Frozen and Anxiety

I recently read a post on a woman’s blog that talked about Frozen promoting gay advocacy. I feel like it was a very far-fetched article and it was not at all what I got out of the movie. So I thought I would share my own thoughts.

Like most little girls growing up, I loved Disney movies. In my mind, the princesses were perfect. They were stunning girls who were the fairest in all the land. They sang like angels and they always married their Prince Charming. I idolized them growing up and dreamed of growing up to be a Disney princess. They were magical. Growing up, I came to realize that life does not work like most Disney movies portray and, although I may have tried, I was never perfect. I have had pretty strong anxiety since I was a little girl and I still struggle with it. It has caused me stress and has strained my health at times. Despite the fact that I know so many others that go through it, I have still tried to mask my own feelings and have felt shame when unable to control my feelings. For that reason, even though I am 21, Frozen was amazing to me. I related to it because I felt like Elsa had anxiety. I think the whole movie has many more great things that young girls can learn and/or relate to.

What I learned from Elsa:

From the time that Elsa was young, she felt that she couldn’t expose who she really was and had a hard time controlling her powers. She was terrified that the people around her would find out she wasn’t perfect. I know so many people who suffer from mental illness that feel like they are close to breaking, or terrified of what might happen if they lose control. Eventually she does lose control and she pushes everyone who loves her away. She runs away and sings an amazing ballad of letting go and accepting that “[the] perfect girl’s no more.” She accepts her own flaws and realizes that it’s part of who she is. By the end of the song, she has an amazing transformation. I know some people didn’t like the transformation and saw it as her transforming from a good girl to a bit of a bad girl… but that is not how I saw it. I thought it was amazing to see her transform, accept her flaws, and realize that they helped make her more beautiful and made her who she really was. I also think her running away was a good lesson for girls. I think that so many times we are tempted to push people away and isolate ourselves, all the while thinking that our loved ones will be better off. However, like Elsa, we usually cause damage to those we love when we push them away. In the end, she realizes the people that love her will be there and keep loving her, despite her powers.

What I hope little girls will learn from Anna:

So many little girls grow up thinking that they will fall in love with their first real boyfriend and live happily ever after. I am married and I often refer to my husband as my Prince Charming. We were childhood sweethearts, but our families both moved and lost contact. We didn’t see each other until the summer before my senior year of high school. My first high school boyfriend’s name was Michael. I was 16 and had never been kissed, nor had what I considered (at the time) to be a real boyfriend. It was something that my friends pointed out often. Michael had spiky, blonde hair at the time. I thought that was oh, so cool (insert eye roll here at how ridiculous 16-year-old-me was). Despite the fact that we had never had a real conversation, I thought he was the bees’ knees and apparently he thought I was, too. We started chatting through Facebook and later decided to date and be boyfriend and girlfriend. We would hang out, but it was always super awkward since we were both shy. He was my first kiss and the first boy to say that he loved me. In hindsight, I don’t think either of us knew what real love was. A few weeks later, he broke up with me. I felt devastated and didn’t understand how he could have broken up with me if he loved me. Now in Frozen, Anna immediately thinks she loves Hans and even though he is her first love, he ends up being the bad guy! Keep in mind that Michael was in no way a bad guy… he just wasn’t the right one for me. I think it is important for young girls to know that: just because a guy in high school likes them doesn’t mean he is the one; some guys may not have good intentions; and sometimes it takes a while for the real Prince Charming to get there. I feel very lucky that I found my husband. He is my absolute best friend.  I love also that Frozen shows: true love isn’t always that of a prince and princess; your family loves you more than anything; and the people you should be closest to are your family.

 

Overall, I think this movie is brilliant and that it teaches young kids many important lessons.

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