Okay so, anyone who’s like “BLUH BLUH Belle is a bad Disney Princess because she wants more in life even though people are working are hard why can’t girls just shut up and be content bluh bluh” can MEET ME IN THE FUCKING PIT. (Using the 1991 movie for ref here, since I haven’t seen the live-action. Maybe live-action Belle is shittier.)
Like, yeah, she’s a flawed human being who tends to be so lost in fantasy worlds that she doesn’t recognize what’s around her beyond a judgey surface glance. The whole POINT of the movie is both her AND the Beast are learning to see what’s beautiful beneath the surface. She doesn’t get handed a new world because she wanted it real bad–she had to learn, first, to be less judgmental of things that don’t fit her fantasy book ideal. ONLY THEN does she get what she wants.
But you know what she DIDN’T have to learn, because it WASN’T a flaw? She didn’t have to learn that just because someone else is suffering worse than you, you should accept your lot in life. She put up with ZERO of the Beast’s shit, even when she knew he was cursed. He had it bad, but he was being an asshole, so she refused it, because she knew he could be more, and better.
There’s a HUGE stigma, especially around girls, that wanting more than what you have is inherently selfish and bad. Girls shouldn’t have wants–don’t you see that that people around you are trying to feed their families?? Who are you to complain??? Do you think that person struggling to survive is a worse person than you, then???? Girls are CONSTANTLY expected to give up their dreams to raise children, to help others, to not make their boyfriend feel jealous, to cut themselves down, to be lesser, lesser, lesser. Dream of less, don’t reach so high, just surviving is okay.
Belle is a great Disney Princess. Yes, she’s flawed. She’s idealistic, she’s judgmental, she’s weird, she’s impulsive and occasionally outright mean. But she knows what she wants, she works hard for it, she takes no bullshit. She doesn’t forget her roots–she risks her life to save Maurice–but she doesn’t blindly accept them, either. She GETS MORE IN LIFE.