You may have heard that Beauty and the Beast (yes, the Disney princess movie from your childhood) is heading back to the box office in a live-action version starring Emma Watson as Belle. And if you're really paying attention, the trailer that was released on November, 14th just passed "50 Shades of Grey" as the most viewed trailer in 24 hours.
On March 17, 2017, movie-goers will be enchanted by a re-imagined version of the Disney classic. Emma, who has expressed her adoration of the classic film, has also helped shape the role of the female character Belle.
Watson, a self-proclaimed feminist and UN Women Global Ambassador, had her own ideas for her role. In addition to making Belle an inventor (you slay, queen), Emma stated in an interview with EW that she would not wear a corset in the remake.
Emma wanted Belle to be an "active" princess, not one who would be held up with a restrictive corset.
Watson worked closely with the designer to ensure it wouldn't "impede" her backstory of being a princess who actually does more than sit around while still keeping the magical and whimsical Disney Princess feel of a ball-gown.
This is a stark contrast to other live-action versions of Disney princess remakes, including the 2015 re-make of Cinderella, in which Lily James's corset and tiny waistline sparked controversy, especially when James admitted to adhering to a "liquid diet" onset to fit into it.
But as Emma made clear, Belle ain't got time for that. She's got stuff to invent and a voice to be heard.
And although it's debated how much the media has a role in actual diagnosis of eating disorders, societal structures that distort views of how or what women should be or look like can trigger susceptible people to question their bodies, and/or empower mistreatment of those who do not fit "ideals."
While some may view this as diverting from an "iconic" ball gown and classic princess ideals, now, more than ever, I applaud Emma for her bold actions and influence.
A metaphor of recent events, the 2017 release could not be more perfectly timed to remind the world that women are more than objects of objectification and sexual grabbing; they're here to change the world and contribute to society.
It's vital to continue to remind young girls that women can and should have ambitions and goals and should be seen as equally as capable, smart, and powerful as men.
Even the fact that Emma took an active role in reshaping Belle's character is worthy of applause, and an empowering message of the influence one can have when they stand up for what they believe in.
Emma's re-imagination of the role is a good place to start in sending this message to kids (and sadly, should also be seen by many adults) of all genders.