Is Once Upon a Time’s Belle the worst feminist ever?
Is Belle REALLY a good role model for little girls? Storybrooke’s Belle’s increased forgiveness of Rumpel’s lies rubs me the wrong way as an adult woman. If this weren’t a fairy tale, would you REALLY want your best friend or daughter dating this guy?
Is Once Upon a Time’s Belle the most anti-feminist character ever? Last season she walked out on Rumpel when he wouldn’t declare his love. But, this season, she keeps forgiving Rumpelstiltskin‘s inconceivably hugeass whoppers. She is clearly a woman who loves too much. First off, if I’ve been separated from my lover for twenty-plus years while incarcerated in an old school loony bin and then freed during a local Armageddon, I’d hope my lover would move me to safety, not say “hey, nice to see you, but do you mind if I loot the town and do a major power grab?” After that, Rumpel continued on his lie-blazing, truth-withholding, promise-breaking path by attempting to murder Regina, snapping at Belle (a woman recovering from schizophrenia), continuing to practice black magic and pretending he’s a changed man while holding Smee hostage in his basement.
Belle needs to sit down and watch every single made for TV movie shown on Lifetime starting with the Burning Bed. Would I have fallen for Robert Carlyle’s gentle accent, his gray streaked chestnut colored hair and his sincere, sentimental eyes? Maybe once or thrice. But, considering Rumpel’s blatant lies come within DAYS — or HOURS — of each other, after the third or fourth lie I might re-think hanging out with him. Does Storybrooke Belle do that? Temporarily. Does she ever stick her guns? No.
Clearly, Belle has a father complex. Rumpel’s biggest problem didn’t surround his cowardice, but his refusal to listen to his loved ones. His wife clearly voiced her unhappiness multiple times, but he consistently refused to move or explore other alternatives. And, call me crazy, but killing the mother of your child while looking for your son to show him you’ve changed, doesn’t exactly line up. Likewise, Belle’s father refused to listen to her needs in Storybrooke and let her sacrifice her body for his kingdom back in Fairy Tale Land. At this point, Belle’s showing all the classic abused woman symptoms. Woman, if he keeps promising to change, but doesn’t; refuses to seek help; continues committing violent acts against those around you; cares more about power than love; has a past history of violence and consistently lies yet apologizes ONLY when caught, it’s time to go.
Although Belle joked she was a kept woman, in a way she is considering her current relationship with Rumpel which revolves around his jewelry and gifts. Don’t get me started on Belle’s clothes. Seriously, Rumpel, you could only find baby doll skirts and three-inch heels for your girlfriend who NEVER wore heels before? REALLY? Those shoes are NOT made for Nancy Sinatra style walking.
While the little girl in me wants to see Beauty and the Beast together, the adult woman in me feels squeamish at how frequently Belle forgives Rumpel for his continuing infractions. If I had a daughter, I might want to explain Belle’s actions and not make her think “well, Belle forgave Mr. Gold for lying and he seemed so sincere, so when I grow up, I’ll always forgive MY boyfriend if he seems sad.” Am I blowing things out of proportion? Possibly. But, did anyone get the squeamish feeling that I did this season and wonder what happened Belle’s Fairy Tale Land spunk?