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Emma Watson Thinks Belle Is a Better Role Model Than Cinderella

Beauty and the Beast preview

Emma Watson’s continuing media blitz in promotion of the upcoming Beauty and the Beast remake found her on the cover of the latest issue of Total Film (h/t E! Online), where she spoke about the moral underpinnings of the movie and her character Belle. In one quote in particular Watson declared that the film’s heroine Belle makes for a better role model than fellow Disney princess Cinderella. Or, in her words:

She remains curious, compassionate and open-minded. And that’s the kind of woman I would want to embody as a role model, given the choice. There’s this kind of outsider quality that Belle had, and the fact she had this really empowering defiance of what was expected of her. In a strange way, she challenges the status quo of the place she lives in, and I found that really inspiring. She manages to keep her integrity and have a completely independent point of view. She’s not easily swayed by other people’s perspective—not swayed by fear-mongering or scapegoating.

Is she right? It‘s tough to say, and so without further ado, I present the Definitive Ruling on the Belle vs. Cinderella Role Model Debate:

Cinderella
Pros — excellent work ethic, kept humble by years of systematic emotional abuse from stepfamily, dainty feet, kind to mice
Cons — fundamentally passive in her reliance on fairies and princes, bad at running down stairs, name pretty much means “sooty woman of filth”

Belle
Pros — everything Watson said, voracious reader, stands by her father after town turns on him, friends with household appliances
Cons — acquaints young women with the lethal delusion that every violent, temperamental, and abusive man has a heart of gold on the inside, and that it is a woman’s duty to unearth that gentler nature

All due respect to Ms. Watson, but this one goes to Cindy in a walk.

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