Questioning Everything Disney Little To Much

The Meanings Behind Elsa

***WARNING: DO NOT READ IF YOU HAVEN’T WATCHED Frozen. Though I don’t know how you haven’t seen it yet. SPOILERS AHEAD. READ AT YOUR OWN RISK***

Frozen is my absolute favorite Disney movie of all time currently after Aladdin and Beauty and the Beast. So, obviously, I’m going to be talking about the movie’s main(ish) character Elsa and some of the hidden meanings behind her terribly well developed character (millions of points for you Disney, you go Disney).

Now one thing that I noticed about Elsa was the fact that she was dressed in very dark colors in the beginning of the movie; black, purple, and a dark/navy blue. Some people think that her attire is such because she is a royal and the queen. Well yes, purple was indeed a colour associated with royalty, for example, among the Ancient Greeks and also they don’t call it royal blue for no reason. But the main reason that Elsa is dressed in such dark colours is because it reflects the emotions she holds internally due to the roller coaster of a life she has lived.

Elsa is a character that has faced many hardships throughout her years of being a princess:

  1. she nearly killed her little sister Anna with her powers unintentionally
  2. she ceased her relationship with Anna because of the incident
  3. as she grew older, her powers only became stronger and scared her
  4. she didn’t know how to control her powers (which is why she was scared)
  5. she had to hide herself from the world because of her powers and the fear of people thinking that she is a monster as well as hurting them unintentionally
  6. her parents died and she had no one to comfort her/ mourn with (mostly because she isolated herself because of the reasons above)
  7. she suddenly faced the stress of becoming queen and having to hide her powers from her entire kingdom even more than ever before

This is where we get into the absolute depth that Disney created within Elsa (you geniuses, God bless y’all at Disney). They combined all of the stress, heartache, remorse, anguish, loneliness and fear into a simple girl and managed to create a character that is the embodiment of anxiety and depression. After doing a little bit of research on types of depression and their symptoms, I’ve concluded (though I might be wrong, just saying) Elsa may have suffered from Dysthymia (a.k.a Chronic Depression).

Here are some parallels between the symptoms and Elsa:

  • Sadness or depressed mood most of the day or almost every day –> Elsa is seen in her room all the time without a smile on her face and hardly makes any attempts to try and have any sort of fun.
  • Loss of enjoyment in things that were once pleasurable –> Elsa’s powers used to make her feel happy because they provided her and Anna with fun but now all she does is fear them because, as previously stated, she has no idea how to control them and the only choice she has is to hide them from the world before she does something by accident and ends up harming someone at a greater scale than what happened to Anna years prior.
  • Feelings of hopelessness or worthlessness or excessive guilt almost every day –> After the incident with Anna when they were young, Elsa regrets her powers and feels the remorse of almost killing her sister. Not only that, but Elsa (in the beginning) knows that she has no idea how to control her powers, giving her a sense of defeat because of her lack of stability and I personally believe that as a royal, one should be able to know themselves and be able to adapt to certain situations based on that due to many of the experiences that royalty face when compared to the average citizen. Elsa couldn’t do that. She wasn’t able to learn adapt to anything because she couldn’t even learn to adapt to herself. Finally, because of the fact that she can be a harm to society and possibly be an outcast because of her differences, Elsa knows that she will never truly be accepted into her kingdom, therefore making her, in a sense, a worthless member of society.

Elsa, even though she is a member of the Disney community, is a perfect example for a person being impacted by the effects of depression and anxiety. From personal experience, I know that both of these mental issues are terribly serious pertaining to my personal generation, impacting teenagers and young adults in ways that they never used to in the past. With the creation of Elsa, I feel that Disney has done absolute wonders by incorporating these characteristics into a princess that overcomes her problems and becomes the queen she truly is.


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