Eight Life Lessons We Can All Learn From Belle: A Look at the Philosophy Behind Beauty & the Beast

Disney’s gorgeous remake of Beauty & the Beast  has been wildly popular, but it’s not just the glitz and glamour that have us enamored. Read on for eight powerful life lessons we can all learn from Belle.

  1. Be Independent

    Belle is nothing if not independent. Her independence allows her to be who she truly is, instead of who others want her to be.

    Belle in Her Gold Ballgown

  2. Innovate

    From picking locks to simplifying the arduous task of washing her laundry, Belle is at heart an innovator and inventor. With so many wonderful inventions in the past 100 years and so many wonderful avenues for new technology, now is truly the time for all of us to innovate where we can.

  3. Value Family

    Throughout the film, Belle consistently puts her father’s well being ahead of her own, whether it’s taking his place as prisoner, or rescuing him from an ill-intentioned mob.

    Belle & Her Father

  4. Embrace Adventure

    Belle wouldn’t be Belle without her sense of adventure. Adventure is saying “yes” to new experiences, viewing different perspectives with respect, and allowing ourselves to evolve and change in the process. In a world that is increasingly multi-cultural, all of us would do well to embrace adventure a little more and, in the process, understand ourselves and others just a little bit better.

    I Want Adventure in the Great, Wide Somewhere

    Adventure is all around us. Are you ready for adventure in the “Great, Wide Somewhere?”

  5. Expand Your Intellect

    In a world of smartphones, Candy Crush and Netflix, it’s easy to trade entertainment for enlightenment. Take a page out of Belle’s book and pick one up! After all, when was the last time you actually read a good book?

    Emma Watson as Belle Reading a Book in her Village

  6. See Beauty & Goodness in Others

    Without Belle’s ability to see the beauty and goodness in the Beast, there would be no happy ending. If we refuse do likewise, especially towards others who look, act and speak differently than us, we imperil our “Happily Ever After” as well.

  7. Reject Entitlement in Favor of Inclusivity

    When Belle says to Madame de Garderobe (you know, the talking wardrobe), “Oh, I’m not a princess” Belle is in fact saying something quite powerful that plays out throughout the rest of the movie.

    In the beginning of the film, we see the Beast taxing the villagers for his own princely upkeep, including lavish balls. Belle, on the other hand, refuses to be a princess. In fact, by the final scene of the movie, classism seems to have gone out the window and we see the servants and villagers celebrating alongside Prince Adam (i.e. the Beast) and Belle.

    In a world where the tangible, economic division between the have’s and have not’s is steadily growing, we all need to do what we can to narrow the divide instead of enlarging it for our own gain.

    The Egalitarian Celebration Ball

  8. Be Your Own Hero

    Throughout Beauty & the Beast there is absolutely one thing we never see – Belle waiting around to get rescued! She’s either making a rope out of bed linens to escape the castle tower, fighting off wolves, or riding back to the castle sans her gorgeous ballgown to save her beloved, the Beast.

    Belle is her own hero and that’s something all of us deserve to be for ourselves – empowered heroes, not hapless victims – no matter what life throws our way.