Friday, 27 January 2017

Tale As Old As Time: Why The 'Beauty And The Beast' Remake Is So Important

I have always been a Disney lover. I spent most of my younger years in front of the television with my sister and a pile of videos, I then went to Disneyland and was completely fascinated by my surroundings and how magical it all was, and then later on in my teenage years I dressed up as Snow White for Halloween, a costume I had dreamed of for years. Now, at 21 years of age I am still the same. I still carry all of my Disney knowledge with me and dream of being one of the Princesses. If you want to be a Disney Princess when you're little, you'll always want to be a Disney Princess, trust me. Anyone know if Disneyland are recruiting?!

Due to all of this, it is no surprise that my whole week was dramatically transformed the moment I heard they are doing a Beauty And The Beast remake. It always was and always will be one of my favourite Disney films. This 1991 film came at a time when Disney Princesses were becoming that bit more sassy and independent and although the films were still romantic and dream like, the Princesses had too much shit to be doing to spend their days lying around waiting for true loves first kiss. Don't get me wrong, I love all those older movies too, but a bit of good old girl power never hurt anyone.


I was born in 1996 and I'm now 21, so even though 1991 may not seem like a long time ago to many, I can guarantee you the little girls of 2017 aren't all too familiar with Belle and her adventures. Who better to revive her than Emma Watson? She's perfectly suited for the role of Belle anyway, the perfect princess material but has also done amazing work for women's rights and is a major influence and role model in 2017. During a time when women's marches are going on worldwide, a film like this is needed to bring a light hearted and understandable approach on the topic for our future generations of women. We all aspire to be like Belle - the girl with a fire in her belly that not even a Beast can put out.

Binging on Disney movies is not a negative way to spend your youth. Belle was not a helpless woman who relied on a man to save her. She spent her days reading books, despite the whole town thinking she was different and odd. She supported her father in everything he did no matter how wacky his ides and ambitions, and she was not impressed by Gaston's efforts to woo her with his sexist views, narcissism and complete arrogance. She did not fall at his feet despite other women wanting him for his good looks and promises for the future. Even when she had a beast towering over her in a dark, isolated castle she didn't back down because that girl was only there for one thing and that was to get her father back no matter what the cost. Romance wasn't on her radar at that point, but when it did finally get there, it was because she fell for the Beast's true self, she had no interest in him when he was disrespecting her.


As cheesy as it may sound, Belle taught us all that you can't let a man treat you like you're inferior, no matter the size of his muscles or his castle. On the other hand, she showed us that appearance isn't everything and it's very easy and completely okay to fall in love with a person purely based on their personality. And for all my fellow daddy's girls out there, she reinforced the fact that no one messes with your quirky inventor and gets away with it because he will always be the king of your own fairytale.

No matter what changes they make to the story in the new version, it is still bringing our love for the original movie back to life and bringing the magic into the lives of the younger generations who need to see it. Is Beauty And The Beast educational? Of course it is, when I have children in the future I'm going to watch it with them. I think it is time we all start getting our old videos out of the attic and planning our cinema trips!



Belle isn't just a Disney Princess, Belle is a role model. It's okay to be different, it's not okay for a man to disrespect you, you can stand up for yourself and what's right, it's what's on the inside that counts, and don't lose faith in true love because it really is more powerful than you think - breaking curses and what not, what more could you want?!

BELLE FOR PRESIDENT!

Friday, 13 January 2017

Sending Birthday Wishes To Heaven

I don't know if it's because of the Christmas rush or just a lack of inspiration, but for some reason lately I haven't had any spark to write anything of substance, nothing has been sending my thoughts racing and creativity flowing. However, this morning I have woken up on January 13th, my Nan's birthday, with too many things to say. Maybe it's because repeatedly listening to Ed Sheeran's Castle On The Hill lyrics are making me reminisce on past times anyway. So to be honest, I don't know what is more of a miracle, my late nan giving me the kick up the bum I needed to get writing again or Ed Sheeran!

My nan died sadly last February and personally for me, I can only describe death as a strange experience. Time has flown, but it is only recently it has really began to hit me. The realisation that she's gone as you're doing the most normal, everyday things like making a cup of tea or running into the shop for something as simple as a loaf of bread. Even now I am getting all teary writing this, but in a good way, my eyes are watering as I'm smiling thinking about her because the sun is shining in on me and I know she's reading this as I'm writing it. Saying that though, she really is everywhere around us anyway. Our house is full of pieces of her. I didn't see her all year round because she lived in England which is probably why parts of me are still hoping she's still there waiting for me to come home full of stories, laughter and tears. On these down days the closest thing I have to her is my dad, and even though our almost identical personalities mean we kill each other half the time, I know she is looking down on us as we are listening to Tyga in the car, arguing trying to move furniture together or  watching some boring programme dad is making us all watch even though he falls asleep halfway through it!

I know every family says it, but my family really are a crazy bunch! Trust me, all the generations, all the different personalities, all the different locations in the world where they may be based, but all a bloody bunch of lunatics! I have my dad's (perhaps, er sometimes slightly hot-headed) temper, which he told me nan also had (I definitely have my Grandad's session side though!) Although, I don't ever remember seeing this. I also remember her telling me about all her stories from her teenage years, the ones that would usually send her into such a fit of the giggles that we couldn't even understand what she was saying anymore. The stories that made her cheeks light up and the rest of the room too.

