Beauty and its Beast
In today’s beauty-obsessed society, an unhealthy body image in teens is on the rise. Media of all sorts plays a large part in labeling exactly what it means to be beautiful. This brainwashing of unrealistic expectations of what beauty is starts at a young age with fairy-tale movies like Disney. “The Walt Disney Company is one of the biggest media corporations in the world. It has been dominating the world of children movies for decades” (Lamb & Brown 2007). Disney films have been infamously overloaded with gender stereotypes. These films are the very basis of what young children aspire to be. Little girls all around the world emulate the princesses Disney has created over the decades. But you see little girls are not the only ones emulating these fictional characters, but little boys are forced fed lies about what it is to be a hero. However, the Disney classic Beauty and the Beast seems to stray from this trajectory by depicting an intelligent female protagonist, a handsome “bad guy”, and a brute as “Prince Charming.”
The 1991 Walt Disney animated production of Beauty and the Beast, which was based on the 1756 French fairy tale La Belle et la Bête by Jeanne-Marie Le Prince de Beaumont, is a example of a fairy tale. Beauty and The Beast is the story of a beautiful but humble girl called Belle whose father becomes imprisoned by The Beast. Belle courageously sacrifices her freedom for her fathers at the Beast's castle. The Beast treats her well, with plenty of food and water and enough books to fill a library. Belle learns to love the Beast for who he really is. Belle soon becomes homesick and the Beast allows her to leave only if she promises to return a week later. The Beast gives Belle a ring that allows her to return to the castle immediately and a mirror to see what's happening at the castle. Belle's sisters trick her into staying one day later than a week in hope of the beast becoming angry, but Belle feels guilty. She looks into the mirror to see the Beast dying of heartbreak. She uses the ring to return to him half dead, weeps over him and announces her love for him. The Beast then turns into the handsome prince he was before, and tells her it's was a curse from a fairy, and that only when someone could love him whilst being gruesome could return to true form. Belle didn’t quite fit the stereotype of the average Disney Princess. Belle had a passion for books, was a bit of an introvert, had dying itch to escape her hometown and refuses to marry the most sought-after-bachelor, Gaston. But just like all the Disney characters Belle is courageous in sacrificing herself for her ill father.
The two lead male protagonist attempt to break the usual Disney gender stereotype. Gaston is a handsome, muscular, wealthy, and respected by everyone in the town. Yet, he is perceived as the so-called bad guy. All because Belle continues to refuse his affection, since she finds him rude, arrogant and disrespectful to her father. Belle’s...