1) Her Modesty (Inner Character)
When I say “modesty” here, I’m not talking about her clothing. In fact, there are some moments that her yellow ball gown is immodest (unfortunately). I’m talking about her inner character being reflected externally. If you forgive me for moment, it makes me think of a line in a Jonas Brothers song (*cough, cough*) I want to use to illustrate my point. In their song Lovebug, I was always intrigued by this line:
“Beautiful but you don’t even try
Modesty is just so hard to find.”
As I look at this quality in her, what I want for myself is the ability to have my inner self matched my outward appearance. So many of us struggle with putting on façades of external beauty to mask the struggles we face or the insecurities that make us vulnerable. But Belle is a great reminder that when we open with who we are but also show kindness to others, we can reach people on a deeper level. It’s when we achieve this kind of a mindset that I believe we are able to have our insides be reflected externally in a positive way.
2) Her Sacrifice
Everyone has been or will be called to demonstrate sacrificial love in different ways throughout their lifetime. Not all of these calls will literally demand your life or freedom, but they could. There are many that are too selfish or self-absorbed to actually do it. Others are simply too scared. And especially when it comes to Disney heroines or princesses, there aren’t too many that are willing to sacrifice their dreams. The only other ones that immediately comes to mind are Rapunzel and Mulan (but I’ll save those stories for other posts). As a Christian, I believe that I am called to sacrificially follow Christ, but I’m also called to sacrificially love others in everyday life. This is no easy task, but an incredible fulfilling one. If we desire to do this, we have to be looking for opportunities to demonstrate sacrificial agape love, in order to prepare ourselves for the time when we may be called to give more of ourselves for someone’s sake.
3) Her Choice To Be Content Despite Her Circumstances
4) Her Ability to Look Past the External
The moral of this fairy tale has remained consistent across all the variations of this fairy tale over the centuries this story has been told – true beauty is found within. This moral is not just practical or truthful, but it is actually biblical in its original nature. It always makes me think of 1 Samuel 16:7b:
A person that is truly beautiful is reflecting their inner beauty outwardly. But there are also will be people in our lives that, although they may not be attractive by our world’s standards, have an incredible beauty inside of them that the world often misses. It’s because we are caught up in looking at outward appearances, and making judgements based on those appearances. But we some important things when we do – that every person on this earth is beautiful because they were created in God’s image, and they have all been brought at the price of Jesus’ blood. In these two facts, we can see that every person is special and has value. That’s something that a Christian should not take lightly.
5) Her Change of Worldview
First, she learned that "good can come from bad." Before she had to face the loss of her freedom and her father, she was of the impression that bad situations are not capable of being redeemed for a better purpose. When she was first shown to her room and he demanded she come to dinner, she probably thought that nothing good could ever come from the life she now faced. But in the end, she was proven wrong. She made friends she hadn’t had before (plus she also had more books than she could read in a lifetime! lol). But the greatest change she observed was the change in the heart of the Beast. Good did come out of something bad.
Second, she became more grounded in reality. The world of adventure she had longed for was disappearing from her mind and was being replaced by a sharpen sense of the change that was needed in the world around her. Before this, her fantasies of adventure made her discontent with the reality of the life she led in her small provincial town. But through everything that happens, she learns to be content in her circumstances, realizing that life bring plenty of adventure in the mundane. She’s been learning more about looking past the external, even to the point that she sees the Beast as more of man than Gaston, who is more of a monster. Because of these changes in her perspective, she doesn’t view the world around her the same way as she did before her captivity. It also leads her to finally fall in love with the Beast and risk everything to defend him and save him, and there is a profound lesson to be learned from it.