The Beauty and the Beast Controversy

I am going to make people mad with this post. Probably people from both sides of the controversy. I have read articles and have seen Facebook posts about both sides and thought I would share my personal opinion here. Grab a cup of coffee… this is not a short read. [Update included towards the end of this post, now that I have seen the movie.]

Back story… Beauty and the Beast apparently has an “exclusively gay moment” in the new live action movie. All we (the majority of people who have not yet seen the movie since it will not be released in theaters until next week) know, is that LeFou some days wants to be Gaston and other days wants to kiss Gaston. Somehow he explores those possible feelings (maybe through a fantasy moment but we do not know how exactly yet). If you look up the lyrics or watch the clip of LeFou singing in the tavern in the 90’s animated film, it is not far fetched to assume he may have been gay in that movie too (however subtle it may be).

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Before I get started, let me just say that I disagree with the LGBT agenda. From a scientific/medical perspective, I do not believe people are born gay. I believe that they develop those feelings over time due to a number of contributing factors. From a Biblical perspective, I do believe that living a gay lifestyle is a sin. However, so is any other sexual lifestyle or action outside of marriage between a man and a woman (such as: adultery, premarital sex, pornography, and one that everyone commits at some point…lust). My beliefs on the subject in no way affect how I treat someone who is gay. I treat them the same way I do any other person. I do not have to agree with your choices and opinions (on this subject or any other subject) to still be your friend, have a conversation (and/or debate lol), give you a hug, invite you into my home, etc.

So back to the movie… Honestly, I see both sides of the controversy. Anyone who disagrees with an agenda absolutely has the right to boycott a movie, book, store, event, etc. that pushes that agenda. I hated the book The Shack and I am not going to go to the theaters to see the newly released movie. I am not necessarily boycotting it because I will most likely watch it at some point (people keep asking my opinion since I am one of a minority who dislike it) but I am not shy about expressing my opinion of the book. I did not like Disney’s Princess and the Frog and do not allow my children to watch it because it deals directly with the forces of a currently practiced religion that contradicts what we believe. Will I let them see it at some point? Maybe, but it would be with the sole purpose of discussing the film at length and comparing the beliefs portrayed to other religions. If someone does not want to see a gay moment, then by all means, they should not go see the movie. However, on this particular controversy, I tend to side more with the people who find it baffling that so many people are offended about this. Here is why (in no particular order):

First of all, I do not particularly like boycotting. I think that sometimes there is a place for it and sometimes it can be effective. However, most of the time in my opinion, when Christians and conservatives boycott non-Christians and liberals then we are all feeding into a vicious cycle. I think more often than not when this happens, both sides are being hypocritical. The problem is people tend to boycott what ever is popular to do so due to media hype… think Target, Starbucks, Chick-Fil-A, Hobby Lobby, etc. They fail to carry that deeply held conviction of why they are boycotting a particular thing into all the other areas that follow the same agenda, policy, etc. For example, if someone boycotts Target for the bathroom issue then they need to boycott Apple, McDonald’s, Coca-Cola, IKEA, several airlines, several credit card companies, and countless stores, restaurants and other businesses (a quick google search will bring up a more in-depth list). Most people cannot and do not come close to being willing to give up all of that. Read About Boycotting to explore this further.

Second, my question for anyone who has decided to boycott Disney as a result of this movie is: Why Now? Why is this particular movie making you want to boycott a company that has supported the gay agenda for as long as I can remember? I vividly remember the movement within churches to boycott Disney in the 90’s over their decision to have “gay days” at their parks. More recently to boycott the Good Luck Charlie TV show over an episode that portrayed two mommies. What about all of the Disney owned ABC TV shows that have gay characters. I read a blog post by a woman who is so upset that this movie is portraying a gay moment that she is not only not going to watch the movie but she is also going to cancel her planned Disney vacation for this year. She mentions all of the examples (even more than I mentioned) of how Disney has supported the gay agenda in the past but, all of a sudden, this movie crosses the line.

