I could understand Giroux's weariness of the message Ariel, Jasmine, and Pocahontas could send to young girls however, I'm not sure I can accept his criticism of Belle from Beauty & the Beast. First off, the opening scene is probably one of my most favorite scenes in all of the Disney movies. As beautiful, enchanting music plays in the background, we hear the deep voice of the narrator tell the story of the Beast, saying :
" Although he had everything his heart desired,the prince was spoiled, selfish, and unkind. But then, one
winter’s night, an old beggar woman came to the castle and
offered him a single rose in return for shelter from the bitter
cold. Repulsed by her haggard appearance, the prince sneered at
the gift and turned the old woman away, but she warned him not
to be deceived by appearances, for beauty is found within."
What better message to teach little kids than this? As a young kid and even now, I think Belle rocked. In my eyes, she was a strong woman who was unselfish by taking care of her father who is the joke of the town, very intelligent since she was a big book worm, and she didn't allow looks to taint her vision of "true beauty" sending the handsome Gaston the other way and eventually falling in love with the beast for everything else but his looks. So, I don't agree with Giroux's claim that "in the end, Belle simply becomes another woman whose life is valued for solving a man's problems" because I fell in love with her character before she settled down with a man. And what is so wrong with finding love anyways? She deserved it.