Emma Watson’s continuing media blitz in promotion of the upcoming Beauty and the Beast remake found her on the cover of the latest issue of Total Film (h/t E! Online), where she spoke about the moral underpinnings of the movie and her character Belle. In one quote in particular Watson declared that the film’s heroine Belle makes for a better role model than fellow Disney princess Cinderella. Or, in her words:

She remains curious, compassionate and open-minded. And that’s the kind of woman I would want to embody as a role model, given the choice. There’s this kind of outsider quality that Belle had, and the fact she had this really empowering defiance of what was expected of her. In a strange way, she challenges the status quo of the place she lives in, and I found that really inspiring. She manages to keep her integrity and have a completely independent point of view. She’s not easily swayed by other people’s perspective—not swayed by fear-mongering or scapegoating.

Is she right? It‘s tough to say, and so without further ado, I present the Definitive Ruling on the Belle vs. Cinderella Role Model Debate:

Pros — excellent work ethic, kept humble by years of systematic emotional abuse from stepfamily, dainty feet, kind to mice
Cons — fundamentally passive in her reliance on fairies and princes, bad at running down stairs, name pretty much means “sooty woman of filth”

Pros — everything Watson said, voracious reader, stands by her father after town turns on him, friends with household appliances
Cons — acquaints young women with the lethal delusion that every violent, temperamental, and abusive man has a heart of gold on the inside, and that it is a woman’s duty to unearth that gentler nature

All due respect to Ms. Watson, but this one goes to Cindy in a walk.

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