Frozen wasn’t just your average mega-hit, earworm producing, toy-selling Disney blockbuster. Many cultural commentators praised the film — which was loosely based on Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Snow Queen” — for its deviation from the standard princess narrative. At its center is the relationship between sisters Elsa and Anna, two heroines who don’t wait around for a white knight or a charming prince to save them. And although Anna totally sparks with mountain man Kristoff (Jonathan Groff), the film ends with Elsa (Idina Menzel) ruling her kingdom autonomously, suggesting that “Happily Every After” doesn’t have to include a romantic relationship. Cue “All The Single Ladies.”
But with Disney currently developing a sequel to the 2013 animated hit, there’s a growing campaign to have Elsa settle down with a nice lady.
Teen activist Alexis Isabel Moncada, founder of the blog Feminist Culture, sparked the movement last month with the hashtag #GiveElsaAGirlfriend. Her original tweet has received nearly 3,500 likes and has been retweeted over 2,100 times.
— Alexis Isabel (@lexi4prez) May 1, 2016
Moncada makes a great point, as she explained to MTV.com recently: “The entertainment industry has given us girls who have fallen in love with beasts, ogres who fall for humans, and even grown women who love bees. But we’ve never been able to see the purity in a queer relationship.” And Frozen’s signature — and often unavoidable — song “Let It Go” has been recast by drag queens and other queers the world over as a coming out anthem, with Elsa’s struggle to accept and embrace her wintry powers seen as an unmistakable metaphor for LGBTQ teens’ struggle to accept themselves in the face of homophobia.
The #GiveElsaAGirlfriend hashtag isn’t the first time fans have put the pressure on the House of Mouse to have an existing character come out. If Finn and Poe aren’t a thing in future Star Wars episodes, the backlash could be so severe the films’ producers may wish they lived in a galaxy far, far away. But it’s slightly more complicated with Elsa. She’s already a potent example of a woman who doesn’t need a man or potentially any sort of romantic partner in her life. That’s an important lesson for anyone: being single doesn’t mean being lonely; career, friends, a sense of purpose can all be as fulfilling as a relationship — maybe even more so.
Still, you can’t argue with Moncada about the difference a lesbian Disney princess could make to young girls: “Giving young girls the chance to understand that a princess can love another … is vital to their development. No one deserves to feel isolated and confused about who they are. All we need is someone to show us that there are other options, other kinds of princesses, and other ways to have the happy ending that you deserve.”