Friday, March 10, 2017
I had a problem with the original Disney animated movie, and it always puzzled me when I heard people say that the heroine of this film was a strong woman. When it first came out, I read a review in the newspaper saying that Belle was a great role model for girls. While it is true she is more likable than the bratty Ariel, something bothered me, and it troubled me more and more when I had girls of my own. I didn't want them to see the movie. I didn't want them to think it was romantic. I didn't want them to think it was a great love story.
Why? Let me take you back to a moment when I was a teenage girl, and I held a little red-haired neighbor in my arms while she trembled in fear. Her mother stood nearby while a police officer, and my father tried to talk her into pressing charges on her abusive boyfriend, who had been terrorizing them that day. I heard her say, "He's not always like this! I love him, and he needs me. I'm just too softhearted!"
She thought her love would help that monster turn into a prince. She really did.
Since I've been in ministry work a while, I've seen this play out time and again. That wasn't the last time a girl or woman dampened my shoulder with her tears because of the actions of a selfish, angry man. A woman thinks she's doing something noble by offering love to man who seems troubled. He goes from being a "beast" to turning on the charm when she threatens to leave, and she comes back, sometimes bringing vulnerable children with her, believing that her love will be enough to help a broken person heal and transform him.
There is only one Person whose love can do that. His name is Jesus Christ. He is in the business of changing hearts and saving souls. Woman, you have a precious heart, and it ought to be cherished, not used. Your love will never fix an abusive man.
This movie has a beautiful women living in a castle with an angry beast, who doesn't hesitate to terrorize her when he's angry. They share an adventure, and a snowball fight, and suddenly he's not the same. There something sweet, and almost kind about him. After this, he puts her needs first because he truly loves her. It's the fantasy that gets women hospitalized. I wouldn't be so melodramatic, except I keep seeing it happen over and over again, and it makes me sick.
I've got some soft-hearted daughters. I hope they never get that awful idea in their heads. I want them to find someone who loves them like their dad loves me, like my father loves my mother, like Christ loves the church. So, yeah, we were never too excited about this remake in the first place.
And now you have my two cents added to many others.