Who’s your favorite Disney princess?
In today’s post, I’m sharing a speech I gave in my Toastmasters group. Toastmasters is a public speaking and leadership club/program that I’m apart of and I love it.
This was the first speech that I gave and I’m so happy that I was able to wrap up my Disney nerd self into it.
I highly recommend listening by clicking the podcast bar above, but feel free to read through it below.
Growing up, I was a total Disney kid.
Of course I loved all of the Disney princesses. Other than Aurora. She honestly didn’t do much – her fairy godmothers did the work while she essentially took a nap. But I digress.
But my absolute favorite Disney princess, the one that I wanted to be more than anything else in the world, was Belle.
Belle as in “Beauty and the Beast.”
When I was young, I was always the fat kid.
You know exactly what I’m talking about. You know that kid that sat in the back of the class, the one that tried desperately to be invisible yet somehow managed to be a magnet for the bullies?
That was me.
Not only that, but without going into details, I had men in my life that took advantage of me. So I had a very deep seated fear of men.
I was also the nerdy one. The one that wanted to read Manga, which are Japanese comic books. I’d much rather stay home and read book after book instead of go out. I didn’t want to read the new books that were taking young adults by storm, I wanted to read the Autobiography of Malcolm X and history textbooks.
I tried so hard to fit in, but I was always rejected.
That’s why I would watch Beauty and the Beast on repeat.
Because Belle was everything I wanted to be.
From the very beginning, she was unashamedly herself. Even when the whole town was mocking her, she didn’t apologize for who she was.
She loved to read and frequented the book store so much that the owner allowed her to keep her favorite.
Belle’s open love of reading gave me so much confidence in myself. Seeing that she was beautiful and strong and a reader. It made me feel comfortable in who I was.
Then entered the villain.
Gaston was the most handsome man in town. He had seemingly everything a girl would want. Any girl would’ve considered herself lucky to be chosen by him.
Any girl except, well, Belle.
Despite his continued advances, she stood her ground.
Even when he threw her most precious book in the mud, she kept her cool, insulted him with words too big for him to understand, and went on her way.
She was able to do the one thing that, at the time, I thought I would never be able to do: stand up to a man.
Belle taught me that not only was I capable of standing up for myself, but that I actually could.
I was allowed to say what I liked and didn’t like. I was allowed to say I wasn’t interested.
She was in my eyes the strongest woman I’d ever seen, even before she stood up to the Beast.
Because at this point, when I was 9, 10, 11 years old, I was not the strong and confident woman you see today.
I wasn’t someone who would speak up for myself at all, let alone stand up to someone so much bigger and stronger than me.
Fast forward to when her foolish father got lost in the woods and found himself in the dungeon of the Beast’s castle.
She didn’t hesitate to offer to take his place. Even when the Beast was angry and ferocious, she once again stood her ground.
Belle allowed herself to be locked away so her father could go free.
She lived with the Beast for quite some time and didn’t allow him to walk all over her. She didn’t allow his fierce exterior to push her down. Even though she was afraid, even though I’m sure her heart was beating out of her chest, she was determined to live her life the best she could. And that meant showing the Beast what she was made of.
Because he was turned into the Beast at such a young age (he was cursed at age 10 – can you even imagine?), and because he was a royal, he was never taught how to read.
Belle saw through his hatred of books straight through to the embarrassment that pierced his heart.
She sat and taught this angry, bitter person, the human inside of the beast, what reading could do.
Even more than breaking the curse, she reminded the Beast of his humanity.
Growing up surrounded with so much mental illness, this really hit me.
She didn’t make the Beast’s humanity her job or her responsibility. She just reached out in love and allowed him to take her hand.
That has always been something very important to me.
I’m now an Abuse Recovery coach. I help women recover from abusive relationships, let go of the guilt, and finally celebrate a life of freedom.
But in order to do that, I have to remind these women of their humanity under the Beast of protection they’ve put up for themselves. It isn’t easy. I get called names, I get hate, but it’s ok.
Because hurt people hurt people.
And like Belle reached out to the Beast, I reach out to the hurt people. Sometimes it means dishing out some tough love, sometimes it’s reminding them that the cage they live in is unlocked. Sometimes it’s just giving them the reminder that they are enough. As they are. Right now.
Just as Belle looked at the beast and saw someone who was enough. As he was. Right then and there.
That is why it’s my mission to become Belle. A more alternative, punky, blue-haired version, but Belle nevertheless.
Belle taught me what it means to be a strong woman and that’s the legacy I intend to leave behind me.
Belle is the woman that I’m striving to become and I won’t stop until I know she’d be proud.
While it may seem silly to look to a Disney character as motivation, she inspires me and keeps me going, so I won’t question it.
If this hit home for you and you want to be more like the confident, strong woman that Belle is, check out my free Confidence Course. This course is 5 days long and gives you the exact foundation you need in order to step into the life you deserve.
You get the exact framework I share with my paying clients. After taking this course, you’re going to step into a whole new chapter of your life. You’re going to look in the mirror and see strength and power that you never noticed before. Click here to grab yours!