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Dublin: 5 °C Sunday 20 October, 2019
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Opinion: Why I love ‘Frozen’ (embarrassing and all as that may be to admit)

Go on ya good thing, Elsa.

Claire Micks

WHILST THERE MAY have barely been a whiff of snow this winter, a trip into any retailer will confirm that it has, nonetheless, unofficially been crowned the ‘Year of the Frost’.

I am well aware of the fact that any cred I may have built up over the course of the past year writing in this space will likely be in smithereens after this particular indulgence in Disney-esque sentimentality, but sometimes a girl just gotta write what she feels, not what’s likely to impress. The cold never bothered me anyway…

I’m not ashamed to admit that I bought into the hype before Christmas, if for no other reason than that for any potential gift-ee between the ages of three and eight you simply couldn’t go wrong with any paraphernalia featuring those impossibly big doe eyes. I hadn’t even seen the film, but it didn’t stop me losing the run of myself in the ‘Frozen’ aisle of Penneys (and we’re not talking fish fingers here).

We finally got the DVD over Christmas, and man, did I fall for it hook, line and sinker. Found myself belting out ‘Let It Go…’ to a non-existent soundtrack whilst alone in the car, or humming ‘Do You Want To Build a Snowman?’ to the kids until even they had tired of it.

So why did I love it so much? What was it about it that sucked me in, all 5ft 10 inches, 11(odd) stone, all 37 years young of me? How did it manage to blast away all my innate cynicism which absolutely recognises it as a marketeer’s dream and an avid reinforcement of female stereotyping (have you seen Elsa’s figure in that turquoise dress)?

I think because its central theme of the inevitable pressure to hide our imperfections, our idiosyncrasies, our true selves from society’s gaze – and what that ultimately does to ourselves and our families – struck a chord with me. Sounds pathetic, I know, and ridiculously cheesy, but it did.

The pressure to conform. The tendency to shut away and isolate our problems. The feelings that each and every one of us harbour that we may somehow be ‘damaged’ goods who are unworthy, and who are likely to be left out in the cold should we reveal our true selves – who amongst us cannot relate, at least on some level, to those very human themes? I know I certainly can.

‘Don’t let them in, don’t let them see, be the good girl you always have to be’. What parent out there doesn’t want their child to learn that always being the good little girl doesn’t necessarily pay? ‘Conceal, don’t feel. Don’t let it show’. I, for one, never want my daughter subscribing to that kind of warped logic, no matter how commonplace. Be open, Lucy. Be honest. Come what may.

And as I watched this pint-sized Disney character throw off her shackles and let it all hang out, I found myself involuntarily smiling and cheering her on. Much to my three year old’s delight. Go on ya good thing, Elsa. Show my little girl what it is not to conform.

‘I don’t care what they’re going to say’. Damn straight sister. If she learns nothing else before she reaches four years of age, let it be that. To be herself. At all costs. Because the alternative’s really not worth living at all. No, she’s never too young to learn that.

Something about the film transported me back to circa 1984 and watching The Neverending Story in our local cinema. Oh, the sweet unadultered naivety of youth.

Something about it was simply magical. And it stripped back all those hardened layers of maturity and logic and adulthood that my 37 years on this planet have inevitably left, and reinvigorated that little girl in me, however battered and bruised. It brought me back to that happy childhood space of dreams and wonder and delight, which I thought I’d long since lost. And it just felt like a nice place to be. And all the more so with my three year old sitting there beside me.

Of course it also has the distinct advantage that it’s the closest I’m likely to get to being ‘off piste’ this year. Or at a ball. Or next or near any real glamour at all for that matter. But those benefits were purely peripheral.

So let’s be honest about it, ladies. I loved its heart. I embraced its cheese. I relished its romanticism. All the better for the fact that it might just teach my daughter one or two life lessons for the school or playground about the value of just being herself. Particularly given she’s likely to now watch it about 400 times…

Now, whether I’ll still feel this way come July as I’m watching re-run number 324 remains to be seen.

Nevertheless, it was still worth the risk. It’s a harsh auld world out there. Sometimes a girl just need a good old fashioned dose of Disney magic.

Claire Micks is an occasional writer. Read her columns for TheJournal.ie here

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Claire Micks

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