Elsa Can Like Girls or Boys -- but That's Not the Point of 'Frozen'

There's a big brouhaha brewing over Elsa. Some believe she should be given a Prince Charming of her very own in the Frozen sequel, while others think making Elsa the first lesbian Disney Princess is the way to go. Can we not? I mean, what's the problem with Elsa just enjoying being single for a while?

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From the first time I watched Frozen with my daughter, I was thrilled to see a Disney princess who didn't need saving from a prince. The story of two sisters who were able to solve all their problems themselves, and who in turn found a deep love for each other, was like a breath of fresh air compared to the decades of damsels in distress we've used to indoctrinate our girls.

Now our daughters (and sons) get to see there are lots of different kinds of love! Not just the kind of flighty love you develop over a quickie song and dance number about sandwiches with Prince Hans.

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This shirt design is pretty cool though.

But Elsa's being unattached was exactly what made Frozen's story so special. And it doesn't really matter whether you have a woman or a man play her theoretical romantic interest -- Elsa's real power over her young audiences, especially our girls, was that she showed them what it looks like to stand on your own, without any help from a man.

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I'm inclined to agree with the idea that a Disney princess with a girlfriend would be groundbreaking and important. But when we think about the age group that Frozen really speaks to, they're not exactly sure what romantic love really is, much less able to discern nuance. I would also argue, with a 5-year-old daughter of my own who's already grown up on Frozen, that the idea that some women love women and men love men isn't a revolutionary idea. It's the world she lives in and the way her friends' parents relationships look.

But seeing a girl completely untethered to the idea of needing to receive romantic love from anyone else -- male or female -- seemed to finally give our girls a break from focusing on that. Instead, there's a freedom to spend a little time exploring your own character, personality, and anxieties. Elsa had a lot of heavy stuff to work through, from her supernatural powers and the isolation that brought and losing her parents at such a young age. Elsa needs to spend some time working on Elsa before she's going to be ready to be anyone's partner. And that's the message our girls never seem to hear for themselves.

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So regardless of whether you're on Team #GiveElsaAGirlfriend like Alexis Isabel, a 17-year-old Florida student, who seemed to start this whole thing in the interest of acceptance and diversity, or one of the family values crew who likes their girls saddled up with a nice husband, maybe we can all come together and agree just to table this discussion for a while. Our little girls have the rest of their lives to fall in love and have their hearts broken and experience all the agony and ecstasy romantic love brings. But the years they have to just be themselves and blissfully unaware of all that are just so precious and few, maybe we can just show them a girl who's just fine being alone.

Because if it's up to me, I'd love my daughter to put all that mess off as long as possible. And sadly, in the world of Disney, there aren't a lot of ladies showing her how to do just that. So let's just let Elsa do Elsa for a while. She's got plenty of time to find love wherever her heart takes her.

 

 

Image via Sami Clara/Twitter

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