Third, what about all of the other sins that are portrayed in children’s movies (Disney or otherwise)? Do you have as much discussion and uproar over the child disobedience/rebellion, the witchcraft/sorcery, the anger/revenge, the lying/deceit, the sexual innuendoes, bullying, etc.? I am pretty sure I could go through and find something wrong with every single Disney movie out there. Just picking apart Beauty and the Beast, there is bullying, alcoholism, attempted murder, revenge, jealousy, sorcery, (maybe a hint at prostitution??? i.e. beautiful girls hanging out in the tavern with a bunch of drunk men)…

Fourth, one of the most common rebuttal to people protesting this movie that I have seen is that “they have a problem with a gay moment but they do not have a problem with a girl falling in love with a buffalo.” I know this seems silly but there is some truth there…

So where do I stand? Somewhere in the middle. I definitely respect the right to be upset about something that goes against what you stand for. I also do not think that a “gay moment” should be in a children’s movie. However, I am not going to boycott the movie.

If anyone knows me at all, they know I love Disney movies! In my opinion, they are stories that teach valuable lessons that I want my children to learn. Many of the movies have strong female roles that encourage girls to be brave, be kind, dream big, etc. Most of the movies have issues that cause characters to get in trouble due to their choices or actions (or someone else’s choices or actions) but almost always the characters learn from their mistakes (villains are the exception but that is what makes them villains). [Read The Pretty Princess Phenomenon for more.] Beauty and the Beast is no different. It is a story about seeing the good in people, learning to love, letting go of anger, self sacrifice, and many other positive elements.

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In conclusion, I most likely will let my children see this live action Beauty and the Beast. I read Plugged In online reviews before taking my children to the theaters to determine if I think a movie is appropriate for their age/maturity level. I will do the same before taking them to see this movie [UPDATE: Here is the Beauty and the Beast Plugged In Review]. My guess though is that the good far outweighs the bad. If the “moment” is something that needs to be discussed with them, I absolutely will discuss it. Just like I would discuss any other issue I have a problem with that comes up in movies. I already discussed homosexuality  with my oldest daughter a couple of years ago. I know that my children will encounter homosexuality in our culture. They may see it in a movie, on TV, walking through a mall, or at their schools. So, instead of trying to shield them from it, I feel that it is better for me to have a conversation with them.

[UPDATE: Now that I have seen the movie, here is my opinion of it… I loved it!!! It follows the original story line pretty closely. There are some additional scenes and songs to carry the story and go into more detail on some things that were missing in the original (such as what happened to Belle’s mother). I was not sure how I would like Emma Watson as Belle but she did a fantastic job! She proved that she could be more than a Hermione and her singing voice is beautiful. The costumes and set were amazing! And of course the well known songs were brought to life in an amazing way!

MINOR SPOILER ALERTS: The question on everyone’s mind is, “What was the gay moment?” There were a few places where there were subtle hints. In my opinion, they were so quick and subtle that I am pretty sure most children would not notice or if they did would not understand unless it was explained. Towards the beginning of the movie, it was obvious that LeFou wanted to be just like Gaston. He mimicked his moves and followed him around like a puppy. During the song “Gaston” in the tavern scene, it became more apparent that LeFou may have had stronger feelings for him because of his intense admiration while singing the song (again, I do not think a child would pick up on that). At one point during the song, they were dancing and LeFou wrapped Gaston’s arms around him. He jokingly asked, “Too much?” Later in the movie when Maurice was trying to convince the town’s people that Gaston was bad, Gaston manipulates LeFou to lie for him by appealing to his senses. He grabs his shoulders and talks about how close of friends they are. LeFou does lie because he does not want to offend the man he admires. During the castle battle scene between the town’s people and the castle objects, the wardrobe dresses three men in elaborate women’s clothing and hair dos (in the original movie she does this to one man). Two of the men are clearly disturbed by this and run away but one of them turn around and it is clear by his facial expressions that he likes the new look. In the final ballroom scene, after the castle objects have turned human again, everyone is dancing and we quickly see LeFou and the other man mentioned above dancing together.  There was no gay kissing as was implied when they said that LeFou “some days wants to be Gaston and other days wants to kiss Gaston.”

A couple of hours after seeing the movie, I asked my 10 year old if she noticed anything along these lines and she said no. When I explained a couple of the scenes she remembered the men being dressed as women but did not remember seeing LeFou dancing with another man. Now that I have told her it is there, she will probably notice it next time she sees it though. I have decided not to bring it up to my 8 year old daughter so as not to draw attention to it. If she mentions it to me at some point, I will address it then.

I really did love the movie. The gay moments were very minor and had nothing at all to do with the overall story line. If you want to see the movie but not sure if you want your children to  see it, I would recommend watching it first and then deciding. END UPDATE]

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Feel free to voice your opinions and engage in respectful debate in the comments. However, any comments that are disrespectful, use inappropriate language, etc. will be deleted.