My point here is that we all remember her in different ways, but she loved each and every one of us in all these different ways. I remember her as a lovable nan - the only person who gave me sympathy when I sprained my ankle and had all the rest of the family making me cups of tea all day, the woman who told us her pet hamster had gotten out of the cage during the day but not to be alarmed if she appears during the night... well it's safe to say my sister and I didn't get much sleep that night!

Mainly though, I remember her as the safety net who brought everyone together. You never knew who was about to walk through the door but whoever it was, they would always be given a cup of tea and a fuss made about them which usually meant we were all ordered to make the tea while she made the fuss - 'Fe, make him a cup of tea and a sandwich!' Well the next thing you know in comes the whole family from near and far, the local priest, her friend from downstairs and suddenly I'm making 15 cups of tea and 30 bacon sandwiches! Even though my cousins are all different ages, doing different things and building their own lives, to me they'll always be the bunch of kids who I danced to Abba's Dancing Queen with as Nan watched on with all the aunts and uncles! Try to deny it to your mates down the pub all you want lads but I have the video evidence...

We all knew her for different things. To me she was a nan. To some she was a sister, so no doubt someone you bickered with like crazy but would also go to the death for. She was a friend to all, but to my Dad, she was and still is a mother. You only get one of those so I think you need to cherish them as much as you can, but when they're taken from you, as life often does, you need to look after all the pieces of them that remain and these pieces are people.

Even though the physical presence is gone, something must remain - her thoughts and memories, her love for people, her strong faith. This belief is the one that has really shaken me up the past few months and had me asking myself 'but where did she go?!' I believe she is somewhere watching all of us, watching all of our special moments in life and guiding us through the difficult ones. I'm sure she felt amazingly proud as she watched my sister getting her degree, I'm sure she is going to help my brother with his exams by giving him some of her faith so he has faith in himself to do well, I'm sure she is going to watch my beautiful cousin as she walks down the aisle this year. No matter what everyone may have planned, they're all different with different plans but she will be seeing all of it. And I'm sure she said to me this morning 'Get your lazy bum out of bed and get writing!' She always told me to focus on my career and worry about the men later on. Oh Josie, you wise lady!

Families are full of unique personalities, some that work perfectly together and some that clash like crazy, but the love that remains despite all of this is what separates your family from your friends. I know I'm not the first person to experience the death of a loved one and I hope for those of you that have, this is also making you smile as the sun is shining in on you. However, I think it has made me realise two things - You're stronger than you think and no matter what, you'll always be sending birthday wishes to heaven.


My dad and nan 


Happy birthday Nan, always loved and missed xx

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

My 21st Year

Firstly, to anybody reading this post and thinking 'where on earth has she been?' Well my sincerest apologies but it's not you, it's me. I have not forgotten all of The Fox Files followers, everything has just been all go! I have missed you all of course as I'm sure you have all missed me. Okay, please stop crying now though. Pull yourself together, I'm beginning to feel uncomfortable...

As Christmas has now ended and we have entered 2017, everything has quietened down and I finally have a chance to focus on my blog fully again. Yay! And trust me, you have no idea how amazing it feels! Over the past few weeks I didn't only celebrate Christmas and welcome 2017, I also reached a major milestone in my life - turning 21. So basically this time next year I'm going to be passionately singing 22 at the top of my lungs but not making any millions from it or dating Tom Hiddleston or Harry Styles. Well, not that I know of...

When you reach 21, I don't think life dramatically changes. That's 21 years of my sarcastic humour, hot headed temper, numerous insecurities and the inability to grasp how to do fractions... and even though this should be the year where I have my life the most figured out to date, the opposite could not be more true. I still wake up on the occasional Sunday morning with my makeup still on and a half eaten kebab on my bedside locker (I usually just eat all of the meat out of it and conk, anyone else?) I still promise myself I will start a diet every Monday morning, I am still falling in and out of love, both with other people and myself, and I still haven't a clue where I see myself career wise 10 years down the line.

Are your twenties really your selfish years? Yes, to a certain extent, I think so. I like to think there is a possibility I could be sitting on a plane this time next month flying into a major European city that I booked last minute, and I think there is something incredibly calming about not knowing who you could meet tomorrow and having the freedom to do you. To be honest, as a girl who loves the feeling of being settled, having a routine and feeling at home, it is only as I was approaching 21 that I started to become unsettled at the thought of having a proper routine so soon. Maybe I do like the feeling of a certain amount of uncertainty after all.

I think for so long I was waiting for a moment, for something major to happen and for my whole life to fall into place. However, in my 21st year I have decided that for this moment to arrive, I have to live all the others too so this will shine in comparison. I don't think I need to know what I'm doing right now, I think I need to enjoy the uncertainty of it. This year I plan to book a holiday and work my ass off. My feet won't touch the ground because honestly, I don't think they need to just yet. My head is okay in the clouds for the time being because when it is time for me to come down I think life will grab me by the ankles and land me exactly where I'm supposed to be, when I'm supposed to be there. 

Is it even possible to know who you are at 21? How can I know the answer to that when I haven't been to enough places or met enough people? Is it selfish of me to become emotionally attached to handbags, online shopping, nights out, tea dates, and my list of goals for the future? If so, is that kind of selfish really a bad thing? Life didn't dramatically change when I hit 21, I've just decided to start embracing it more rather than waiting for a single moment.

I hope you all had a lovely Christmas and New Year, and thank you all for the lovely birthday wishes, I had a fab day!

Xx



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