I was sat at the dining table in despair. An unplanned quiet Friday night. A few weeks prior to this I had been watching Bridget Jones and drawing unwanted parallels. The Friday before I was having dinner with one of my best friends and her fiancé. How did life do such a 180 turn around? I was relieved to have my sister back in town and after a day of unpacking her things and settling her back home we found ourselves wondering what to do. I write this with the theme tune to one of my favourite Disney movies on loop, and a cup of tea to help digest the insane amounts of popcorn I consumed within the first 40 minutes of the movie. The look on my Sisters face when she turned round, was like she had come to the cinema with the Cookie Monster. It was the Friday Beauty and the Beast hit the cinemas.
I couldn’t contain my excitement the minute my sister suggested popping out for a movie. Before I could yatter off the list of movies at the cinema that evening, I squealed with delight that Beauty and the Beast was playing at 10:30. She didn’t have a choice. After dinner we walked down to the cinema…to be honest I might have been hop, skipping and jumping like a 6 year old. After sitting down with a giant popcorn and coke (didn’t take much convincing by the Sales clerk for an extra 60p)… there goes resolution 1001 to lose weight this year. Anyways…I kept recalling the memories of the 1991 animation version and couldn’t wait to see the characters come to life on the screen.
Sitting at my desk after the movie, I couldn’t help but wonder about the messages the Disney movies relay to us. While there is a sense of nostalgia, and you’re taken back to the moments you dressed up as fairy princesses, tiara, poofy tutu dresses and blow up sleeves, awaiting your prince in shining armour to whisk you away, have you ever wondered what message lay deep within each Disney story. Now this isn’t meant to be some deep philosophical analysis on the characters and storylines but simply the thoughts I was left with after watching the live animated version.
On one hand, we have Belle. She is the original heroine of all the fairy tales and the definition of many women today. She is intelligent, strong spirited and an independent woman who is also kind, gentle and beautiful. She knows what she wants, and isn’t afraid to speak her mind. The Beast is a tortured soul, filled with anger and hatred, paying the price for a moment of ego, pride and mean spirit. Yet you discover his soft and endearing qualities beneath his outer (desperately in need of a full body wax) layer, of a man full of love and kindness essentially trapped in the body of a beast.
Little girls grow up dreaming about a Prince in shining armour. I mean, I remember the fairy tales I grew up with. Cinderella get’s saved by her handsome perfect Prince and a beautiful Charlotte Olympia Glass slipper, Pocahontas and the dashing John Smith from a different land and culture and the acceptance of a love that crossed borders, Snow White and the Seven Dwarves…saved from death by poison by the sweet kiss of again, drop dead handsome Prince. Maybe even Dumbo, the idea that if you have big ears you can fly and conquer the world (just kidding!). But Beauty and the Beast…
THIS is the Fairy tale where the Girl saves the Prince. It’s all about the power of love, kindness and character. It hits home the idea that someone doesn’t necessarily need to be good looking, young, or likeable straightaway to make for an eligible suitor. The concept that inner beauty will always rein triumphant over outer beauty. Belle showers the beast with love and kindness and breaks the hardness he has created in himself. She pulls him from the deepest darkest corners of his soul, and into the light. In the end, when you love somebody, it has nothing to do with their looks, but more their essence and their soul, and the importance of valuing character. This idea gives me hope about love.
What about fear? Ok, so Belle really faces her fears, as does the Beast. Who ever thinks they’re going to wind up captive in a Castle with a Beast who only ever emerges at night? Or maybe it’s the idea that instead of fearing the monster out there, it could be the one inside of you. Only when you admit to your flaws and face your fears do you realise that they aren’t as terrifying. At a time in my life where I have never been more uncertain about what lies ahead in my future, I have never had to face my fears like I have recently. This is an on going struggle, but now I don’t let my fears or anxieties get in the way of new experiences. Just like Chip the Broken Cup, we all have broken pieces within us. Pieces and all, I wholeheartedly take them in my stride. Its time to start living the life I know I deserve. I’m learning to embrace my flaws everyday, on improving myself so I can be the best version of myself. You should never stop learning and improving yourself. If you want to be a “beast”, go out there and be the best damn beast there ever was. Just feed the good beast in you, and not the bad. All the various pieces of our lives makes us the person we are today.
Or maybe in the end it really is just a “tale as old as time” and it’s not meant to make any emotional or logical sense. Maybe it’s just a fairy tale after all. But what I am certain of, thanks to Mrs. Potts, is that a cup of chai always solves everything…
What I am wearing: Jeans (Zara), Oversized Shirt (H&M), Shoes/Sandals (Whistles), Sunglasses (Gucci).