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As a 90's kid, I grew up surrounded with Disney princesses. I loved them all in their own ways. I wanted to commune with animals like Snow White. I wanted to have a pet tiger like Jasmine. I wanted to sprout fins and swim like Ariel. But Belle is the one who has held my heart since I was five-years-old.
I remember being a Beauty and the Beast HOARDER when I was young. I had the outfits. The bedding. A tent. Any and everything about BATB, I loved. I would watch the film, put books in a basket and dance around my room. My fifth birthday had a BATB theme. My mom made me a beautiful Chip cake, and I was so dedicated to the film, I made her cut out a piece of cake for Chip's chip. Even though that meant less cake for me. Authenticity is important, people!
A few weeks ago, I took a Facebook quiz to tell me which Disney princess I am. You know, those quizzes which tell you what TV show character you are or how you would die in A Game of Thrones (depressing much?). I got Belle. Of course, I already knew this. I have been playing Belle my whole life!
I've read all the criticisms about Disney princess movies. How they give unrealistic expectations in relationships. How it gives little girls unrealistic expectations about their appearances. I don't remember being so warped from watching BATB. I loved Belle because she was smart. She loved to read like me and she dreamed of doing great things with her life. She didn't let a man like Gaston tell her what to do! When her father was in-trouble, she sacrificed herself for him. When the Beast tried to force her to conform, she refused. When the Beast screamed in her face, she didn't flinch.
Belle made me proud to be a smart girl with dreams.
It might seem childish to love a children's movie so much, but I can't stop. Belle empowered me to be exactly who I am.
So I proudly ask,