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Otter Ebert: Beauty & the Beast

April 17, 2017

This article was written by Maddi LeKander

Belle 2.0: The Role Model I Wish I Had

Disney’s live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast is filled with stunning designs, extravagant sets, grand music numbers, and still managed to fill plot holes from the original 1991 animated movie. With updated characters, Disney has managed to reignite the love for this story that I once had as a little kid. I have always seen myself in Belle, preferring a book to real life, not really fitting in, and caring too much for my own good. However, Emma Watson’s Belle did something that was missing in the original. And this is the reason why I am elated to know that the new generation of kids who see a part of themselves in Belle will be able to look up to this Belle, Belle 2.0 if I may.

She is who she is, and she makes things happen for herself.

Watching the movie I could not help but think about how much I would have loved to see this Belle when I was growing up, unsure of myself and my place. Every time Belle would pick up another object to defend herself, I thought of the times when I did not think I could fight for myself. When Belle let her compassion for the Beast overcome her fear, I thought about the times where I hid the tears behind my eyes because I felt for the people around me.

The original Belle, while strong in her own right, was a victim of her circumstances. She let things happen to her, sometimes speaking up, but usually just childishly complaining while sometimes getting her way. Emma Watson’s Belle tells a different story. She has a strong personality from the beginning and is never a victim. Her personality shines through and so does her stubbornness. She is who she is, and she makes things happen for herself. This is the kind of role model that the next generation of fairy tale lovers like me will have. And for that, I can only thank Disney.

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