When my little girl was given the movie ‘Frozen’ for Christmas last year I absolutely dreaded the onslaught of ‘Disney cheer’ that every other parent had told me was inevitable. We had somehow managed to avoid the Frozen phenomenon for quite a while, despite the volume of merchandise stacked ceiling-high in stores and the themed birthday party invites we were receiving. “Not another Disney princess movie” I had thought to myself. Fortunately, I was in for a pleasant surprise.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m a HUGE Disney princess fan from way back in the 80’s, and a die-hard one at that. I love all things true love and romantic and am a huge sucker for it! But I pleasantly discovered that Disney princesses have come a long way since the 80’s and I couldn’t be more pleased. They’ve become strong, independent women and amazing role models for our little girls. Here’s what I love about today’s modern Disney princesses, Anna & Elsa:
Anna and Elsa’s struggles are realistic – Gone are the days of the Disney princess damsel in distress! Magic shooting out of hands aside, Anna and Elsa have real, modern-day problems just like everyone else; such as anxiety, fear, loneliness and family/relationship issues. Their problems are far more relatable than eating a poisoned apple, sleeping for a hundred years or being locked in a tower waiting to be rescued… by a man. Elsa didn’t wait for a man to rescue her from that dungeon; she simply busted out of that hell-hole and saved herself. Better yet, they both persist and overcome their personal issues and struggles with determination and the help of their amazing support network.
“You can’t marry a man you just met” – Finally, some sense! In most other fairytales, love at first sight rules all and once that happens, you marry the guy. Seriously? Like that EVER happens in real life (and if it does, it often ends in heartbreak). Falling in love isn’t about getting married straight away. Sometimes love and lust get cloudy in all the excitement. Elsa is a wise woman and she was right because Hans turned out to be a true tosser; an agenda-driven, heartless horse turdie. True love is something that grows strong over time and I believe we see that happen between Anna and Christoff. Ahhh true love!
The act of true love has nothing to do with a man – This was a pleasant surprise. In true fairytale style, the story cleverly led us to believe that the traditional true-love’s kiss was going to break the curse. Not once, but twice. Then BOOM! An act of true love can thaw a frozen heart; between sisters. A love that is truly strong and unbreakable. It was in this moment that all became clear to Elsa, and all became worth it for Anna.
Family is everything – Anna’s persistence in repairing her relationship with her sister was truly admirable. She had been shut out and ignored for all of those years, yet she never gave up trying to repair her relationship with Elsa. Despite being ignored, publicly humiliated and rejected, Anna’s love for her sister Elsa was greater than anything else and she was determined for that love to win, risking her life to do so and sacrificing it all. They teach us that family relationships are something worth fighting for, right to the very end.
So now I WANT my little girl to love these women and look up to them. I want her to recognise their differences as Disney princesses and the powerful messages that they convey. Let the Frozen phenomenon live on!