Frozen’s Elsa and Wicked’s Elphaba: Women Free and Proud

So I just saw “Frozen,” and I went alone.

And I’m so glad!

It was really the perfect movie tonight. I’ve been feeling a bit morose with all the snow and frigid temperatures. I’ve been avoiding going many places unless it’s work or absolutely necessary. Haven’t been able to see my friends as much. A bit o’ cabin fever!

And I’m delighted to find a Disney movie that champions the notion of “true love,” as that between two sisters– not just a romantic relationship.

One sister, Elsa, is ashamed her her powers– which she hides from everyone. She feels it’s a deformity, much like Princess Fiona did in “Shrek.” When she leaves the kingdom in a scandal, she breaks out into the wilderness and transforms into the truest version of herself. She rejected the facade she initially held for her kingdom– and came into her full power

Previously set to be queen of her homeland, she was in conservative royal clothes and hair.

Alone, Elsa blooms into a different kind of queen: one who smiles, who runs free with abandon. Her hair comes down, her ensemble transforms into something majestic. And without the fear of society’s reactions, she doesn’t have to wear gloves to contain her ice magic. She can let it go, with JOY. And she builds herself an ice castle, where she doesn’t feel lonely. She feels HERSELF. She’s not afraid. She’s relieved.

“The cold never bothered me anyway.”

And of course, her sister Anna comes after her–

I won’t spoil EVERYTHING. 🙂

But I love Elsa so much. I relate to her. She felt she had to be a certain way– stoic, perfect, for the public. Always in control. She was always composed, but never showed her fears. She dealt with things on her own. She was afraid of her own power.

That’s how I feel about writing. And this blog. I’ve built a certain image here. But I’m not perfect.

I’m not always happy. I get mad. I just don’t show it to many. I tend to pray and write and deal with that on my own.

Writing is a power that I don’t yet know how to manage, I’m still figuring it out. I’m getting a handle on managing a blog that makes me or less a public figure– even on a small scale.

I only share my true feelings with a small circle.

And I find a lot of love and support in my friends, especially my female friends. I have some great male friends, too.

Being single is like being in the wilderness. I’m still finding my way.

And winter has always been my favorite season, just like Elsa.

But that song, “Let it Go,” is ringing in my mind. Even more because Idina Menzel, one of my favorite actresses since “Wicked,” is singing it.

I haven’t loved a musical song this much since “Defying Gravity.” They’re both about freedom.

About trusting your own potential. About venturing out, alone. And Elphaba, the Wicked Witch of the West, is a character defined by the her passion for justice– which left her feeling mostly isolated from her peers. “Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West,’ is a Gregory Maguire novel I’ve read several times. Elphaba Thropp is probably my favorite literary heroine. She feels isolated in every way. She doesn’t feel a spiritual connection to God, though her father is a preacher. She is keenly intelligent and sarcastic– but many bully her because she’s green. Because she thinks differently. She doesn’t find her purpose until she drops out of college and ventures away, alone. The book is so much more adult than the musical– darker, richer. It encompasses religion, politics, racism, and questions about the definition of evil. Does Elphaba have a soul? She doesn’t believe she does. But she spends her life dedicated to a passionate belief, though she stumbles many times. She endures a lot of loss. She doesn’t think her life amounts to much. But her legacy lives on, and we see by the end of the novel that her work mattered to many, even if she didn’t realize it was important at the time.

I don’t know how I got over here! But this is me. Wandering, connecting disparate things.

I like the way my mind works. It’s creative. It’s not afraid to roam.

And I like that Elsa stands confident and alone at the end of the movie. Just like Elphaba.

Both “E” names. Both played by Idina Menzel. Both wonderful role models for women.

Feminists.

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