When the original Frozen trailer was published in 2013 people didn’t even know that the story involves female characters. Disney avoided taking the risk of losing their traditional fans and presented the upcoming movie as a winter tale of a funny snowman.
Less than a year later, Frozen themed birthday parties, Broadway musicals and all possible merchandise articles with Elsa’s portrait were spread all around the world. The snow queen has become the ultimate role model for girls and the second sequel has earned $600 million in just a few weeks. Those who remember the first movie loudly cheer in the cinema when they see their favourite platinum blonde female hero on screen again.
Elsa has flawless make-up, the body of a Barbie doll and she wears shiny outfits, which is well aligned with the traditional female stereotypes of Disney movies. Yet, she has earned the throne without being saved by a prince's kiss and she is clearly not a softie. She is different from any other princesses we've seen. Presenting a new type of female character in a leading role turned out to be a fortune making idea for the Walt Disney Company. Elsa is the common dream of all girls from the United States through Germany till The Philippines. Here’s why:
She is powerful
Despite her fragile figure, Elsa is the most powerful Disney character who is not a villain. Although she almost kills her own sister several times, her young fans claim that she is a nice person. Her mistakes are forgiven because she fights to overcome her fears and learns to express her love and devotion. It is indeed a huge responsibility to be born with such power and her own parents teach her to hide her special abilities instead of expressing them freely. It turned out that millions of girls and even grown-up women can relate to this story. We are raised to control our power, be polite, avoid risks and have the ultimate goal to get married. Countless examples of wasted female potential desperately scream from Elsa’s throat when she sings “Let it go”. She makes it pretty clear that she’d rather live isolated in the woods than being part of a society where she has to suppress her abilities. After she allows herself to break free, nobody can mess with her anymore. Period.
She has ambition
First of all, she’s not a princess, she’s a queen. Unlike her sister or Rapunzel from Tangled, Elsa is not a goofy female character but rather a so-called cold b**ch who walks out in the middle of a game and tend to leave others behind. Yet, the fact that she created Olaf, who is the funniest character of them all, proves that she indeed has an impeccable sense of humour. She just doesn’t have time to fool around. In the second part she makes a promise to find out the hidden secret of the magic forest. Even her sister, who is repeatedly been labeled as “just ordinary”, adds that it might be an overly ambitious plan but they’ll do what they can. Despite the deadly challenges, Elsa keeps her promise. She sets the bar high and won't let us down. Just like Elsa, the majority of women are hungry for adventure and we are eager to test our boundaries. It is just as boring for us, as it is for men, to sit on our butts.
She is honest
Girls are not encouraged to speak up their mind. As we become adults, we see our male colleagues freely express their ideas at meetings, ask for a raise casually and take action naturally. Most of the women remain silent. Nobody likes a difficult woman and by difficult I mean opinionated. We all thrive further during our career if we keep a friendly smile on our face and say what our supervisors want to hear. Elsa teaches the next generation that it’s bullshit as she opposes everyone who is in her way. She might not be as popular as her cheeky sister but again, nobody dares to challenge her. In the second movie she doesn’t even have human opponents anymore. They learned their lesson in the first part.
She owns her body
Elsa is just a few years older than her sister and yet, she is portrayed with feminine sexuality while Anna is just a "girl" in comparison with her. Elsa is a woman who reveals her body while she sings and in the second movie she owns her body like a sexy amazon. She wears tight leggings under her skirt and rides a horse barefoot. None of the Disney princesses were animated so mature before. Elsa is the character girls desire to become when they grow up.
As a mother of a 6-year-old Elsa fan I can assure you that Frozen is a gift to us all. I am specially thankful to those parents who take their sons to the cinema so they can also see a positive example of a powerful, ambitious, honest and sexually confident woman. When those boys become adults they might not be intimidated by strong women and call them nasty names anymore but show them the respect and affection they deserve. And if you still believe that Frozen is just a feminist propaganda, you might think about how it became the most successful animated sequel of all times.