A Royal Christmas To Remember

This book by Jeanna Young & Jacqueline Johnson with pictures by Omar Aranda is another story in The Princess Parables series. The series feature five sister princesses Charity, Grace, Joy, Faith, & Hope. This story includes a lesson based on Luke 12:15-21, the parable of the Rich Young Ruler. The princesses get caught up in the materialism of Christmas. After their village was invaded by bandits, the girls realize that they had much more than they need and they decided to share their abundance with the villagers.

My girls love the Princess Parable books that they already own and this one will be no exception. The illustrations are colorful and energetic. This is a simple story that teaches the truths of scripture and will appeal to young children who like fairy tales, princesses, princes, etc.

In accordance with the Federal Trade Commission I am required to disclose that ZonderKidz provided this book for free in exchange for my review. I was not required to write a positive review and the opinions I have expressed are my own.

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Order at Christian Book Distributors through the following link!

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A Royal Christmas to Remember
By Jeanna Young & Jacqueline Johnson / Zondervan

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Princess Charity Sticker & Activity Book

This book is inspired by Jeanna Young & Jacqueline Johnson with pictures by Omar Aranda. It is based off of The Princess Parables series of books that feature five sister princesses Charity, Grace, Joy, Faith, & Hope. It is geared toward kids ages 4-8. The activities in this book include: crossword puzzles, coloring, dot to dot, hidden pictures, secret codes, etc. There are two pages of stickers. A few of the stickers are made to go in specific places in the book but most of them can go anywhere.

My girls are familiar with The Princess Parables and have all five of the I Can Read (Level 1) stories in the series. This activity book will be a cute addition to the story line. The illustrations are colorful and energetic. The activities are simplistic enough for the age range but will still provide fun. This would be a good book for a quiet afternoon or a car trip!

In accordance with the Federal Trade Commission I am required to disclose that ZonderKidsprovided this book for free in exchange for my review. I was not required to write a positive review and the opinions I have expressed are my own.

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Order at Christian Book Distributors through the following links!

I get credit for all purchases made through my CBD links!

Princess Charity, Sticker Activity Book
By Young Johnson / Zondervan

Other books about Princess Charity include:

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Princess Charity’s Courageous Heart

By Jacqueline Johnson & Jeanna Young / ZonderKidz

 

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Princess Charity’s Golden Heart

By Jacqueline Johnson, Jeanna Young & Omar Aranda(Illustrator) / Zondervan

 

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Princess Grace Sticker & Activity Book

This book is inspired by Jeanna Young & Jacqueline Johnson with pictures by Omar Aranda. It is based off of The Princess Parables series of books that feature five sister princesses Grace, Charity, Joy, Faith, & Hope. It is geared toward kids ages 4-8. The activities in this book include: crossword puzzles, coloring, dot to dot, hidden pictures, secret codes, etc. There are two pages of stickers. A few of the stickers are made to go in specific places in the book but most of them can go anywhere.

My girls are familiar with The Princess Parables and have all five of the I Can Read (Level 1) stories in the series. This activity book will be a cute addition to the story line. The illustrations are colorful and energetic. The activities are simplistic enough for the age range but will still provide fun. This would be a good book for a quiet afternoon or a car trip!

In accordance with the Federal Trade Commission I am required to disclose that ZonderKidsprovided this book for free in exchange for my review. I was not required to write a positive review and the opinions I have expressed are my own.

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Order at Christian Book Distributors through the following links!

I get credit for all purchases made through my CBD links!

Princess Grace, Sticker Activity Book
By Young Johnson / Zondervan

Other books about Princess Grace include:

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Princess Grace and the Little Lost Kitten
By Jeanna Young & Jacqueline Johnson / Zondervan

 

 

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Princess Grace and Poppy
By Jeanna Young & Jacqueline Johnson / ZonderKidz

 

 

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Blog Updates!

