Disney Does Not Need to #GiveElsaAGirlfriend
On May 1, 17-year-old Alexis Isabel Moncada, a feminist Twitter activist, started the hashtag #GiveElsaAGirlfriend as a means of prompting Disney to showcase Elsa’s homosexual revelation in the upcoming Frozen 2 film.
It comes as no surprise that the trending tweet has incited a heated debate as to whether Disney should follow through and support the LGBT community or introduce a male love interest for Elsa.
In response to the #GiveElsaAGirlfriend tweets, Gregory Mertz, US Director for CitizenGO, an online petition platform, created an appeal, along with the hashtag #CharmingPrinceForElsa to encourage Disney to continue their classic princess meets prince love story in the sequel. The document, which can be found at citizengo.org, states that Disney should not “use the influence of a film to feed our children with a political message” that would, otherwise, compromise their “innocence.”
However, what makes Disney such a successful corporation is that their films do not dwell on the romance between characters or explicitly highlight the flaws in the protagonists. Rather, it promotes acceptance, determination, and loyalty in the form of an action-packed, awe-inspiring movie.
Thus, the identity of Elsa’s significant other shouldn’t be the focus of the upcoming Frozen sequel. Do I personally believe Elsa should have a girlfriend? No. Perhaps a Prince Charming? No.
The original Frozen was viewed as an iconic film for its refreshing shift away from the typical “damsel-in-distress” scenario that occurs in fairytales- the problem is resolved after the two sisters save each other from the villain, Hans. The fact that Anna and Kristoff fell in love is not a justified reason to marry off Elsa for the sake of having someone by her side.
Disney has portrayed Elsa as an independent, strong, confident young woman who is capable of fending for herself and ruling a country with grace and dignity. She has become a role model for girls everywhere by clearly demonstrating a movement toward self-discovery and love for one’s self, not the need to feel loved.
Disney does not have to introduce a female love interest in the next movie in order to support the LGBT community. It has already been a long-time supporter of the gay community, actively showcasing its commitment in its parks and more subtly in its films. Since 1991, Disney World has been the host of several gay pride events, including the three-day Gay Days event in October sponsored by PRIDE- Disneyland Resort’s employee diversity group. After gay marriage was nationally legalized on June 26, 2015, Disney lit up the night sky with a rainbow colored Cinderella’s castle as a form of celebration.
The integration of LGBT characters in such animated movies is not a recent demonstration of the change in modern times. Countless films have incorporated ideas of homosexuality, feminism, and individual empowerment to uphold the firm’s values and appeal to an audience with a variety of beliefs. In some cases, the two protagonists find love in the end, like Anna and Kristoff. However, films emphasize the importance of individual growth, as seen in Elsa’s acceptance of her powers and her responsibility as a queen.
Although Frozen has been associated with character growth, primarily in the song “Let it Go” sung by Idina Menzel, Elsa’s story has already begun. It would seem unnatural to throw in such a huge character plot twist without first establishing sound evidence of her homosexuality in the first movie.
If Disney chooses to introduce a princess who identifies herself as a lesbian, she is a character who deserves a film dedicated to her own story. It would be a stepping stone in gaining recognition for the LGBT community. However, it is imperative to not let romance become the focal point that eventually replaces the actual plot.
Lilith Martirosyan is a first-year Business Administration major. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.