Before I start, I'd like to point out that I love belting out "Let it Go" at the top of my lungs as much as the rest of the world, and this is in no way meant to be a "bashing" post, just one to encourage us to think, and perhaps start a great discussion in the comments. :)
This song is a huge success for Disney, winning them an Oscar and becoming a world-wide phenomenon. Why is that? I think it largely has to do with the fact that all of us have some sort of personality quirk or flaw or some sort of issue we struggle with that makes us feel different and pressured by those around us to change.
All of us have had days where we just want to say, "Forget it! I'm tired of trying to live up to everyone else's expectations. I'm just going to be me, and I don't care what people think!!"
In my case, my biggest struggle would be my fight to control my weight. Because of my genetics, height, and build, I will never be able to attain today's standards of weight and beauty (not that I would necessarily want to go that far), even if I spent every waking moment focusing on it.
On one hand, I could pull a "beginning-of-the-movie-Elsa" and hide myself away, obsessing and panicking about each little pound. And to be completely honest, sometimes I do act this way. There are days when I want to shut myself away in my room because nothing in my closet fits right and I feel about as lovely as a large dairy cow. I constantly try to gage what others think of my appearance and wonder if the older ladies in my church are shaking their heads over the fact that I've really packed on the pounds in the last year or so. That's one extreme.
Then there's the "Let it Go" moment, where I get so frustrated with living this way that I say, "Forget it! I'm sick of dealing with this!! I don't care what anyone thinks. Forget rules, forget everything. I'm just going to be free and do what I want!!" (Which is essentially what Elsa is saying in her song.) And then I start eating everything in sight without a care in the world...or so I convince myself. Of course, in the back of my mind, I'm still thinking about how much I weigh and what others think and the fact that stroke and heart disease are rampant in my family. And a few weeks later, when I go up two dress sizes, I'm not going to feel so "free". That's the other extreme.
This is pretty much how I've made my food choices for the past few months, and the fit of my clothing proves it. :} (I'd like to just say, though, it was so refreshing to draw a Disney character that wasn't the size of a supermodel!)
Now, as fun as it would be to throw off all restraint and live the way we want to with careless abandon and without any consequences, most of us know that things don't really work that way. There are always results from our decisions, and to live in such extremes always costs us in the end.
Technically, I am "free" to overeat and do what I want, but I have to be willing to pay the consequences. I have to be okay with buying bigger clothing. I have to stop complaining about my body size and the fact that I'm too out of shape to take part in the activities I used to. I have to be aware that my choices might affect my health in the future. But if I were honest with myself, I would feel more enslaved than free by this lifestyle choice. And just as I would not be truly free, Elsa was not truly free at the point of singing "Let it Go".
I don't blame her for that moment at all. After spending her entire life stifled and paralyzed by fear and stress (mostly due to some sadly misguided parenting...but that's a whole different post), she needed that time to let everything off her chest. And really, I think we all can use that little "LET IT GO" moment every once in a while when we're struggling with something. The point is to move on and not get stuck in that moment. ;)
Sadly, by the time her next song rolls around, Elsa realizes that throwing caution to the wind and hiding away from everyone has not solved her problem. ("I'm such a fool, I can't be free...") Once again, she is trapped by her fears, and she ends up hurting her sister in the middle of her breakdown/panicky moment during that song.
I think we've all been here, too (or at least I have). When we throw off all restraint and live recklessly, we always pay in the end, whether it's that extra twenty pounds on the scale, or realizing we've unknowingly cursed an entire kingdom in eternal winter, or anything in between. :} And sadly, when we live this way, we often hurt those closest to us, without meaning to.
But the beauty of "Frozen" is that Elsa's story doesn't end there. She eventually comes to a balanced conclusion as the film winds down. She doesn't have to hide who she is, but she has learned that holding everyone at arm's length and doing her own thing doesn't work either. By controlling her powers with the love she has for her sister, she is able to enjoy who she is in a healthy way.
I will never be a size six. However, I don't need to go eat everything in sight just because that is unattainable for me. I need to try to eat right and exercise so I'm taking the best care of my body that I can, and then "let it go". ;) Let go of the fears and the obsession with numbers on a scale without letting go of the self-control.
I think it's easy to get into a mindset of excess and extremes, at least for me. I'm a very "all or nothing" type of person, as I've shared before on this blog. If I can't be perfect, I want to give up. What a silly way to live. ;)
As a follower of Christ, I have the added blessing of taking these concerns and cares to my Heavenly Father. He is the best solution for the extremes I unnecessarily add to my life, and He always loves me in spite of my imperfections.
So as much as I love "Let it Go", I like to think of it in the context of the entire movie, and remember where Elsa ended up after her power ballad. :)
P.S. Hmm, after doing this post, I'm realizing I actually can relate to Elsa a lot more than I originally thought! :}