Beauty and the Beast isn't what Tumblr's been saying it is.
I can completely get over Emma Watson being Belle for the sheer amount of representation that’s in the film. What representation?
Let’s begin (spoiler alert!):
1. Black People in France. Yes, honey. For the first time in my life, I walked into a widely released period piece that doesn’t ignore the existence of black people. Not as mere servants and slaves, but as actual fucking court members and townspeople. Also, interracial couples. Y'ALL.
2. Le Fou. I was concerned about this, but he actually undergoes character development. He eventually abandons Gaston and has a change of heart (Disney-style, but I’ll take it). The scene with him “dancing with another man” at the end is led up to- it’s not just random. It doesn’t send the message that gay people are stupid and deserve to be mistreated (Mrs. Potts literally tells him he deserves better), which were my main concerns for this film. TL;DR, the LeFou plotline isn’t what Tumblr made it out to be, I promise.
3. The Gender Fluid Character. There is a scene in a which a character normalizes a man in a dress in a positive way. I was expecting him to be mocked, but this doesn’t happen! (Also, I believe this is the same character LeFou dances with at the end).
4. Belle teaches a child to read/ LeFou realizes he can’t read. Watson aside, the actual perils of living in 17th century France are explored, like the Plague, and also the importance of literacy. As children’s literacy is very important to me, I LOVED this.
There’s more, but I think the representation needs to be supported (listen, I almost never see myself in a period piece, I was expecting this cast to be vanilla as hell) and Disney needs to know that we want more of it.
ALSO: to the white and non-black POC who straight up lied about the representation in this film, I SEE YOU.