It’s no surprise that we here at NC are total Disnerds. We love all of the princesses in each of their own ways, but everyone has a favorite princess. Rapunzel wanted to leave the tower to find her dream; Tiana wanted to open her own restaurant; Merida wanted to walk her own path instead of the one she was given; Mulan saved a freaking country! But Belle has always been my princess. In many ways I can relate to Belle, and there are many reasons to admire her.
She Doesn’t Fit Into the Norm
TOWNSFOLK: Look there she goes that girl is strange, no question
Dazed and distracted, can’t you tell?
WOMAN: Never part of any crowd
MAN: ‘Cause her head’s up on some cloud
TOWNSFOLK: No denying she’s a funny girl that Belle
TOWNSFOLK: Look there she goes that girl is so peculiar
I wonder if she’s feeling well
With a dreamy, far-off look
And her nose stuck in a book
What a puzzle to the rest of us is Belle
WOMAN: Now it’s no wonder that her name means “Beauty”
Her looks have got no parallel
SHOPKEEPER: But behind that fair facade
I’m afraid she’s rather odd
MAN: Very diff’rent from the rest of us
TOWNSFOLK: She’s nothing like the rest of us
Yes, diff’rent from the rest of us is Belle!
Belle doesn’t try to fit into societal norms. It seems as though it was unheard of for women to be knowledge seekers. Belle doesn’t dream to find a handsome husband or be some fair maiden. Belle dreams of finding so much more than they’ve got planned.
Belle is Passionate about Reading
If Belle was a modern day girl, she would totally be the ‘I read the books long before the HBO series’ type. Her love of books and tales of far off places, daring swords fights, magic spells, and a prince in disguise is quite evident. She is so passionate about what she loves (as with any nerd!) that she’s already read the same book twice and when she wants to check it out from the library a third time, the librarian tells her that if she loves it all that much, it’s hers.
And the way she lights up when she sees the Beast’s library for the first time? I would have fallen for him too!
You give a girl candy, she’s happy until she’s eaten them. Give a girl flowers, she’s happy until they wilt. Give a girl who loves books her own library with more books than she’s ever seen in her life? Enough said.
Belle Doesn’t Care How Handsome Gaston is
Whereas most of the women in town swoon over Gaston and his biceps to spare, Belle could care less. Her face when she realizes he is at her door is just…
Other women in town wonder what’s wrong with her? She’s Crazy! He’s gorgeous…Belle does not give AF.
Gaston: “It’s not right for a woman to read. Soon she starts getting ideas and thinking.”
Belle: “Gaston, you are positively primeval.”
Her Love for the Beast Grows Slowly Over Time
Many of the princesses experience love at first sight. True, something like this may be hard to accomplish when your prince is a hairy beast with horns and a mouth full of sharp fangs. Belle and Beast do not see eye to eye in the beginning. She’s stubborn, and so is his temper.
Belle finds the opportunity to escape from the castle but is attacked by wolves. Beast rescues her but sustains injury in doing so. Belle could have easily mounted Phillippe and taken off to her freedom, but her kindness prevails as she returns to the castle with Beast on Phillippe’s back so that she can tend to his wounds. The classic banter that ensues is one of my favorite scenes in the movie.
In the moment when it counts most, Belle finally professes her love for Beast.
Belle is stubborn, she’s a knowledge seeker, she knows what she wants, she’s a passionate feminist, and she learns to love slowly over time as it should be. These are just some of the many reasons why I love Belle so much, and why I believe Emma Watson is the perfect actress to portray her.
Who is your favorite Disney Princess? Or do you love Belle as much as I do? Join the conversation, and don’t forget to subscribe, Like, Follow, and all that jazz!