It’s true. Belle’s the worst “princess” Disney has ever coughed up. Even the way that Disney Co. has co-opted the word “princess” is deplorable. That’s branding, and that’s just the nature of that game. Fine. But Belle is hands down the poorest example of personality of any princess. No matter how beloved she is, Belle’s a terrible creature.
She’s worse than trading a voice for a sexy set of legs – which Ursula should have cursed to be packed with cellulite and hair so Ariel looked like a mammoth from the waist down. Worse than being cursed to sleep like a useless object. Worse than being a total ice queen. Worse than waiting for a prince to come save her. Worse than a literal spoiled princess born to riches. Here’s why Belle fails so spectacularly.
Belle butters her bread by smashing the little people who actually work for a living. She has nothing but idle time to read, and mocks the “baker with his tray like always” as if this person, who is actually contributing to the world, is beneath her.
Belle Exhibits No Skills
Besides not being very bright when it comes to life choices, Belle’s endless quest for stories and books hasn’t given her the ability to actually do anything. She’s the quintessential reader; unable to create. Merely a consumer. She doesn’t show any utilitarian abilities to make her a contributing member of society at all.
Besides not being able to do more than read her time away, wishing for something more, something bigger, something beyond the “shabby” walls she didn’t build, the sad furniture she didn’t even piece together from IKEA, and the awful glory of nature, Belle doesn’t accomplish anything. Except sneaking into private areas and meddling with other people’s property.
Belle Has No Regard for The Father Who Supports Her
Belle couldn’t care less about making the world a better place, like her inventor father does. As he tinkers around, bumbling along, trying to be useful and provide for his family, Belle ignores his efforts. Ignores the business that, presumably, feeds her, clothes her, and allows her to fritter her mortal hours casting aspersions on the working people who don’t have rich parents.
Belle Doesn’t Trade Her Life For His
Belle wasn’t going to survive without her father. That is milquetoast sentimentality. Belle would lose everything without her father. That girl can’t do anything but fantasize. What happens when the money dries up and Belle has to turn tricks to get by? No. She realizes her father is her meal ticket, so she just makes sure that someone has to feed and clothe her.
This plays into Belle’s essential nature, which is one of profound, thoughtful, manipulative shrewdness. Oddly, this is her sole redeeming quality. She knows learning a trade means she will need to ply a trade. That means work. Instead, Belle accumulates knowledge to make her seem smarter than everyone else, while specifically avoiding anything actionable, which might require her to accomplish something.
Belle’s Sexually Manipulative
Belle knows how attractive she is. She isn’t oblivious at any point to the havoc that follows in her wake. She’s fully aware of her surroundings, and deftly maneuvers herself directly into the notice of men, showing how easily they can be thrown into disarray by her beauty. She establishes herself as a princess, monitoring the foolish blokes around the town who are goofy, or balding, or slack. So long as she can still turn a head, she has someone to look out for her.
Belle’s Interested in Idle Independence
A princess born into useless richness can choose to stay there. Jasmine sought more than a life of pampered living. Rapunzel didn’t want to be trapped in that tower, locked off from the world. They sought freedom from bondage, freedom from the constraints put upon them.
Belle wants to do nothing but read her stories all day long. She doesn’t seek adventure, she seeks escapism through her books. She doesn’t want to take risks. She wants someone to fund her adventures, and she shall wait for them to do it. Biding her time. She doesn’t want to gain true autonomy through action, she wants someone to give her all she desires.
Belle Opts to Be Wholly Reliant Upon Men
Smart enough to know how to be a brilliant gardener, scientist, apothecary, baker, or master of any art, Belle chooses to be nothing but a complaining child, sighing over her world of privilege. Looking toward imaginary boundaries that tie her down. So much Jane Austen balderdash.
Belle is Bound Only By Narcissism
Ariel wanted legs and life on land so badly, she went away from her kingdom of opulence, sacrificing her voice – the third most beautiful thing about her – to risk her whole existence in a world wholly other than what she knew.
