Tag Archives: good girl

Why Elsa speaks to recovering women

I Never Knew What I Was Capable Of Frozen Poster

 I’ll admit I am quote late to jump on the “Frozen” Disney movie  bandwagon. I do have a feminist bias against all things Disney Princess (see the book Cinderella ate my daughter for a fabulous exploration on this topic). However, finally watching the movie, I was pleasantly surprised to discover the character Elsa to be quite a good role model in some ways:

1) She’s not trying to keep it in anymore.

“The wind is howling like thus swirling storm inside- couldn’t keep it in-heaven knows I’ve tried.” *

What is “it” for recovering women? Well, many things: her stomach, her anger, her grief, her power, her voice. There comes a time when “keeping it in” doesn’t work anymore.

2) No more good girl.

“Be the good girl…conceal, don’t feel don’t let them know. Well now they know!”

Although being pleasing does have its assets, when it is at the expense of ones self, it is not sustaining. Being “good” becomes pink icing on a pile of rotting unmet needs.

In recovery, we learn that being authentic is the sustenance to our lives. What does this mean? It means risking “when you stop people pleasing, people aren’t pleased.” It means you practice trusting that having a self and your own needs will not leave you alone in an ice storm.

3) She went to nature to nourish her  soul.

“I am one with the wind and the sky… My power flurries through the air into the ground. My soul is spiraling in frozen fractals all around. And one thought crystallizes like an icy blast. I’m never going back the past is in the past.”

When Elsa left her childhood home, she discovered freedom in nature in being herself fully. She discovered letting go and releasing the past to the past. Nature has a way of allowing acceptance of all parts of the self and the cycle of birth, death, and the entire experience of the life in between. This allowance can create expansion and letting go of old stories about yourself and your life.

However, Elsa did find herself in a barren landscape, which leads to where Elsa got it wrong:

4) You do not have to isolate to be your authentic self.

Elsa created an ice storm of isolation from the fear of being herself and owning her power.  She was so afraid of hurting people she loved by being herself. But what she learned in the end (this is the recovery process of discovering and recovering ones self) is that you can be yourself in all of your powerful glory in a way that  benefits both you and others. You do not have to “keep it in,” “conceal,” or create a raging ice storm spewing out harm. How?

Listen to your feelings and needs.

Use your power in a way that expresses who you are and why you are here in this planet. Use this power to connect rather than isolate or hurt. And, as Elsa learned from her dear sister, you do not have to and cannot do this alone.

5) And last but not least, it’s not the Prince’s job to save you. Save yourself.

(But It’s ok to ask your sisters, brothers, and community to help.)

* All quoted words lyrics from the song “Let it go” by Idina Menzel

Addendum:

Elsa-frozen

If Elsa were not a Disney character, she would also have a realistic body size and shape. There is still more work to be done in that area. For a great article showing more realistic waist sizes of Disney Princess’s,

see: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/10/30/disney-princess-real-waistline_n_6076634.html

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