Beauty and the what?!

This week in class we discussed a discourse analysis of the movie Beauty and the Beast.   I was intrigued by this topic because I did not think much of the childhood Disney princess film till we discussed in the class the normativity of the story with our society and also the nonnormativity of the movie that is often overlooked.  Like any other Disney princess film, the viewer goes in watching the movie knowing that they are about to watch the love story unfold and that there is some curse that must be broken for the characters to live happily ever after…yet no one questions it.  As we discussed in the class, the normativity of the movie is that she falls in love and lives happily ever after with her man.  But let me not leave out the nonnormativity of the whole fairytale, first the girl full of brains who don’t need no man ends up falling for a beast that walks on his hind legs and has CLAWS. Not mention she falls in love with him after he’s locked her and casted her to the tower and has been coerced several times from a talking candle stick and a clock who are mostly worried about THEMSELVES not being able to turn back into humans before the last rose petal falls.  Yes its a fairytale but the issue is its acceptable by the viewer that she falls in love with a beast but if she happened to ménage á trois with some girls everyone would lose their shit. Kidding, kidding… but it makes you think.

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8 thoughts on “Beauty and the what?!

  1. After our class discussion on Beauty and the Beast, I began to realize that all of Disney’s movies have a very similar theme and pattern that they all follow. I personally am a fan of all Disney movies and I love the story line and the fantasy and romance in all of them. From a scholarly perspective, Disney enforces certain norms and stereotypes that young children pick up on, especially girls. A common theme that I noticed is that all of the princesses need a man to be their saviors. In The Little Mermaid Ariel is saved by Prince Eric, in Sleeping Beauty Aurora is saved by Prince Phillip. Not once can the girl get out of her situation on her own without the help of a man. This is teaching young girls that in order to get out of certain situations we need a hero, a prince, a man to save us. During class we also spoke about the “idealized man”. In Beauty and the Beat Gaston is buff, tall, white, and muscular.

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  2. I also really enjoyed relating this topic to something that is so popular in social media and our culture at the moment, while questioning its normativity. I think the beast speaks to a higher idea of normativity that many know to be true. The basis of the story is that the beast is considered a bad guy, but secretly has a soft and caring side. This ~gorgeous girl~ (because it wouldn’t be the same if she was ugly) has the power to change him for the better. We see this in the media constantly (idea of the “bad guy” being changed by the “good girl”). This is something that is a classic tail and no one seems to question, but this class calls it into question. It should not be sucha huge and “proud” moment to feature someone of color or of a different sexuality in a Disney movie, because it is a part of our world.

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  3. Not only did I find this funny, but I also agree with you. Your post made me think about how everyone freaked out when Finding Dory was released and everyone freaked out since there was a lesbian couple. Yet when the main character of The Bee Movie fell in love with A BEE, no one thought twice. Since this was brought to my attention, I have given up trying to understand what and why our society considers certain things more normal than gay relationships because honestly it just makes me want to rip my hair out. Why normalize beastiality instead of gay relationships? No, better yet, why normalize a relationship between A BEE AND A WOMAN opposed to two women?

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  4. I am pretty sure that Mulan is the only Disney princess movie that was made in the 90’s where the women is portraying somewhat of masculine characteristics (being a warrior). Recently Disney is starting to incorporate more female characters that fight for themselves and show that they don’t need a man, the movie Brave is a good example. Having so many of the Disney princesses need a male figure is showing girls early that men are a necessity and that a heterosexual relationship is the only type of relationship. On another note I was also thinking about the bee movie and agree that it is pretty ridiculous. How does someone come up with such a bizarre story line like that, but can’t make a movie that recognizes and shows other types of relationships, such as gay relationships.

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  5. I agree with you. All the Disney movies portray the female characters as an independent woman that can take care of herself, but as the plot goes on she starts to rely more on the male figure. The Little Mermaid is another good example of a female character wanting the fairytale ending. Ariel gave up her voice to Ursula just so she can have legs to please a guy and live happily ever after. Disney even if most people don’t see is teaching young children that in order to live a happy life and get the guy a woman needs to give something up; which is false. And like someone said in a previous post Finding Dory is the only Disney movie representing a lesbian couple, but that still took 13+ years and was only on the screen for 2 seconds. One can assume by these facts that lesbian/gay couples are still an iffy subject to talk about and if it is mentioned the couple is only on the screen for 5 seconds or less.

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  6. I completely agree that people would freak out if Belle ended up with another girl. In regards to the live action movie there was one article about a mother who had cancelled her family’s Disney trip because of the “gay scene” in the movie. I saw the movie three times and that scene is not worth cancelling a Disney trip. It lasted .5 seconds and if you blinked or went to the bathroom or sneezed you probably would’ve missed it. It annoys me to no ends that people are upset with the gay character when Belle literally falls in love with a beast. She admits that she is in love with the beast while he is in beast form. I dont know what those parents are thinking but that sounds like beastiality to me. It amazes me that parents are okay with seeing the movie when its just beastiality involved but as soon as the gay agenda hits they freak out because god forbid there’s a gay character, who is probably the most developed and genuinely good “bad guy”, in the movie.

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  7. Many of you have pointed out the lesbian couple in Finding Dory. Can I just say that I never noticed them? Another example of the .2 second showing of a gay couple would be in Frozen when Oaken shows his family there is a man with the children not a wife. I find it so interesting that the new Beauty and the Beast faced so much backlash for Le Fou’s short “gay scene” but not from any of these other instances. Maybe it was because Disney came forth and said that he would be gay and didn’t leave it up to chance. I will say that looking at Disney movies they are moving forward, but they are doing it at a snail’s pace. Merida and Elsa didn’t have to fall in love by the end of the movie and they have featured some gay couples, but it often seems as though they aren’t doing enough.

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