Tuesday, September 9, 2014

The Debate Returns: Belle vs. Ariel

Photo Credit: Merieth on dA

Ariel vs. Belle

This is an argument that I have had to carry for a long time. My best friend likes Belle. She reads! She’s brunette! She’s French! Ooh-la-la! I like Ariel. She’s a selfish brat! Her prince sucks! She was infatuated! She sacrifices her soul for a boy! Nooo!

So I’ve had to defend my opinion before, and I don’t mind. I like friendly arguments. But I have two problems.

First, why those two? To date there are eleven Disney princesses, and there will be thirteen when Anna and Elsa from Frozen are inaugurated. Sure, people have a favorite princess, but there’s always more heat between Ariel and Belle.

Two, I kind of hate that Belle is the go-to hero for girls who like to read, as though a bookish, quiet girl could not identify with another princess, even if she is considered a selfish brat who ditched her soul for comparatively nothing.

So, you win some, you lose some, but I haven’t changed my mind. I find Ariel more identifiable than Belle—I love to learn, I crave independence (especially on long weekends such as Labor Day), and I adore the land far more than I do the sea.

My reasons are my reasons, though, and I thought I’d go ahead and share a few.


1. It was a good political match. Triton’s animosity has been putting humans in danger for a long time, and if Eric found out about merpeople any other way you can bet there would have been a war. You could say it was a bonus that they loved each other.

2. Ariel takes action. It seems a crime to sell your gift for a gamble like the human world, but look at it from a different perspective. Opportunity cost happens all the time. You have to spend money to buy a cupcake. You have to give up time with your friends to do homework. Within Christianity, you have to give up this world for the sake of a Heaven you know next to nothing about—and yet millions of people still hold to that religion. Ariel was making a gamble, yes, but it delivered.

3. Ariel is more realistic to me. She’s two years younger than Belle, of course, but I understand why Ariel makes the choices she does. Starting around middle school, most kids start to experience the split away from their parents and the draw towards their friends. Independence. Kids are born to grow up and move out. There are days when I would certainly trade my voice, even if it meant that I wouldn’t see my family. Emotions make you crazy. Sometimes you just have to break free.

4. We know it works out. Ariel isn’t the only princess with a sequel, and Belle’s Enchanted Christmas even shows that they’re still together a year or so later, but Ariel’s marriage hasn’t failed a decade later and they have a beautiful daughter to show for it. We don’t have to get caught up in the details.


1. The point of Belle and Adam’s entire relationship was to change Adam. He began their week together cruel and unloving and the entire point of keeping Belle was to get Adam to be something he wasn’t. That is not how love is supposed to work.

2. Yes, I did say week before. Don’t complain about Ariel’s three-day romance if seven is the key to long-lasting marriages.

3. Belle’s choice put her in real, physical danger. Nothing happened in the movie, but realistically, if I’m an eight-foot-tall monster with a temper tantrum problem, I would have broken my servants a long time ago. Even if I hadn’t, do you think a candlestick is going to stop me from punching this chick’s lights out? Belle was gambling too, and it was dangerous.

4. Belle ditched a life of possibility. She had no way of knowing the Beast would free her at the end of the week—she could have gone anywhere in the world, she could have married well, she could have lived, and she gave that up for a man who was condemned whether he stayed or left.

Gee, I wonder who else gave up her former life for something she loved with every possibility of not surviving the week. Hmmmm.

My point is, there is good and bad on both sides. I don’t dislike Belle—I have more problems with Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, and Cinderella—but I defend my princess. They’re equals, and Ariel rocks. What have you to say to that?

Now it’s your turn:

Option 1: Vote in the poll—who is your favorite Disney princess?

Option 2: Defend your opinion in the comments! Do you prefer Belle or Ariel? And, if neither, who is your favorite Disney princess of all time? I love Ariel, but Mulan and Rapunzel are close seconds!

Option 3: Make a new argument! If you have a blog, or another place where you choose to share your thoughts, construct your own argument. Challenge my opinion, agree, or even start comparing different princesses! Sleeping Beauty vs. Snow White. Jasmine vs. Rapunzel. Mulan vs. Merida. Who do you prefer?


Who is YOUR favorite Disney Princess?


  1. I'm a pretty standard bookworm, and I choose Belle!
    I love Ariel because she's one of the first princesses that I ever watched, but Belle holds a special place in my heart.

    Super fun post!

    1. Belle is certainly a great princess, especially for those of us who love to read. :) Thanks for commenting!

  2. I would say have a three way tie with Tiana, Punzie, and Belle being my favorite Princesses.

    As for your points against Belle, I would have to say they are pretty fricken solid, except for the final one in my opinion. Yes, Belle gave up her life of possibility, but it wasn't like she gave it up for the heck of it. She did it to save her father. It is clear that she loves her father and so it perfectly in character for her to give up her freedom to save him. It wasn't like Belle decided to switch places with her father to be with the Beast because she wanted too.

    And that's all I got to say bout that!

    *coughmulancoughisn'tcoughacoughprincess* XDDDD

    1. XD Your choices don't surprise me at all. :)

      I know, I think my point with the last one is that you shouldn't judge Ariel for her choices when Belle made a comparable one. Ariel "gives up her soul for a boy," but Belle does too. And Ariel's choice, in my opinion, is a good one, because she had enough faith in a world she thought would satisfy her curiosity; she didn't just make her choices because of Eric.

      But you definitely have good thoughts as well, my choice was more for the irony of the situation than a real contest between them.

      (And you can take that up with Disney, because for some reason Mulan is a princess. XD)

  3. I know! Disney, get your facts straight. SHE IS A WARRIOR!!!

    And once again you make very good points. And it is quite ironic that people give Ariel such a hard time when she and Belle situations do have some very similar aspects. *sigh shrug*

    1. But can a warrior not also be a princess? I mean, she's not a princess in title, but I imagine marrying a general is pretty legit in terms of status.

      *sigh shrug* indeed. My point, at any rate, is that there is good and bad, and at least I have succeeded in that, I believe. XD

  4. Well yes, it is a legit way of going up the social ladder, but title wise not so much. But I guess the events in Mulan II sorta de-bunk that because she was good enough comp. for the loss of the 3 princesses of the emperor. *Shrugs Disney Logic*

    1. Yeah, Mulan II...... Let's just say it is not my favorite of sequels. XD

  5. My favorite princesses are Ariel, Mulan, and Elsa. Two of out three of those have questionable princess status, but I don't care. I had more reasoning but Blogger is being a butt.

    1. *hives Victoria* Ah well. Elsa at least /used/ to be a princess! And sorry Blogger is being a butt. :/

  6. Excuse me belle and beast relationship spanded months not a week. The seasons change in her movie. Obviously you know nothing. I love Ariel and belle. Belle is still better to me.

    1. It's true that in the original fairy tale, they were together several months, but the Disney movie actually only spans one week! You can tell based on the lengths of time that Lefou and Maurice are outside and the measure of time during travel scenes. It may look like spring during songs like "Human Again," but ultimately it wouldn't be logical for the seasons to change based on Maurice and Lefou's behavior.

      Belle remains, as ever, a great princess.

      Thanks for your comment!


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