  • For those of you who have followed Ben’s Story and prayed for him:
    • (October 15, 2010): The jury found his abuser “not guilty” based on what they said was reasonable doubt. During the trial they were not told of her previous conviction. Our family is saddened by this. We still believe that Ben’s injuries were diagnosed correctly at the time of injury and that justice was not served today. Still, we trust that God sees the bigger picture and knows the reason for this outcome.
  • I have been approved by a few Christian publishing companies to be apart of their blog review programs!  In exchange for free copies of new books, I will write reviews for the books on my blog. Most of these books will probably not be ones that I would normally choose for reading but I thought it would be a great way to expand my reading & writing horizons. I plan to offer some of these books as free gifts to my blog readers! Details about that will be in the reviews for those particular books!
  • Speaking of books & blogs! I have added a new page to my Heart Treasures Boutique website:
  • For those of you who are following my homeschooling blogs:
    • Last week my mom, sister, and niece were in town so we did a review of weeks 1 & 2. They were still here the first half of this week so we really didn’t do much homeschooling at all. I will resume next week with: N, 3, Being Nice, Noah, 1 Corinthians 13:13
  • And something to think about…

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THANK YOU for all of your support, comments, & feedback. I love hearing from you and I love hearing your stories! Feel free to contact me anytime!

hearttreasurescontact@yahoo.com


Blog Updates!

I just want to draw some attention to some of the new and old on this site!

  • I have started a Marriage Series! Although there is only one post so far, more will be added on a contiunous basis (like the Anger Series)!
  • This week has been my first week of homeschooling Kendal! I will be posting what we do every week (at the end of each week) so that you can follow along. Each post will contain web-links to all of the resources that I am using. Check back on Saturday to see the first in the Pre-School Homeschooling Series.
  • If you have never done so, I recommend checking out the Biblical Virtue Prayers & Scriptures. Each of these 58 virtues are important for us, our spouses, and our children to have. Try praying one or two a day over  your spouse and children. After you finish the list, start back at the beginning! If you can think of a virtue that I am missing, e-mail me with the virtue and a scripture to back it up. Then, I will be sure to add it to the list!
  • Are you raising girls? Are they enthralled with the Princess Culture? See what Psychologist Dr. James Dobson has to say about it (and my opinion): The Pretty Princess Phenomenon
  • Are you struggling with the concept of Forgiveness? How can forgiveness help to heal your wounds? Here is my forgiveness testimony: Forgive Them?

As always, THANK YOU for all of your support, comments, & feedback. I love hearing from you and I love hearing your stories! Feel free to contact me anytime!

hearttreasurescontact@yahoo.com

Image found on Google Images



The Pretty Princess Phenomenon

I have been bombarded lately with differing views of the Princess culture that is influencing young girls today. Movies, books, toys, clothes, etc. are all feeding the princess frenzy.

In Dr. James Dobson’s book, Bringing Up Girls, his daughter Danae described why the princess story line is so captivating:

“1) Beauty. Every girl wants to be considered physically attractive, and princesses take it to the highest level…”

“2) Song. Every Disney princess has a beautiful voice, and some of the story lines are based around that talent…”

“3) Beautiful clothes. Princesses wear lovely gowns in bright colors, and little girls love to mimic their heroine’s attire by donning similar costumes…”

“4) Handsome suitor. A princess is always pursued by an attractive male prospect, and he’s usually a prince–someone any girl in the kingdom would love to have. Through all the ups and downs in the story line, a princess always gets her man in the end…”

“5) Rags to riches... One thing is true for all: in the end they all live in a castle with the man of their dreams and with riches galore…”

“6) Happily ever after. This is true for every Disney princess, but unfortunately not for the rest of us. Nevertheless, the concept of marrying a handsome prince and living happily ever after (no conflicts or problems) is appealing to young dreamers who hope that one day they will have the same privilege…”

“7) Dreams coming true. A princess expresses her wishes and dreams early in the story and always sees them come to life in the end…”

“To be a princess is to be considered beautiful, to be pursued, and to see all your hopes and dreams come true. Now who wouldn’t want to be a princess?”

Dr. Dobson quotes another woman (Riann Zuetel) as giving another perspective:

“I think wanting to be a princess is more than just feeling beautiful. Girls and women long to be treated like they are something special and worthwhile. Our culture often treats women like brainless sex objects who are put on this planet to satisfy men’s desires, sometimes at the expense of their own sense of self-worth… When a girl sees herself as a princess, she feels valued for who she is. Being beautiful is just the icing on the cake, so to speak. She is equal, worthwhile, and special. Most important, she has the confidence to wait for Prince Charming to come and not settle for second best or a loser, no matter how long it takes.”

The other side of the story is explained in the July 2010 issue of Parents Magazine. An article called “The Princess Diaries,” written by Gayle Forman, suggests that the princess fairy-tale culture is responsible for young girls growing up too fast and becoming “racy.”

