude person like him could make a wise minded Belle fall in love with him?
In short, it did work out for both of them when Belle declared her unspoken feelings making one thing clear;
What Should Beauty Stand For?
Bring Equality and Unity to Yourself
In simple words, it stands for transformation; not from being ugly to being beautiful, but transforming oneself from their selfishness towards the road of empathy. Unfortunately, there are characters like Gaston, even in our real lives, which do not learn a single dime and remain stuck in their immaturity while some characters grow and experience great transformation.
Every mind reacts differently to this concept, for some beauty is;
- Transforming towards a healthier lifestyle to reduce weight
- Taking care of your body and mental well-being
- To have high self-esteem
- Or even having the ability to empathize with someone and to become helping hand
So it doesn’t matter whether your hair is silky blonde or a curly mess, beauty comes in all shapes and sized and colors.
The only problem is we need to break the illusion of beauty standards we have created (like in the Beauty and the Beast movie) and we need to see beyond someone’s appearance. What matters most is how you see yourself. The way you will perceive yourself will have either a positive outcome or a disastrous end (sorry Gaston).
What makes you beautiful are your abstract qualities that give a sense of delight to your mind. And it can be anything from a smile to being a nerd, beauty keeps evolving. Even Disney evolved its female leads much towards modernism and with a solid role play rather than a damsel in distress (which I highly appreciate).
“The most beautiful thing you can wear is your Confidence”
So if you never have been called “beautiful” it doesn’t mean you do not have beautiful skin or it means you are unique in your way. But would it be a hypocrite of me to say that makeup is lame and you do not need to use it? I mean if you look at Belle, she did get ready for the special dinner with Beast and dressed up for the occasion. so yes, using some tools to help you motivate yourself is perfectly fine as long as you do not dwell on the outer appearance only.