Belle has two good legs and a voice – which she squanders with complaints – and can explore as far and wide as she chooses. Instead, she chooses to go down to the bookstore, think ill of all her fellow humans, watch how she can draw men to her like moths, and never once go out of her way to help anyone.
Belle Shows Markers of Sociopathic Behavior
An inability to follow rules, inability to respect the boundaries of others, poor communication skills, an active imagination, extreme self-absorption, cruel tendencies or actions that show an inability to interact with the world, anti-social behavior markers, high-intellect, an ability to sexually manipulate, and no concern for others except as benefit to one’s self are all earmarks of a sociopath.
Belle shows every single one to a degree that is, pardon the pun, cartoonish. She is without remorse about how her actions affect others, put them at risk, or how her behavior can cause multiple untold difficulties. Then she requires others to clean up after her when she becomes – again and suddenly – helpless.
Other Disney Princesses Show Some Redeeming Qualities
Cinderella, Snow White, and Aurora were kind to animals in a healthy way. Belle took that to a disgusting extreme, while simultaneously causing harm to hungry wolves seeking only to feed their brood. Now those packs will suffer as hunters are injured by The Beast protecting Belle’s foolishness.
Jasmine tries to be kind to the less fortunate, and she stands up to Jafar when her spineless father won’t. Moana, Anna, Tiana, and Merida manage to be fiesty and independent, striking out into a tough world instead of hiding behind men. They all show likable traits and strong characteristics.
Belle shows none of these, being disdainful, indifferent, slothful, weak, and married to forcing others to provide for her.
Want more Disney? Check out Highschool Musical songs ranked
Belle Loves a Violent Savage
Gaston didn’t know it, but he wasn’t enough man for Belle. She needed a monster capable of real cruelty: locking someone up against their will, viciously ruling over his anthropomorphic household like a small god, savaging trespassers, and systematic brutality hidden behind a thin veneer of civility, all in a package that might some day really hurt her.
She needed true darkness to come to claim her; body, spirit, heart, and the pit where others keep a soul. She needed a monster to match her own deadly misanthropy.
My thing is could Belle have given Gaston a better chance? Perhaps but @ the same time Gaston didn’t really prove that he was deserving of even half a chance imo. Belle’s probably not the best role model there ever was but 2 be fair I’m not sure it’s entirely her fault.
Thank you! I really loved your rhetoric on your interpretation about Belle’s character! Well said… and I totally agree with you. Belle is an awesome young woman in so many ways and she has compassion… something so many sadly lack. I’ve always loved Disney’s princesses, each for their own merits but Belle is one of my favourites also… mainly because she’s an ordinary girl, not a privileged princess. She has a passion for books and she dreams about possibilities because she hasn’t the means to go out into the world to experience them herself. She’s also only 17… how many of us would be capable of being out on our own in the world at that age? I believe she really loves her dad even while she gets exasperated by his eccentricity and ‘mess ups’ with his inventions, his failures that the other villagers see as wasting his time on odd and useless inventions. I didn’t see her as looking down on other villagers but rather affectionately teasing them and she was obviously well loved by all who knew her. She does indeed love the beast without knowing he is really a prince under a spell but that love grew gradually as she spent time with him and got to know him, not the ‘instant love at first sight’ experienced by other princesses for their princes merely because they were handsome. She is sweet and kind… shown in how she treats the other denizens of the castle who are also all under the same spell. And yes too, I think she shows strength and courage in many areas and in many ways and also seems to have a great capacity of being loving and giving. As for breaking the beast’s rule about staying out of the west wing… I can’t imagine many people would not be curious about something forbidden and be able to resist the temptation to investigate it the first chance they get. Just think of how many people will ignore signs like ‘don’t touch’, keep out’, no trespassing’, ‘do not feed the animals’, etc. How many times have we seen signs to ‘keep off the grass’ and yet see people walking all over it? All in all, I think Belle is a very ‘real’ girl and completely human in her life and her behaviour.
