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Beauty And The Beast: A Tale As Old As Stockholm Syndrome?

Disclaimer: There may be some word choices in the following article that you, the reader, may be sensitive to.

We all know this classic movie, right? Some prince turkey is cursed for douchebaggery, some geezer wanders into The Beast’s Castle, gets caught for breaking and entering, and is held captive in his basement until his daughter comes along and takes his place. A candle and a feather duster have curtain sex. Prince Chewbacca and Jo March’s French clone then start to form a bond over reading tragedies about teens falling in love. Little do they know that some 20-something Clark Gable knockoff is out for the seventeen-year-old the furry is dating. Prince Beast and wannabe Arnold Schwarzenegger then duel each other to the death. They both die, by the way. Just kidding...with the power of love or something, The Beast then turns back into Fabio. They kiss, the clock and the candle finally get together, and everyone is happy.

Didn’t I say something about “being held captive and falling in love with said, captor”? Doesn’t that match up with what people describe as Stockholm Syndrome? Yes, I know this topic was discussed by many, but can’t I, a self-proclaimed genderless person, throw my hat into the overly filled ring? Well, you wouldn’t be reading this if I can’t.

According to “Healthline,” Stockholm Syndrome is defined as “Occurs when hostages or abuse victims bond with their captors or abusers. This psychological connection develops over the course of the days, weeks, months, or even years of captivity or abuse. With this syndrome, hostages or abuse victims may come to sympathize with their captors. This is the opposite of the fear, terror, and disdain that might be expected from the victims in these situations.” Apparently, the term was coined in 1973 when four people were held hostage during a bank heist. After the hostages were released, they refused to testify. These are the following symptoms, as Healthline puts it:

“Symptoms of Stockholm syndrome

  • The victim develops positive feelings toward the person holding them captive or abusing them.

  • The victim develops negative feelings toward police, authority figures, or anyone who might be trying to help them get away from their captor. They may even refuse to cooperate with their captor.

  • The victim begins to perceive their captor’s humanity and believes they have the same goals and values.”

So to sum it up, it’s basically a fusion between a coping mechanism and a phenomenon. Wow! I didn’t know there was a fusion more toxic than Malachite! Okay, but on a more serious note, does Belle experience these symptoms? Well, first of all, she’s being held captive. From what we know, that’s an ingredient to the recipe. And other than that….mm...yeah, no.

Let me explain. When The Beast demands that she joins him for dinner, she refuses because

  1. She was just taken away from her father.

  2. The Beast was being a total dick-purse

And she even leaves the castle when he goes apeshit after he finds her exploring The West Wing. It’s only after he saves her from the wolves and the fact that he stopped being a prick-twat that she warms up to him. Also, he gave her a library! A fucking library! If someone gave that to me, my clothes would be on the floor in five seconds! Speaking of the library, The Beast takes time to bond over books with Belle. That Turd Gaston would never do that! What I’m basically saying is that Belle And Beast get to know one another and gradually fall in love over time. Impossible, I know! If It were a case of Stockholm Syndrome, It’d basically be Belle’s Magical World (a direct-to-video sequence that was insufferable).

So, in conclusion, maybe some killjoys wanted something to complain about to studio executives. Perhaps there are people who experienced Stockholm Syndrome and see parallels between their situation and Belle’s. Maybe it’s an unholy concoction of all of those horrible answers. But I’m stalling here. So I guess it confirms that Beauty and The Beast is not a case of Stockholm Syndrome. But is it Lima Syndrome? Well, that’s a topic for another day.

Works Cited

What is Stockholm Syndrome and Who Does it Affect? 12 April 2021. Accessed 29

May 2023.


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