To be completely honest, the story of Beauty and the Beast used to terrify me as a child. The movie did, anyway. I could never shake the ugly face of the Beast out of my head and I freaked out every time that crazy scene appeared where Belle is sobbing uncontrollably on the balcony, hugging that…hideous monster.
I was disgusted (and a teeny bit intimidated) by the Beast and didn’t understand why Belle was stupid enough to be enchanted and “fall in love” with the unattractive creature that the Beast was. I didn’t get why such a beauty like Belle should be unfairly stuck with an ugly animal (that talks!) for the rest of her life. My favorite part in the whole movie was when he transforms into a prince with luscious locks and a chiseled profile. It’s where the story changes most dramatically.
The world is driven by outward appearances. Physical attractiveness is so important that at first glance, it seems to define someone. If you’re not attractive, guys don’t linger their gaze on you. If you’re not attractive, you have less chance of being hired for a job (this has been scientifically proven!). If you’re not attractive, people generally look at you with distaste.
First impressions say everything. And chances are, if they don’t tell you that you’re beautiful, you’re probably not—not to them, anyway, right? The world has so much to say about beauty. “Buy this to reduce signs of aging!” “Plastic surgery saved me!” “Look years younger with this foundation!” “This product is proven to help weight loss,” etc., etc. All these messages about weight, skincare, hair, beauty, fashion…you catch my drift.
My question is: Who defines beauty? Seriously. How come we can look at a person and determine “Yes, she’s pretty” or “No, she’s not attractive at all”? How can we be the judge of that? Ever wonder where the concept of beauty originated from? I do. I don’t get why the world defines beauty without even knowing what it is. If God created all of us perfectly, then why did we ever learn to identify who and what is beautiful and who and what is not?
Beauty and the Beast was so unappealing to me as a child. Today, it’s one of my favorite Disney movies—possibly my most favorite (besides Frozen, because why not, right?). There’s nothing more beautiful to me than the story of Belle completely disregarding what the world values as beauty. Her heart is dramatically changed—as well as her insight and approach to beauty.
I think people use the word “beautiful” in a way that makes it overused and cliché. They like to say, “You’re beautiful just the way you are!” They like to compensate seemingly “unattractive” traits of a person with “attractive” traits of that person. They like to say, “You say you don’t like your nose, but your eyes are GUHHO-RGEOUS!” They like to continuously remind us “You’re beautiful on the inside, and that’s what matters! Inner beauty is a thousand times more valuable than outer beauty!”
There’s nothing wrong with telling a person that their inner beauty is more valuable—truer words were never spoken. But I think the outward appearance is valuable in the sense that since no one on earth can define beauty, no one should try to. That makes the whole “beauty thing” so much simpler. I’m beautiful, you’re beautiful. Who can tell you I’m not and who can tell you you’re not?
We always think, “What is pleasing to the eye?” But when we do that, we’re trying to define beauty, and that ain’t how it works.
I want to give girls a fresh approach to beauty. Really ponder: Why does the world seem to think that they can honestly define beauty? If anyone, God. And we already know He made each of us perfectly—why do we search for the world’s approval?
I was exactly like Belle was in the beginning of the movie. I was disgusted with the Beast. I thought he was ugly and gross. Even he knew he was ugly and gross. He was afraid of stepping into the light so that Belle could see him.
But Belle’s heart was changed when she stopped looking through the eyes of the world. She ignored the definition of beauty and that’s why she saw the Beast for who he truly was: someone beautiful.
Imagine if the Beast hadn’t transformed into a handsome prince at the end. Do you think Belle would’ve loved him any less? I don’t. She fell in love with him despite his unattractiveness because she not only overlooked that, but couldn’t have cared less about it. She took the by-the-book definition of beauty that the world had given and tossed it into the trash, never looking back.
Are you trying to define beauty?
Written by PI Girl Chels
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