We’ve all done this. Someone shares something on Facebook, you click on it, then another link catches your eye, so you click on it. A few clicks later you’re reading some off the wall article on a site filled with questionably unreliable information.
My journeys down the Facebook link-clicking trail usually start with the intention of catching up on current events. Then I proceed to waste an unsuitably large portion of my day watching viral videos and picking up sex tips from fashion magazines.
This morning I was lead down a different path. I managed to click myself into the blog of a self-proclaimed “Well Behaved Mormon Woman,” who had some strong opinions about the movie “Frozen.” Somehow this transcended into an oddly moving moment, complete with tears.
I don’t know that the article has gone quite as viral as the Christmas Jammies bit I wrote about a while back. But I thought I’d try my hand at another response. Writing about things that aren’t necessarily funny terrifies me (although I do cry in this one, which is always kind of funny. I’m an ugly crier). I’m not sure if I feel vulnerable or that I’m not skilled at “serious” writing or that what I have to say will come off embarrassingly trite. And also I’m sure I’ll offend someone somehow.
I was in the middle of my customary morning coffee and Facebook hour when I stumbled upon the article. My intention was to read and discard it, as I do with the majority of my online findings, especially those that contain content I don’t care for. This time however, I continued to read. The gist of it is this: Ms. Well-Behaved believes the objective of Disney’s “Frozen” is to further the gay agenda to normalize homosexuality. Her words, not mine.
To be honest, I continued to read mostly because I could not figure out what she was talking about. I kept reviewing the plot over and over thinking, “Wait. Who was gay in this movie? I swear I don’t remember anyone being gay. I thought this movie was about ice. I’m so confused.” I’m typically pretty quick to pick up subtext and symbolism, but this movie I took at face value. It never even occurred to me that it could’ve been about anything other than someone with a very, very unfortunate case of super secret hand-freezing power.
For the love of all that is holy, this article could not have possibly been any less concise. I have absolutely no authority as a critic, but my intuition says she could’ve slimmed it down by sixty percent or more. I too struggle with over explaining. It takes self-restraint to refrain from spelling out exactly what you’re getting at. But at some point you have to stop writing and give your audience credit. If you’ve done your job well, they’ll understand what you mean.
I just rambled about rambling. Awesome.
I finally waded through the excess text and found the heart of the content. I really wanted to know what I had managed to overlook. Of course I figured it out myself about five sentences ahead of the explanation. I don’t know how I missed it. Probably because I was too busy being mesmerized by Elsa’s secret lesbian snow powers. Here’s the gist of her interpretation, broken down into formula:
Secret ice power = same sex attraction
Hiding secret ice power = hiding said attraction
Feeling sad about hiding your ice powers = not coming out makes you feel bad
Advising your sister not to marry someone she met a few hours ago = heterosexuals diminishing gay marriage (This advice given by the so-called victim???)
Not isolating yourself in an ice palace = coming out = using your gayness to benefit others
And then she posts the lyrics to “Let it go.”
At that point I felt the need to impulsively download the soundtrack and listen to it while going about my household chores. She’s right. I failed to notice the obvious. The movie is absolutely about hiding yourself away and the freedom and that comes from opening up, asking for help, and even acknowledging your own value.
And then I started to cry. My super secret hand freezing power presents itself in the form of addiction. I hate really hate crying. I hate crying even more when it’s over a Disney movie. I feel embarrassed just typing this. I don’t know where the line between meaningful and sappy cliché is. I decided to write another letter.
Dear Well-Behaved Mormon Woman,
I read your post regarding “Frozen.” I agree with you. It could be about being gay. It could be about a lot of things; hidden talents, insecurities, abuse, failures, anything a person fears about him or herself. For me it’s crippling alcoholism.
I happen to think you’re doing yourself a great disservice by assigning the process of self-acceptance to a singular group, by the assuming that any media suggesting someone take pride in who they are somehow automatically translates into an agenda.
Let’s say the person who wrote the script actually was writing about acceptance of homosexuality into the mainstream. Why does it matter so much to you? It’s about someone in pain, scared to cope with who they are or what they’re struggling with. Never at any point did they say you had to like that person. They’re just asking you to acknowledge how much it hurts to live under lock and key.
In a sense, by insisting the film was created only as a means of promoting the gay agenda you’re giving that agenda more control over your life than it would have otherwise. There’s something to be said about the power of self-control. Let it be someone else’s agenda. It doesn’t have to be yours. You’re missing out on an opportunity for personal growth. Take the movie and make it about you. It could just as easily be about a person hiding less than popular religious beliefs and the desire to share them. That’s your call.
I listened carefully to the soundtrack. Somewhere in the midst of my second time through I found myself in tears. It was the snowman song, not the epic ballads, that got to me. Just a simple song about a sister asking another for a few minutes of her time. I happen to have not one, but two, sisters who have placed a lot of unanswered calls. We used to speak often. Then one day I started letting my voicemail take over and quit responding. I’m familiar with shutting out the people who care most about me. My phone doesn’t ring much anymore.
So take with you, if you’d like, a mental image of me. I’m in my son’s room, sitting in a pile of Legos, sobbing because I never built a snowman with my sisters. That was my experience and it meant something to me. Please don’t take it away.
Person trying to find her way out of an ice castle
I came up with my own formula:
Secret ice power = Personal struggle
Hiding secret ice power = Isolating yourself to avoid pain
Feeling sad about hiding your ice powers = Feeling the pain of avoiding pain
Advising your sister not to marry someone she met a few hours ago = Advising your sister not to marry someone she met a few hours ago
Not isolating yourself in an ice palace = Coping = Using the resulting positives to benefit others
I don’t like fighting with others. I highly doubt many people are successful in persuading others through insults and criticism. I’m pretty sure Ms. Well-Behaved already has an inbox full of them. I choose to leave my feelings out for others to see. When everybody is screaming at everyone else, no one gets heard.
If you’re still with me and you don’t hate me or haven’t left to vomit over my extra-sappy words, there’s a link to the snowman song below. You’re welcome to picture me and enjoy a laugh at my expense.
Though fortunately my parents were not killed in a tragic maritime disaster.