Beauty's sisters are the main antagonists of the French fairy tale Beauty and the Beast, originally written by Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve and later adapted and shortened by Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont (whose version is the best-known version today).
Beauty's sisters are two (or five in Villeneuve's version) daughters of a widowed merchant. In addition to their younger sister Beauty, they have three brothers. Beauty's sisters are both beautiful, but Beauty is more beautiful than they are.
The sisters are selfish, spoiled, and vain, and hate their sister Beauty, whom they are sorely jealous of.
Role in the story
When their father becomes poor due to losing his ships, as well as their mansion being burned down via a fire, his family is forced to live in a farmhouse. One day, he finds that one of his ships had survived. he goes to find it and promises gifts for his children. Beauty's sisters ask for clothing and jewelry, while Beauty asks for a rose. The rose leads him to the Beast's palace.
When the merchant agrees to let Beauty stay at the Beast's castle so the Beast will spare him, Beauty goes there, and later comes back dressed in fine clothes. Beauty gives dresses to her sisters, but they turn into rags when they touch the two girls (for the Beast had meant them only for Beauty), enraging them. Beauty has to return to the Beast's palace in seven days. Beauty's sisters devise a wicked plan to keep Beauty from returning (in the hope that the Beast will eat her) - the sisters beg her to stay another day, and put onions in their eyes to feign crying. Beauty agrees to stay.
Beauty then rushes back to the palace, only to find the Beast half-dead. When she cries over him, her tears cause him to return to his princely form. A good fairy appears to Beauty's family, and decrees that Beauty's sisters will be turned into statues until their faults are cured, fearing that they may forever remain statues. (In Villeneuve's version, the sisters are not punished, but remain jealous of Beauty.) Beauty marries the prince afterwards.
- Beauty's sisters do not appear in the Disney film based on the story. Instead, Gaston Legume, a character created for the film, serves as the villain. (They do, however, appear in a number of mockbusters of Disney's film, notably in Golden Films' version, which is more faithful to the original fairy tale than Disney's version.). They were, however, planned to be in Jim Cox's draft for the Disney film, sharing the same role as in the original tale, but they ultimately were cut both due to Jeffrey Katzenberg demanding a rewrite of the film, and because the screenwriter ultimately chosen to write the film, Linda Woolverton, wanted to make Gaston the central antagonist both as a subtle means of getting back at her husbands, and also because she thought keeping them in would have had audiences confusing them for Drizella Tremaine and Anastasia Tremaine from Cinderella. In another draft, written by Richard Purdum in response to Jim Cox's treatment being rejected, they were merged into one character, named Aunt Marguerite, who would have played a similar role of co-antagonist (alongside that version of Gaston, who was a French Marquis in that draft), although she was ultimately cut as well after Jeffrey Katzenberg demanded another rewrite, one that would involve a Broadway bonanza as well as a more feminist twist to the tale.
- The closest characters to Beauty's Sisters in the Disney version were the Bimbettes, where they have a crush on Gaston and a strong jealousy towards Belle, though they only serve as neutral characters rather than actual villains.
- In some adaptations for the story, the sisters are softened slightly by trying to have them play a role in attempting to kill Beast alongside Beauty's suitors instead of trying to target their sister herself for death. These include the 1947 film and the aforementioned Jim Cox draft for Beauty and the Beast.