I personally mostly agree with this post. To S., who implied that the author of this post was either a very strange girl or a man, open your eyes. People have different opinions. You can say that you don’t agree, but you shouldn’t diss someone over it. Smh. And yes, Belle is not an adult, but she is 17 years old. She is a minor, not a child who cannot think for herself. It is understandable to think that she is a self-absorbed little girl who seems to think herself above the other people in her village. To Eliel, who says that Belle is seen to take risks by going into the West Wing, she was asked not to. She went to the West Wing for the sake of going there, because she was told not to. What if there had actually been something dangerous there?
Belle may not be the worst Disney female lead, but she definitely is not the best. She is a complete “pick me,” “not-like-the-other-girls” type character. If anything, characters like Pocahontas and Mulan take the cake — they actually have a lot of development with their “princes,” and they prove themselves multiple times to be the best characters.
If this is written by a girl, you are very strange. If this was written by a male, which is likely, they are failing to understand the constant struggles that women go through. Instead of noting these, this author bypassed the sheer difficulty it is to be a girl in today’s society, and especially 18th century France. Also, in the movie, BELLE IS NOT EVEN AN ADULT! she can’t go to school, college, and women were likely not allowed to apply for jobs. You can’t really blame Belle for not doing much. At least she is doing something that makes her happy. In addition, it is likely that in this society women were mainly valued based on their looks. It’s not Belle’s fault that the sexist era doesn’t care what women think. Also, were you listening? Belle wants adventure but she has zero money or ways to gain it. Being independent is something that is often hard for women to gain after hundreds of years of discrimination. You can’t blame Belle for wanting more than a town that thinks she is strange for being a female intellectual. Being weird just for being a woman and smart still often happens today. Open your eyes.
In conclusion, Belle has her faults but many of the items on this list are blind or are not including the constant struggle that women face in this world
I think you’re being myopic! Belle isn’t bad at all! In fact, she’s the best disney princess in my personal opinion.
Think about it. She is the only princess who really “loves” her prince. All the others fall for their looks and are only “in love” with them.
The other princesses literally married strangers. They just fell for some guy they met on the way because he is “dashingly handsome” and the next thing they’re talking about is marriage. Belle could have fallen for Gaston because of his looks and he would have ruined her life. She is able to see people beyond their outward appearance and she saw a human in the beast, kind and gentle and not the savage monster as everyone thought.
She might not be the best warrior but she’s got brains(unlike Gaston whose more of a brawn). She has a passion for reading and desires more unlike the casual ladies in her village who just want to get married and having kids and die like that (like the Bimbettes). She uses her wits to get herself out of trouble(like when Gaston tried to kiss her during his proposal). She was easily able to adapt to her new life as the beast’s eternal prisoner.
As for her”hiding behind men”. Belle isn’t all brain and no brawn. Just because she was helpless to the jaws of those wolves doesn’t entirely rule her out as a weakling. She probably had to fight and find her way through the war zone below the roof where Gaston dueled the beast because her hair was scattered when she got to the balcony as opposed to when she just arrived at the castle. Plus she’s got some muscle in her arms as she was able to lift the beast unto Philippe unaided and did same for her father; both of which where at least twice her own weight and size. She might have a flight reaction to danger but sometimes she does fight(with her wits mostly).
She has an active imagination and will refuse to abide to the rule of women not reading and being rational(according to Gaston). She is able to reason and always has her father’s back despite the whole village thinking of him as insane(even though he might be eccentrically ingenious).
She also takes risks as seen when she dared to go to the forbidden west wing despite her knowing that the beast might be mad enough to kill her even to the extent of trying to touch the rose; much like when Moana dared to cross the reef despite knowing she might not make it out alive.
Finally, BELLE DID NOT LOVE A SAVAGE!THE BEAST AIN’T NO SAVAGE! This is what I’m talking about. She saw the beast beyond his physical”monstrous” appearance and found a friend in him. Belle is as beautiful on the inside as she is on the outside, the beast and Gaston both have similar(but conflicting) attributes. While the beast is a savage on the outside, he is a perfect human being on the inside. As for Gaston(that conceited fool) he is strong and handsome on the outside, but weak, mean and a total jerk on the inside. It is HE who is the real savage,