I once wrote a post about my issues with what princesses represent. THIS post, however, is about me eating my words – well, nibbling my words, at least.
My daughter is a girl obsessed – obsessed with the movie Frozen. She eats, plays and sleeps with something Elsa, Anna, Olaf or Kristoff inspired, and I think it’s great that these are the princesses she has decided to love. They represent a whole new ideal of what a modern day princess SHOULD be. Here are my reasons why Frozen has changed my feelings towards princesses (written on the assumption that everyone at least knows the story).
1. Elsa & Anna save the day by themselves. In traditional Disney fashion, true love saves the day, but this movie shows that true love isn’t always between a prince and princess; sisterly (family) love is also true love!
2. Tall dark and handsome isn’t always as great as you imagine. I think it’s just wonderful that the prince is actually the villain in this movie. We’ve created a culture in which so many women have grown up thinking they have to wait for their prince to come along, sweep them off their feet, and carry them off to happily ever after in order to feel complete, which leads me to #3…
3. Sometimes it’s the not-so-glamorous man that is your prince. Kristoff, the guy that Anna falls for in the end, is a blue-collar guy who’s a little smelly and has a reindeer for a best friend. Take that perfect hair and high cheekbones!
4. Being different is okay. If only it was as simple as watching a movie to get this across to children, but perhaps it’s planting a seed in a younger generation. I’ve completely over-thought this subject, but I’ve wondered what would have happened if Elsa’s parents had harnessed her powers instead of hiding her away in shame. She’s the perfect example of what can happen when a child is made to feel like something is wrong with them just because they’re different. Perhaps this can help to open a dialogue about how to get kids to talk about how they feel different and how to treat others who may be different?
5. Olaf says it best: Some people are worth melting for. I found a lot of examples of sacrificing one’s self for love: The parents alienate Elsa to keep Anna safe, Elsa leaves Arendale to keep everyone safe, Kristoff leaves Anna at the castle because he thinks she will be safer with “her true love,” Olaf stays with Anna by the fire to make sure she gets warm, and Anna turns herself into ice to save her sister. Kids should know that love is not always perfect. It’s messy. It’s painful. And sometimes it doesn’t happen the way you want or expect it, which, however unpleasant, is an important feeling to understand.
If you’ve seen Frozen, do you think it has any other messages that are important for young children?