When Frozen debuted in 2013, some adult viewers suspected that Elsa, a character who is born with an innate difference to other people and whose magical powers make her not a "good girl," was intended as a nuanced and subtle portrayal of a gay woman in a predominantly heterosexual society. Now Disney fans are arguing that Elsa's possible homosexuality should be more openly on display: namely, that the new sequel film should give Frozen's Elsa a girlfriend.
The Twitter campaign was started by teen feminist Alexis Isabel, who founded the website Feminist Culture. On Saturday April 30, Isabel tweeted "I hope Disney makes Elsa a lesbian princess imagine how iconic that would be." Her follow up tweet "Dear @Disney, #GiveElsaAGirlfriend," which launched the hashtag, has gone viral, and has been retweeted over 1,800 times, showing the strength of support for the initiative.
Since there's currently no set release date for Frozen 2, with speculation that it would be available in theaters at 2018 at the earliest, the filmmakers certainly have enough time to develop a same-gender love interest for Elsa. The fact that it would be breaking new ground for the company is just a bonus. (Unless you ascribe to the theory that Oaken from Frozen is gay, but even that wouldn't be the same as having Elsa as the first canon lesbian princess.) First, let's check out the tweet that spawned the buzz.
The Twitter response has been ecstatic so far. There's some cold hard logic being put to Disney:
There's the emotional appeal:
Then there's a vision of how things could and should be:
Some jawdropping statistics:
And some nifty wordplay:
But why go to all the effort of developing a whole new character when there are already of plenty Disney heroines out there for Elsa to choose from? I can think of at least three existing Disney heroines that Elsa actually would date.
Like Elsa, Belle feels out of place in her hometown. Like Elsa, Belle doesn't seem to be that into the idea of a romantic relationship with someone else. Could it be because she's more into reading romances than actually having one? Or is it because the prettiest girls in the village she lives in are too busy crushing on the biggest, muscle bound dolt in town to notice our fair bookworm? Sure, Belle puckers up with the Beast at the end, but, come on. Girl had some serious Stockholm Syndrome.
Merida's only 14-years-old in Brave, so hitting on her at the time of the film would be a little creepy. But give her a few years, and I reckon this could be a beautiful match, since, just like Elsa, Merida's fiercely independent and has a past of struggling against the confines of the society she was raised in. Plus, like Elsa, Merida ends Brave without a male suitor, and, better yet, not even wanting one. If Elsa has to get a love interest in the sequel film, why not set her up with another princess who gets exactly why marriage is the last thing on her mind?
Disney's first cross-dressing heroine tore up the rulebook when it came to gender norms, slicing off her hair, binding her breasts, dressing up as a man, and going to war to save her father's life. And, nope, it doesn't automatically follow that she's gay. But still, how cool would it be if she was? The possibility of Mulan perhaps bisexual was explored unsatisfactorily in ABC's Once Upon a Time , and seeing it done by the original experts on the big screen would be amazing — if China and Arendelle could somehow occupy the same time and place.
Whether Disney designs a whole new lady for Elsa to fall for, or revives a classic Disney heroine in a newly openly gay role, there's hope on the horizon for all LGBT Disney lovers. So make sure you tweet your support to @Disney using the hashtag #GiveElsaAGirlfriend. It could make all the difference.
Images: Walt Disney Motion Pictures; Sophie Atkinson/Bustle (5)