“Around age 6, a girl’s interest in Belle or Tiana will probably give way to a fascination with iCarly and High School Musical. She may also become more interested in edgier clothing, from short skirts to T-shirts with slogans such as “Flirt” and “Daddy’s Expensive Little Princess… There’s a name marketers use for the idea of pushing young girls to dress and act grown up: KAGOY, and acronym for Kids Are Getting Older Younger. It started more than a decade ago with the newly branded “tween” market and has shifted toward ever-younger girls–who are being encouraged by companies to wear makeup, high heels… and skimpy crop tops…”

“…there’s no doubt that marketers are amplifying both princess culture and the precocious look that many young girls gravitate toward. Although you may have pretended to be Cinderella when you were a kid, your daughter likely takes the royal role more seriously and might want the Tinkerbell sheets, the Little Mermaid wallpaper, a Disney Princess kitchen set, and a Barbie Sparkle Lights Doll to fuel it. And while you may have borrowed lipstick and mascara from your mom’s drawer just for fun, your 6-year-old might take it one step further by buying a $9 preteen makeup kit with her allowance.”

Dr. Dobson addresses this view by saying:

“I’ve seen no evidence to support the supposition that little girls who think of themselves as princesses are more likely to become brats or strippers when adolescence approaches. That strikes me as ridiculous.”

“Admittedly, however, life is not always a Cinderella journey… But we are here talking about children, after all. There will be plenty of time for them to learn about pain, sorrow, and other intricacies of adult life. Or as one mother put it, they have the rest of their lives to become jaded. Let’s let children be children while they are children.”

Earlier in the chapter, Dr. Dobson actually suggests that the princesses promote purity:

“Modeling virtue is one of the reasons I like the movement. In a subtle way, the Disney stories present a wholesome image of virginity until marriage and then lifelong love thereafter. They also promote femininity, kindness, courtesy, the work ethic, service to others, and “good vibes” about one’s personhood. Where else in the popular culture do you find these values represented in such an attractive way?”

Another big concern that parents have with the princess culture is that it leads children to think that every girl should be beautiful, thin, and “perfect.” Dr. Dobson also addresses this:

“Not every little girl can be “the fairest in the land” and look like Ariel or Sleeping Beauty. There is, therefore, an aspect to the princess fantasy that parents should recognize and respond to with wisdom and sensitivity. An overemphasis on physical attractiveness throughout childhood can create an expectation that some kids will never achieve…”

As someone who loves the Disney movies; I have never had a problem with the princesses. It wasn’t until recently that I made a decision to get rid of some of our Disney movies which included a few of the princess themes. My reasons had nothing to do with the princesses themselves but because I didn’t want to expose our girls (ages 1 & 3) to the scary images along with the evil things portrayed in those particular movies. We are perfectly fine with them liking the Princesses themselves–and they do love the princesses! We just decided that there are other ways to let them pretend, play with, see, etc. the princesses without them watching the movies.

Personally, I think that pop culture is more responsible for sexualization of younger kids than the princess movement is. Consider real superstars such as Brittney Spears, Miley Cirus, Angelina Jolie, Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan, etc. These real idols tend to dress provocatively. As girls get older; I believe that they look up to actresses and musicians more so than fictional fairy tales. I believe that clothing lines are mimicking real people and not the princesses.

Bottom line is that we are the parents. If we have a problem with what clothes are on the market; then we should find a place that sells what fits our standard (I always had to have a one piece swimsuit). If we have a problem with a 6 year-old buying makeup with their allowance; then we should tell them that they are not allowed to buy it (I wasn’t allowed to wear make up in public until I was in 7th grade). I agree with Dr. Dobson’s view on the parent’s responsibility and so I will allow him to have the last word:

“[We should] carefully scrutinize and select that which will be allowed into the lives of our children. Our job is to teach and interpret for them what they need to understand. They will learn far more directly from us than from storybook fantasies. The princess movement can be handled in this manner. Ultimately, mothers will have to decide whether or not to introduce their girls to this and other forms of make-believe. It is my belief that the good outweighs the bad in the princess movement…”

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Order at Christian Book Distributors through the following link!

I get credit for all purchases made through my CBD links!

Bringing Up Girls: Practical Advice and Encouragement for Those Shaping the Next Generation of Women

By Dr. James Dobson / Tyndale House

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