What I learned about myself while watching Beauty And The Beast

It’s the tale that’s old as time…

And the live-action remake of Beauty And The Beast has become one of the rare movies to hit over the billion dollar mark at the global box office, meaning Disney was right to remake the classic (well, that’s for another blog-post really, don’t get me started on this slew of remakes about to come out!!).

But as I watched the reimagined movie from my childhood in the cinema, something else struck me and affected me in a way I wasn’t expecting.

As Belle, played by Emma Watson, sings her way through the provincial French town in the opening song, there are a lot of close ups of the 27-year-old actress’s face.

As the former Harry Potter star sang her song, I was distracted (or more so captivated) by her luminous skin.

Belle song

Now to explain why, I have to backtrack slightly. You see, I have freckles on my face - plenty of them!

I use varying amounts of make-up to cover them up in an often-failed attempt to look like I have that allusively clear visage.

When I’ve had headshots done in the past, I’ve always requested the perps be scrubbed out, which gives me a sense of relief and a glimpse at what I ‘could’ look like, someday, maybe.

It’s always been something I’ve been overly conscious of - to the point I’ve contemplated burning off the top layer of skin to get rid of them (THAT’s how much I dislike them). And I’m well aware of how odd this sounds given that people are tattooing freckles onto their face these days to “get the look”.

On occasions when I haven’t used much make-up or not covered them properly I often have people tell me “I’ve never noticed your freckles before, they’re so cute”.

Hmmmm …you say cute, I say annoying, ugly and not-pretty.

But watching this scene on the big screen and captivated by the close-up shots, I thought: "Oh wait, does she?... no, she doesn't... wait yes, Emma/Belle has freckles too!!!”

And then, it hit me - the unexpected moment of self realisation - that freckles can be the Beauty and don’t have to be the Beast I’ve always made them out to be. They don’t look ugly, it’s not the first thing you notice on someone’s face, it IS possible to look beyond them and they don’t take away from someone’s natural beauty the way I guess I’ve always believed they do.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying I’m a natural Beauty the likes of Emma Watson and I’m certainly not suddenly ‘cured’ of my insecurities - I still filter my photos in the hopes of looking like I’ve got better skin - but it was a moment of realisation that if I can think they’re “cute” on someone else, then it’s not the end of the world if someone thinks they’re “cute” on me…and it doesn’t have to be a bad thing.

So since then, I’ve sported less make-up on more occasions, felt a little less conscious about my freckles and I’ve gotten a bit more comfortable in my own skin - literally.