When I was a kid, I loved Belle so much! She had brown hair, hazel eyes, and loved books, just like me. I identified with her.
But when I saw the 2017 version, and I saw the insanely beautiful Emma Watson, I felt depressed. I know Belle is supposed to be hot, but seeing a live person with that kind of Beauty felt like Hollywood was saying, “Never forget that you’re not pretty enough to be Belle. Only beautiful people get to be in the fairytale.”
All through my adulthood, I’ve liked boys, and even asked them out. But they’ve rejected me, or didn’t notice I existed. I was just that funny, brainy girl. And an already corrupted self image became worse. I don’t feel like Belle, now. I feel like the Beast.
As a girl with social anxiety, and whose only friends are from her childhood, I relate a lot with the more lonely, outcast and socially awkward Disney heroines, such as Belle, Mulan, Anna or Rapunzel. Seeing them slowly build up friendships and romances based on mutual respect and trust comforts me and gives me the hope that maybe one day, I’ll be able to do that as well.
My guilty pleasure is giving “unofficial” Disney nicknames to people around me. I work with a southern accented short guy (Fix It Felix); there’s a retired blonde dancer in my complex (Peg the pound dog); and “Belle” a clerk at a bookstore. I never say anything as I’m afraid they might be insulted, but I mean no harm.
I have a reoccurring dream where my old high school casts me as Belle in their production of “Beauty and the Beast.” This confuses me because I hated high school and hate “Beauty and the Beast.” I really wish I knew why I keep having this dream.