I’ve watched Frozen three times so far, which pales in comparison to the number of times I’ve listened to the soundtrack. With each viewing I’ve been more impressed with the clever dialogue, catchy tunes, fanciful snow scenery, and most of all, the long-awaited shift in Disney Princess movie themes. Though it’s a seemingly simple change – from unrequited love to familial love that saves the day – I think Disney did a fantastic job embedding modern-day, realistic life lessons all throughout Frozen. Here are my favorites, in no particular order:
1. You can’t escape from the storm inside.
Concealing your feelings never really works, does it? Strong emotion kept inside will eventually eat you live or erupt at the worst possible moment; and, the longer you keep it in, the stronger the outburst (though, an emotional breakdown that allows you to construct epic ice castles and talking snowmen is kinda cool).
2. You can’t marry a man you just met.
Or a woman for that matter. Sure, you can feel attracted to someone you just met and want a relationship to work out, but love at first sight is not a thing. It takes times to get to know someone and their annoying habits – like how he or she eats or if they’re a nose-picker. Those are things you gotta know before you exchange lifelong promises.
3. Love is an open door…but check yourself before you wreck yourself.
You finish each other’s…sandwiches? That’s not a relationship. Yes, love SHOULD open up new possibilities and illuminate your life, but it’s easy to mistake infatuation for love since they both can feel similar in the beginning. This goes hand-in-hand with the last point: you don’t know enough after one day of butterflies to make a decision that lasts forever. So, don’t put pressure on yourself at the outset of a relationship to decide if he or she is “the one”. Eventually, if it’s the right fit, the right doors will open and you’ll be together.
4. Let it Go.
To me, it means finding freedom in giving up control. When you try too hard to “conceal, don’t feel” it drains your energy and happiness. I find my life is most balanced and under control when I just let it go, stop worrying about what I can’t control, and let life take its course.
5. All men do it.
Even though this line comes up in reference to eating boogers, it applies pretty broadly across the annoying, gross, or otherwise socially-unacceptable habits that are just human nature. All men and all women have their own unique set of behaviors that stay hidden from most. So stop being squeamish and secretive and be open about your quirks, because everyone has them!
6. Everyone’s a bit of a Fixer-Upper.
Even princesses of Arendelle and handsome orphan ice boys. No one is perfect, so don’t expect perfection in a relationship. Look for someone whose flaws you can accept and vice versa, instead of trying to change your partner.
7. True love brings out the best.
While the love expert trolls teach us that people don’t really change, they also point out that the right relationship will bring out your best qualities. When you’re in a healthy, loving relationship you don’t have to change the core of who you are, but rather, you’re inspired to be a better version of yourself.
8. Trust your friends and family.
The good people in your life will tell you when you’re about to make an ill-informed decision. You may not trust your entire family’s judgment or every friend’s opinion, but you know who knows you best. Trust those people when they tell you not to marry a man you just met. Love and other strong emotions often blind us to some of the most obvious warning signs, so listen when someone you trust points out a red flag.
9. “Can I kiss you?” is a great question.
Not sure if you have someone’s consent to hook up? JUST ASK. It’s the quickest and most respectful way to figure out if you’re on the same page as the person sitting next to (and/or laying on top of) you. Yes, it can feel lame to ask, but it’s not. In my personal experience, I’ve only been more turned on by someone who asked if I was comfortable getting physical. If you happen to come across someone who prefers not to be asked, he or she will probably tell you outright and then you won’t have to ask again. You won’t offend anyone by asking, but you might offend someone if you just plow forward without knowing if your partner is comfortable getting more intimate.
10. Only love can melt a frozen heart.
Cheesy and very Disney, but it’s true! Why do people grow cold and shut others out? Because there’s a void of love somewhere in their life. It all comes back to that. When someone’s rude to us we often respond with equal rudeness, but if you respond with a little bit o’ love and understanding it can go a long way. Three summers working in a restaurant taught me that humility and kindness can turn around just about any angry customer, and that lesson applies more broadly too. It may not work right away, but most people eventually respond to love.