sex

"Let it go" sends the wrong message to girls.

If you have a young daughter, the fact that “Let It Go” from Frozen won an Oscar for the best song in a movie will come as no surprise.

For months now, it’s probably been lodged in your brain, am I right? Little girls are OBSESSED with this song in a way that’s difficult to overstate. Not only do they love to sing it, they love to perform it.

Frozen is now the most successful animated film in history and the soundtrack has been at the top of the charts since the film’s release.

I’m glad about this because there are some fabulous messages in Frozen. No Prince Charming here. The Prince is actually a dick. And the cheesy fairytale idea of love-at-first-sight is nicely skewered in a surprise plot twist that will have parents cheering.

Relationships rarely work out when your courtship is measured in minutes before you decide to get married. Remember that girls. GOOD MESSAGE.

But I can't get past this one thing in that song as it is portrayed in the film. It's such a great song and so much has been written about it - everything from it being a fabulous gay coming out anthem to being a feminist war cry to it just being really bloody catchy. All that.

I fear for the life of our DVD player (and my sanity) when Frozen is finally released and my daughter will no doubt want to play that song again and again. And again.

My problem is this: the climax of the song is where Queen Elsa shrugs off her 'good girl' image and basically turns into a Bratz doll. Why does she do that? Why does her emancipation and empowerment have to be reduced to a sexy make-over?

I'm not the only one who has noticed this. In a thoughtful piece called "I just can't Let It Go" , film reviewer and mother, Dana Stevens nails exactly how I feel about this pivotal moment in the song:

Dana Stevens, mother & writer

At the song’s emotional climax, as Elsa is about to see the sunrise for the first time from the balcony of her new crystal palace, she suddenly sees fit to express her freshly unleashed power by giving herself … a magical makeover. “Let it go/ Let it go/ That perfect girl is gone,” she declares as she ditches her old look (a modest dark-green dress and purple cloak, hair in a neatly tucked-up braid) for one that’s arguably even more “perfect.”

By the time she sashays out onto that balcony to greet the dawn, Elsa is clad in a slinky, slit-to-the-thigh dress with a transparent snowflake-patterned train and a pair of silver-white high heels, her braid shaken loose and switched over one shoulder in what’s subtly, but unmistakably, a gesture of come-hither bad-girl seduction.

YES, I KNOW IT IS ONLY 10 SECONDS OF AN OTHERWISE TERRIFIC FILM. But those 10 seconds - and the couple of minutes preceding it, are undeniably the musical high point of the film and they're the ones that have the greatest impact on the audience - did you HEAR everyone singing it as you walked out of the cinema?

Stevens continues:

Now. I am not saying that all movies for children should be ideologically scrubbed clean of any hint of sexuality. Nor am I immune to the fantasy—one that’s surely not limited only to women—of vanquishing one’s demons and tapping one’s reserves of inner courage while also looking like a million bucks. But I know I’m not the only one who feels a familiar sense of deflation every time that pulse-racing song (delivered so gloriously by Idina Menzel - or Adele Nazeem as John Travolta called her when he mangled her name in his awful Oscars introduction) culminates in a vision of female self-actualization as narrow and horizon-diminishing as a makeover.

And that's my point. I loved this movie. I hated the way Elsa finding her true self had to mean getting sexed up like a Miss Universe contestant, strutting on wobbly heels and swinging her hips provocatively. Because that's not what I want my daughter (or my son) to think is the path to feeling free and empowered.

Just in case you don't know them already, here are the 'Let It Go' lyrics...

The snow glows white on the mountain tonight
Not a footprint to be seen.
A kingdom of isolation,
and it looks like I'm the Queen
The wind is howling like this swirling storm inside
Couldn't keep it in;
Heaven knows I've tried

Don't let them in,
don't let them see
Be the good girl you always have to be
Conceal, don't feel,
don't let them know
Well now they know

Let it go, let it go
Can't hold it back anymore

Let it go, let it go
Turn away and slam the door
I don't care
what they're going to say
Let the storm rage on.
The cold never bothered me anyway

It's funny how some distance
Makes everything seem small
And the fears that once controlled me
Can't get to me at all

It's time to see what I can do
To test the limits and break through
No right, no wrong, no rules for me,
I'm free!

Let it go, let it go
I am one with the wind and sky
Let it go, let it go
You'll never see me cry
Here I stand
And here I'll stay
Let the storm rage on

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

Let it go, let it go
And I'll rise like the break of dawn
Let it go, let it go
That perfect girl is gone
Here I stand
In the light of day
Let the storm rage on

The cold never bothered me anyway!

Do you think Let It Go sends a bad message to girls? Do you like the song?

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