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When Beauty Meets Badass

Emma Watson’s upcoming role in the live-action Beauty and the Beast has had many Disney fans unbearably excited since its announcement, and it seems as though there is no end to the awesomeness surrounding this movie.

Just days ago, Disney released a recording of Watson singing the familiar tune, “Something There,” that will be featured in the movie. The actress sings a lovely rendition that you can’t help but have on repeat, despite the fact that it is only 30 seconds long.

Not only does Watson display a knack for acting and singing, but her talents span into the realm of behind the scenes work for this particular film. In fact, she has been working closely with the costume designer on the many fabulous outfits she will don, specifically expressing interest in the classic yellow dress her character wears when Belle and the Beast finally begin to fall in love.

Though we have known her primarily as an actress for years, Watson has shown us that there is even more to her. This is an empowering message for all women, who can see the extent of her talent that reaches far beyond what most expect of her. In this way, we think Watson’s ability to surprise us makes her even more of a badass.

As Watson helped design the gown, her main concern was to ensure that it had a full range of motion. A large component of this goal was her insistence that the dress did not include a corset.

Corsets, while growing in popularity today, were a common fashion piece in the nineteenth century. The main function of a corset is to accentuate a woman’s figure, thus it does not take movement or activity into account. The corset itself is an accurate representation of the role of women in the 19th century and, to some extent, today. The value of a woman is often seen in her looks rather than what she is capable of physically or mentally. Corsets contribute to this mindset in their restrictive design.

Watson refused the corset in her attempts to redefine her character. In the original movie, Belle was portrayed, like other Disney princesses, primarily as an object of desire. She was given fairly little agency and action in the movie, which is something Watson sought to change in the revival. Because of this goal, a corset would be simply impractical to the direction of the film and to Watson’s own ideology.

Watson’s adherence to her beliefs is something that not only empowers herself, but also plays a large role in empowering all women. Watson serves as an example for women everywhere to stick to their standards and to define themselves not in terms of their physical appearances, but instead in terms of their value as individuals.

If you weren’t planning on seeing the movie before, we hope Watson’s spunk will convince you otherwise as she continues to break down gender stereotypes, one song or costume at a time.

Featured Image by 916vince on Flickr

Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

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