Of all the things we can accuse Disney princesses of doing, spreading a contagious disease is the oddest of them all. Perpetrating an unrealistic body image? Sure. Losing priceless glass slippers while running out of a party? Absolutely. But failing to practise 'social distancing' during the time of lockdown? Not until now!
In a parody video of the Beauty and the Beast opening song Belle, Youtube creator Sharon Luxenburg twists the tale to make it more current. Sung by Miri Zhavi, the lyrics point to Belle being ignorant about the pandemic; calling it “just another flu”. They also show the townspeople calling her out for failing to practise social distancing and stepping out of the house even though she is showing symptoms.
The video is both hilarious and kinda meta because this is a reality for many countries right now, especially the US. The country has seen a steep rise in cases, yet there has been little done to impose a strict lockdown mandate by President Donald Trump. He has faced harsh criticism from fellow lawmakers and the media. And now the issue has bled into meme culture.
While it might seem rude to make a song out of the recent epidemic, humour has been one of the best ways the world has been dealing with the issue. Between cats wearing masks and Australian nationals making videos about how to safeguard your toilet paper; people need a bit of chuckle right now. I mean, when I saw the Delhi Police’s tweet with Harry Potter in an invisibility cloak, saying that they are always watching out for us, I laughed. And it was a light moment first thing in the morning.
The parody video can also be a useful teaching tool for children as it contains essential prevention techniques, set to catchy tunes. It might ruin Belle’s reputation with the kids for sure, but I think she’s enjoyed enough time in the limelight already!