this has always bothered me about beauty and the beast

These following are snippets of a conversation yesterday with Dr. Roommate, regarding the Disney classic, Beauty and the Beast:

Me: I’d be like, “Yay, I don’t have to serve you anymore! You know why? Because I’m a f*****g candlestick because of you, you stupid d*****bag!” Then I’d waddle into town and haunt people.

Dr. Roommate: We all know that all Lumiere cares about is sex anyway.

Me: God, that must be frustrating for him!

Dr. Roommate: Yeah, with no penis. But who knows what goes on under that candlestick holder.

"Sure, I might win over the feather duster, but then what will I do with her?"

It all began as Dr. Roommate mentioned how weird she suddenly realized it was that Mrs. Potts actually boils tea inside herself then serves it to Belle. ‘It’s sick when you think about it,’ she said, ‘It’s like Mrs. Potts excreting bodily fluid.’

I’ll neglect to elaborate on how Chip, the tea cup/young child, is tickled by an old man’s moustache.

Just think about it.

Quite wrong, eh?

This brings me to a far more serious problem, a problem that plagued me even in my youth. Among other things, I was deeply troubled by this line in “Be Our Guest”:

Life is so unnerving / for a servant who’s not serving / He’s not whole without a soul to wait upon!

The entire song is an ode to the fact that they do not feel complete without someone to serve. Belle and her apparent need to be waited on hand and foot (despite the fact that she’s clearly been quite self-sufficient her entire life) are what gives them a reason to live.

Wow.

Is Chip's father a coffee maker? Is that what we're supposed to get from this?

Not that Disney has ever really been accused of being progressive, but talk about propagating the Myth of the Happy Slave. Beauty and the Beast from the servants’ POV is a pretty bleak tale. We accept it because they seem happy, but really we’re just Ron Weasley trying to justify the enslavement of house elves.

See, imagine you are a servant, living your life, toiling away for this arrogant, selfish nobleman in this big dark castle.  I’ll even give the benefit of the doubt and pretend that their days are extremely happy. Sure, they’re servants working 24/7, but you know, they drink a lot or something so life ain’t that bad.

But then, your d*****bag of a boss goes and pisses off a witch. Not only does he get turned into an allegedly-hideous-but-still-kinda-attractive beast, but you and all your colleagues are reduced to a synecdoche in lieu of a person. (I get it. The maid is turned into a duster, as if this is all that defines her as a person. What if she harboured secret ambitions to be a writer? Would she have been turned into a quill? No, because she is a servant and that is all she is.)

If I was them, I’d be pretty pissed. Especially in light of the fact that they might get stuck that way forever unless the d****e gets his s**t together and actually tries to hit on the hot new talent in the castle.

WHY ARE THEY STILL SERVING HIM?

That’s all I want to know.

So maybe they are physically bound to the castle or something, but seriously, guys, have some self-respect.

3 thoughts on “this has always bothered me about beauty and the beast

  1. Ashleigh, Ashleigh, Asheligh… why post such marvellous things with language that I hesitate to post to my class? Nah, WTH, I’ll post it…

    Like

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