The message was there in the first rendition of the movie, but it wasn’t explicit. The creators of this newer version of Beauty and the Beast did parents of young girls at least one solid when they spelled it out for their audiences: Dignity is attractive.
Gaston is chasing Belle with no luck, and LeFou wants to help. He suggests Gaston give up his pursuit of Belle and instead look to any number of other beautiful girls who are throwing themselves at him daily. You don’t really expect Gaston to have any great lesson to teach anyone—he’s the villain—but even villains can get something right.
Gaston: That’s what makes Belle so appealing—she hasn’t made a fool of herself to gain my favor. What do you call that? LeFou: Dignity? Gaston: Isn’t it attractive?!
Yes!!!! Yes! Thank you! Dignity is so very attractive. And in this day and age, dignity is more rare than ever. Rare is also attractive. Rare is valuable—think basic economics, supply and demand. (It can also be lonely—I SO get that…but it’s worth it.) In a world where young girls (I’m talking early teens at least) are being asked (and even expected) to send nude selfies to boys (before they are even dating!!!!—just to show you how ridiculously and horrifically common place this is these days), the temptation is for girls to think they have to compete with that to get a guy’s attention. Therefore, they are going even beyond that to snag the guy of their interest.
The thing is, what they don’t realize is that that doesn’t make them stand out. That only makes them like every other girl. It even makes them look foolish. What will make them stand out is dignity. It’s uncommon and it’s beautiful and it sets them apart. Not to mention, it’s Godly.
I never thought I’d say this, but, “Thank you, Gaston, for that bit of wisdom!”
On a related note, Belle very much models the Proverbs 31 woman, not only in her dignity, but also as she takes care of her household, teaches children to read, handles business and supports her father, etc.
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