Today I am getting my post inspiration from the Daily prompts over at BlogHer (you can view the list here). The suggested topic for today is: “What is your favourite character of all time.” Now, as an avid reader and frequent movie watcher, there are a lot of fictional characters I have come to know and love over the years. Now, when I first read the prompt and decided to write on the topic one character came immediately to mind. (Some of you who know me might be able to guess the character that came to mind). As the day has gone on and I’ve put off writing this blog longer and longer, I started to second guess my character choice. I mean, there are so many amazing characters out there! Hermione Granger, Anne Shirley, Katniss Everdeen, Pippin Took, Thursday Next, Tumnus the Fawn… And so many more that I can’t even remember right now.
Anyways, after all of my indecision and procrastination, I have finally settled on my original thought because no matter how many other characters I love, and how many characters I will be introduced to in the future, she will always be one of my first favourites (and I don’t see her falling off the list of favourite characters anytime soon). So, I hear you getting impatient to know who this character (and if I ramble on for any longer this post is going to stop making sense), so without further ado, my all time favourite character is *drumroll here* Belle, from Beauty and the Beast.
Yes, my love of the character springs from the Disney movie. And yes, I am aware of the original story and all the changes Disney made, etc. etc. etc. But I am here to firmly put this on the record – I don’t care. Too blunt? I don’t think so. I am okay with you not liking Disney and having problems with the whole Disney princess thing and the deviation from the “original” story lines. But where does it say that original fairy tales have to stay that way forever? Wicked, for example, is fantastic (and well loved) and it is an adaptation. I think adaptations are fascinating and, though I may not always enjoy how it’s done, being different from the “original” does not have to mean bad. (If you’re wondering why original is in quotation marks, it’s because for all we know those who wrote down the “originals” adapted them from slightly different oral traditions.)
So, apologies (kind of) for the rant there. Onto the reasons why I have selected Belle as my favourite character.
When I was little, Beauty and the Beast quickly became my favourite movie, and it has remained high on my list (if not at the top) of favourite Disney movies to this day. And I think Belle is a big part of that (though there are many other reasons why it is a fantastic movie – “Be our Guest” anyone?) Belle is a smart girl who loves her family, loves to read and dreams of adventure. She is also beautiful, and she could, for that reason, probably fit in really nicely with the town and the ‘popular’ crowd, of which Gaston seems to be the head. But she doesn’t do that. And because she continues to be herself and openly love books, the town folk find her a little bit weird.
And then, to top it all off, she doesn’t fall for Gaston. Even though he is the most popular, most handsome (though really, I can’t see what they all see in him) man in town. She sacrifices her freedom to protect her family (after rushing off into the forest all by herself to rescue him). She is strong and kind and she knows who she is. And then she gradually falls for the guy who is different and whose softer side is gradually starting to show through (I can hear some of you mentioning the whole captor/Stockholm syndrome thing but I’m more than okay with ignoring all those things that would like to ruin the story for me, K thanks.) I think Belle shows that it’s okay to be who you are and to not change just because almost everyone you know thinks you are weird. That it’s okay to be strong, and brave even when that means going against the grain of society.
Remember how I started watching Once Upon a Time a couple months ago? My love for Belle has only increased through watching that show. I love the way they have realized her character!
So there you have it, some of the reasons why Belle is my favourite character of all time. Even though this post wasn’t as smooth as I would have liked it to be, I do enjoy talking about my favourite characters and telling everyone the reasons why. So, I’m thinking of writing some more posts along this line.
“I want adventure in the Great Wide Somewhere. I want it more than I can tell. And for once it might be grand, to have someone understand, I want so much more than they have planned…” – Belle, Beauty and the Beast
“Because I still see good in him. Because I believe he’s changed. Because his heart is true.” – Belle, Once Upon a Time
(Crossposted to BlogHer)