A Grain of Salt, a Spoonful of Sugar

Strings and sealing wax, and other fancy stuff

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Tell ‘em. 

I dedicate this little number to all those who like to say Disney princesses are nothing but passive, submissive, and horrible role models. 

Bless this post.

Especially Belle. Come on. Can we TALK about Belle for a minute?? She gets a lot of flack from people who have no idea what her character, and her story, is all about- going on about how she’s “trying to change him” and making the Beast a “project”- which, do not get me wrong, is a bullshit trope that we see in a lot of other stories, especially in most of the variations of the Beauty and the Beast tale. But not Belle. Showing early signs of agency and a refusal to be swayed or bowed by some pretty gross leering and bullying from Gaston while still in the village, during her time with the Beast, Belle is never afraid to say no. And it’s only when the Beast shows respect for that and treats her well- not to mention stops acting as though he’s owed a single thing by her, despite the fact that he technically has her captive- that she begins to gain respect and affection for him in return. I wrote an essay for Children’s Lit once on the figure of the Beast usually being the paragon of untamed masculine power in most iterations of the story, which the Disney version fits for a while. But the really, really genius move that Disney made here was that they made Gaston- a dragon-slayer imported from a pretty different, fairly obscure fairytale- the real animal, the real monster, as the face of every he-man who is enraged when a woman says ‘no’, and never stops pursuing her, no matter what. His desire for Belle is entirely selfish, and not once does he think, “What could I be doing better here? What might Belle like?” or even “She has said no to me multiple times. Maybe I should leave her alone.” Instead- like the Beast at the start of their relationship- Gaston stays firm in his belief that he deserves Belle, just because he wants her. 
And Belle? She doesn’t put up with this shit from either of them! Big, strong, pretty scary men both, clear threats to her safety, and she still says no. Belle is one of the bravest princesses out there, and not because she was a soldier, or anything like that- because she always stood up for herself. She recognized and was never willing to compromise her self-worth or autonomy- not for anyone, not even when she had promised to sit in a castle for the rest of her life. Remember the West Wing? When the Beast Hulks out at her and practically threatens her life? She gets the hell out of there. You go, Belle. You’ve always been my favorite.
TL;DR- Belle is a feminist badass, who no man can conquer.

(via dailylifeofadisneyfreak)

Filed under Belle Beauty and the Beast Disney feminism autonomy best best best

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But ask yourself: Why is there that knee-jerk rejection of any effort to “overthink” pop culture? Why would you ever be afraid that looking too hard at something will ruin it? If the government built a huge, mysterious device in the middle of your town and immediately surrounded it with a fence that said, “NOTHING TO SEE HERE!” I’m pretty damned sure you wouldn’t rest until you knew what the hell that was — the fact that they don’t want you to know means it can’t be good.

Well, when any idea in your brain defends itself with “Just relax! Don’t look too close!” you should immediately be just as suspicious. It usually means something ugly is hiding there.

- David Wong

This quote is in an article about superhero movies, but it applies to so many things.

(via thecharles)

(via attackofopportunity)