Disney Really Wants to Remind You That Belle is an Empowered Woman
We all knew Belle from 1991’s Beauty and the Beast was a smarty pants and that she aspired to be something greater than a doting wife to a conceited meat head. Admittedly, in the original animated film, we don’t really see what she becomes other than a bonafide princess with an extensive library. Yes, she doesn’t take any sh*t from the Beast, nor anyone else, but that’s about all we see. Maybe that’s why the new Beauty and the Beast is playing up this slightly newer vision of the story’s hero in the latest featurette Disney just released, titled “Empowered Belle.” You can take a look at the video above.
I’m not surprised they want to update Belle’s characteristics a little. Female empowerment has become such an important topic these past couple years, and we want to make sure our young girls don’t grow up under the same gender role expectations as we did, or our mothers and grandmothers did. It’s one thing to show a girl she can be opinionated in the company of men, but she also needs to know that she can be as industrious as they are too. That’s the hope, anyway.
It certainly helps to back up their intentions by casting Emma Watson, a pro-woman advocate whose efforts to change the landscape for young girls has been recognized by the United Nations, as Belle.
And hey, either version of Disney’s Belle is still better than most of her other iterations who are there just to be the Beast’s salvation.
Beauty and the Beast opens in theaters nationwide March 17, 2017.