A Not So Beautiful Message

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Taken by Tori

Grade 12 English when we were talking about Disney movies I started to realize how interesting Disney’s Beauty and the Beast is. The storyline is cute and it’s a great little tale, but when you start to look into it more, you realize the hidden messages it sends young boys and girls and its not always positive. There are some positive messages and some negative and depending on how I view it, it can change drastically.

Beginning with the first obvious thing, Belle is called strange for reading so much and being smart which implies that women don’t usually read and its odd, it was a different time so I’ve give Disney credit there. 

The character Gaston is portrayed as strong and white and deep voice which sets an example for little boys as to what a “real man” is supposed to look like. But also the enforcement that he displays towards Belle is frightening. He gets in her face and he threatens her if she doesn’t marry him, now that is a not such a good message for girls. Belle isn’t taking his behaviour which shows girls a strong side of woman.

Now we have the Beast who screams at Belle and says he’ll break the door down if she doesn’t come out of her room and also, and I quote, “if she doesn’t eat with me, she doesn’t eat at all”, now I don’t think I even need to point out what’s wrong with that but let me just say how scary and verbally abusive that sounds. I will however point out that Belle is strong and she is actually teaching the Beast a lesson. She doesn’t care if she doesn’t eat because the Beast is mean and demanding. By denying dinner she isn’t giving the Beast what he wants which will help him in the long run to learn to ask nicer and speak nicer. 

In another way this teaches young girls that they have the obligation to FIX a man and his temper and in some cases it really isn’t healthy or a good idea to do that. They will think, “No, he’s really nice deep down just like the beast and I can help him not be so angry all the time”, but sometimes the Beast really can’t change and girls can get hurt. You just have to learn how far to go and when someone really is going to change or if they aren’t. But this whole scene teaches girls that given up on someone who needs helps is not a characteristic of someone like Belle. 
Belle is like an angel and so pure at heart. She sees the good in the Beast and she doesn’t give up on him which is really a beautiful message. 



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