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Refusal of "Beauty" Norms

February 13, 2017

As announced officially late December, Disney is coming out with a new movie: a live-action remake of Disney’s classic, 1991 Beauty and the Beast. The movie stars Emma Watson as the beauty Belle, Dan Stevens as her love interest, the Beast, and the villain Gaston is played by Luke Evans. The new movie follows most of the main story line with a few minor changes. For example in the original movie the family inventor was Belle’s father, Maurice, but in the new adaptation, the inventor trait is co-opted for Belle as well.

 

“When the property is this well known, there’s an extra responsibility in trying to get it right. As long as you come at it with a certain affection, you just have to hope that your decisions make sense to everyone else,” said Bill Condon, the remake’s director.

 

Another major part of the movie’s construction process was costume making: one of the most difficult costumes being Belle’s classic yellow ballroom gown. Testing whether it would look good in person was one thing but the designer of the dress, Jacqueline Durran, also had to worry about how the bright yellow would look on camera. They also had to factor in Belle’s (Emma Watson) ability to move and dance in the dress.

 

“For Emma, it was important that the dress was light and that it had a lot of movement, In Emma’s reinterpretation, Belle is an active princess. She did not want a dress that was corseted or that would impede her in any way,” said Jacqueline Durran, costume designer for the remake.

 

Emma’s decision to forgo the corset sounds like the new Beauty and the Beast might be one of the first Disney princess centered movies to show a woman who doesn’t exactly fit the suspected ‘Princess’ type. As a known advocate of women's and people's rights her refusal doesn’t come as a huge surprise.

 

“Personally I think that corsets are pointless and have no real use other than body shaming and I congratulate her on her confidence to stand up for her own and others’ body images,” said Skylar Lange (‘20).

 

 

Overall it is believed Emma wants to set a good and realistic body acceptance for the young audience members that will for sure be waiting for the movie’s release on March 17, 2017.

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