For those of you who read my blog post Legotarian you already know that my son Webster no longer wants to associate himself with pink or anything “girlie,” which absolutely includes princesses. I was therefore a little surprised when he requested to have a Disney’s Frozen party for his 7th birthday.

If you are not familiar with this Disney movie, it is a story of two princess sisters orphaned early in life. The older sister Elsa has magic ice powers that she can’t control and distances herself from her younger sibling Anna to avoid hurting her by accident. Anna is not aware of Elsa’s struggle and is left to ponder why all her attempts for closeness are being rejected. A series of unfortunate events unfolds sending Anna on a quest to save Elsa and [SPOILER ALERT] ending with the sisters sorting it all out themselves.

Granted my son tells me that he likes this movie because of Olaf, the talking snowman, Sven the adorable moose, and the cool ice power tricks, yet I still think it is a contributing factor that the sisters are presented in a way that is not alienating to boys, as capable and independent human beings. Sure they have flaws, limitations and at times show poor judgment. Don’t we all though? And most of us have had parental guidance.  

Anna is a go getter. She sets out to find her sister on her on her own, declining help from her suitor and although she soon gets help from the ice expert Kristoff, she ends up saving him twice. She shows little fear, tackles a giant snow monster by using a tree as a whiplash and enjoys speeding in the sled. Finally, she punches out the prince who did her wrong and when this happened my son declared “when a girl can do that to a boy she takes the gold!” Not that I am in favor of violence but the guy faked love, left Anna for dead, and attempted to kill her sister. Enough is enough!         

I read commentary that highlighted Anna’s male love interest as a reduction factor of the feminist statement of this movie but surely one does not have to give up the pursuit of love and partnership to maintain independence? Let’s not forget, Anna buys Kristoff a sled, kisses him first and certainly has the greater job title and income. Also her sister Elsa ends up ruling the entire kingdom as queen with no king. So Disney, well done for making a movie with some spunky female leads, appealing to boys and girls alike!

Perhaps I could just ask for one little favor please? Yes I know it is not reality TV but still, a little variance in body type of the female leads would be marvelous. Specifically, on behalf of the eye size challenged people everywhere, can we just have one heroine that does not have 90% of her facial surface taken up by Bambi eyes?   

"Sisters are doin’it for themselves." 
— Aretha Franklin

(This post was originally published on Professional Women's Perspectives - Gender observations from a working life)


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