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Frozen fever has overtaken my home, and it isn’t just my little 5-year-old princess belting out the songs. My tiny princes, just 2-years-old, can be heard uttering the phrase “let it go.”
The boundary-breaking princess empowerment is so important for little girls.
I can only look back and imagine how it would have impacted me to have Anna and Elsa to emulate instead of Ariel… You know, a movie about a princess finding her own voice instead of a princess giving her voice away for a man. (No hate. I still love the Little Mermaid and all the OG princesses.)
But I was also thinking over the last few days about how having movies like Frozen and now Frozen 2 will have positive impacts on the boys who watch them too.
There is a key moment that happens in Frozen 2 (no spoilers) when Anna finds herself in a bit of a jam. Her bf, Kristoff, rides in on (not a white horse) his reindeer, and says “I’m here. What do you need?”
That tiny bit of dialogue shows exactly the role that men play in this story.
Kristoff is NOT there to be Anna’s savior or take credit for saving the day.
He’s there to support her.
I’m not going to lie. That tiny little piece of this movie made me tear up a little. For so many women, this is all we have ever truly wanted even if we didn’t know it.
Not a man to save us as damsels in distress, but to be a partner who gives us a boost when we need and then steps out of our way when they aren’t needed. (Which of course we would do the same for them.)
Kristoff is the opposite of toxic masculinity.
He’s an exceptionally well-balanced version of a “masculine” man. He’s a man that young boys can emulate and look up to, while hopefully also looking up to the female characters in the story too.
I’ve always considered myself a “feminist” in that I believe in equality, but I never thought much about how inequality also harms boys and men too in a much different way.
You know… the whole notion that boys shouldn’t cry, be emotional, vulnerable, or basically any version of human that displays what is perceived as weakness.
This causes a lot of pain for our boys, just like being oppressed hurts our girls, the boys are being harmed through this type of thinking.
Until recently there were not a lot of men for boys to look up to in movies that were truly well-rounded individuals with healthy emotional lives.
Kristoff though? He is.
Beyond the way he supports Anna in a very modern way, he also has a deep emotional world which is put on display through his new song “Lost in the Woods,” a song that delves into his feelings for Anna.
Finally, it can’t be overstated how important it is for boys to see women who are powerful and in leadership roles.
The Frozen sisters each have their own strengths (and weaknesses). Both are powerful fully form and multi-dimensional characters. They are women that a child could and should look up to for one reason or another, including male children.
As women claim more power for themselves in the real world as well as imaginary worlds of film, boys will need to be able to work under and with women in order to be successful.
If they are only ever exposed to art, stories, film, etc. that shows men in the positions of power, how will they be able to exist in a world where the power dynamics are changing (and hopefully continue to change)?
So take your boys to see Frozen 2. It’s time boys had female leaders to look up to, and male supporters who are emotionally intelligent and non-toxic.
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