Belle, the heroine of Disney's Beauty & the Beast is constantly lauded as a positive, fictional role model for young girls because of her desire to expand her knowledge and work on herself, rather than just make herself available to the whims of the resident hairy beefcake in her town. But a recent powerpoint presentation created by EW's Dana Schwartz reveals provides a pretty compelling argument for why Belle should have chosen Gaston.
I'd like to add that this is something I'd advocated for a very, very long time. Admittedly, I didn't make as good as a case as Dana does. Back before I understood how movies worked, I always thought there was a possibility for the ending of a film to change. Each time I'd watch Beauty & the Beast, I'd hope Gaston would best The Beast in their final confrontation and turn the mean monster into a throw rug.
That never happened, and I was let down time and again. Thankfully, Dana's compiled a list of arguments that irrefutably prove Gaston would've been a way better choice for Belle as a partner than The Beast, especially given the era. Because this is Disney canon we're talking about and these movies basically raised our generation, it needs to be pointed out that this is mainly a comparison/contrast presentation.
Nowhere in Dana's argument is she saying Gaston is the absolute best match for Belle, period. Rather, she lists all of his fine qualities that were overshadowed by his buffoonery and oafishness. What's the guy's biggest crime? That he doesn't like to read? I'm sorry, reading's great and all, but Gaston's a man who likes to live life. He finds his poetry in a carton of eggs, in the thrill of the hunt!
Say what you want about hunting in today's day and age. It seems a bit counterproductive to waste so much time stalking animals for food in 2018 when you can easily just go to the supermarket. Maybe spend that time gaining new job skills that'll net you a higher salary so you can be an even better provider. But this is 18th-century France we're talking about, and being able to make sure you're well fed is a very good skill.
Plus, Gaston is genetically gifted. Medicine at the time wasn't exactly helpful and being a healthy specimen spells wonders for your potential offspring, if you're planning on having kids. Speaking of kids: this shows he's ready to commit. How many guys you know in this day and age who are willing to be in it for the long haul from the get-go?
If Gaston had a Tinder account, it wouldn't just be a bunch of shirtless selfies, even though he has a rocking bod: the dude's a popular guy. Sure, he might strong-arm everyone into being his pal, but he also has to have some level of charm if so many people want to be his pal. Let's also not forget the fact that the man's got a pair of pipes on him. Talk about multi-talented.
Then we take at what The Beast brings to the table, and it doesn't look good. He was a total jerk since day one, which is why he found himself cursed in the first place. Then, after being told why he was cursed, he still chose the path of bitterness and anger. When a poor old man was found "trespassing" on his property, he decided to be even less hospitable than he was to the witch who imprisoned him in his monstrous form, by throwing the dude into a dungeon.
He's also got insanely bipolar mood swings and gets angry at the drop of a hat — not the traits you want in a potential SO. What happens if he flies off the handle one day? He also has servants, but no real pals. Oh and his servants — he treats them all like garbage. And what does The Beast do for a living instead of just living a fanciful life of partying and just lounging about?
Once Dana presented the side-by-side comparison of the two ,it was evident that The Beast couldn't hold a candle to Gaston. In fact, I would argue The Beast doesn't hold a candle to most people who are capable of working and living on their own. As anyone knows, long-term relationships are always tested, and the second there's any type of trouble between Belle and The Beast, I'm not sure The Beast has any type of life training/conditioning to get through it.
If you're still not convinced of Dana's argument, then we haven't even gotten to the best part yet: the history of France.
You might remember a little revolution that occurred in France where elite, upper-class members of society were dragged out of their homes, murdered, and treated like the bourgeois scum they were for hoarding all of the wealth for themselves and showing zero care or common courtesy to the working classes.
If you're wondering which class The Beast belongs to, well, consider the ginormous estate he lives in and the fact that he doesn't work for a living.
So Belle, makes the mother of all bad decisions, not just by shacking up with a guy who had a singular moment of selflessness and will most probably return back to his self-absorbent, decadent, and mean-spirited ways. She also will most definitely end up on the wrong side of the guillotine.
Quite frankly, she won't make herself any friends either by being so erudite and concerning herself with staying indoors and reading all day.
Belle's pretty much a trophy wife who married a rich dude and does nothing but watch Netflix all day and chat with the help.
Dana charts exactly how this lifestyle will pan out for our heroine, and it doesn't end well for either her or The Beast.
Gaston, on the other hand, is completely fine. A formidable, resourceful, and charming individual who probably would've been a champion of the resistance against bon vivant like The Beast.
To further drive the point home, Dana even provided some wonderfully photoshopped illustrations to depict what everyone's fates would be. She also created yet another side-by-side comparison that, without a doubt, proves Gaston would've been the better choice of the two.
I mean, I know who's side I'd rather be on once the revolution hits, and it certainly isn't The Beast's.
Of course, quite a few people took umbrage with Dana's suggestion and maintained Belle was still better off with The Beast for the sheer fact that Gaston was dumb. Sure, maybe Gaston wasn't the sharpest tool in the shed when it came to books, but the man did know, as Dana points out, how to concoct some pretty mischievous schemes. Schemes that would prove useful should he and Belle ever find themselves in a jam.
Dana cheekily pointed out to others that Belle's choice for marrying The Beast was predicated on his expansive library of books, which, back then, could be equated with wealth. It's not like they were easy to come by back then, and would cost a pretty penny.
Still, that didn't stop others online from creating some pros/cons list of their own in favor of the story's intended male protagonist.
Then there were those who presented the real argument: that Belle shouldn't have picked either of them because they both had severe character flaws. Here's the thing, though: it's 18th-century France. Life expectancies were pretty low when compared to today, not to mention that getting sick was pretty much a death sentence. Water was relatively unsafe to drink as well.
If Belle was looking to have a relationship with someone, there weren't that many options.
The sheer number of outraged responses to Dana's post, many of them 100 percent serious, show people take their Disney movies a little too seriously.
But if they looked at this chart of Dana's from the get-go, they'd see that her primary motivation for siding with Gaston is influenced by one very big factor:
I mean, the dude is hot. When you've got a type, you've got a type. And I can't say that I disagree with Dana's.
Hairy beefy boys for the win.