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.
I know they don’t really get Belle and Beast’s personalities right, but I can’t get myself to hate Enchanted Christmas or Belle’s Magical World because I used to watch them all the time as a little girl. I was just happy to have more of Belle, the bookworm princess who looked just like me.
There’s a video on YouTube of Toni Braxton singing as Belle on the Rosie O’Donnell show. Seeing it really inspired me, because it showed that a person of color could play Belle. I’m half-white but I have a lot of ethnic features from my mom that might make others think I couldn’t play her. Now I’m more determined than ever to reach for that dream.
Belle is my favorite Disney princess. Ever since I was a kid, I’ve always loved the Beauty and the Beast movie, because Belle was the first Disney girl who was just like me. A bookworm who lived with a single father and who found comfort in the world of fantasy and romance.
Belle was the first time I saw someone who didn’t feel like she belonged anywhere and loved to read. The scene where she’s spinning on top of the hill made me get choked up because I finally felt like someone, somewhere understood me. As a 6 year old, those are really big feelings.
My husband and I are divorcing. I’m telling people it was because he cheated on me. It’s really because our son wanted to dress up as Belle for Halloween and I let him, and my husband lost his mind and said he was going to go to Hell if he didn’t start “acting like a boy.”