How can you not love Let It Go, performed by the glorious Idina Menzel in Disney’s animated tale of finding your true self and sisterly love Frozen? The song, which signifies Elsa‘s being able to use her icy magical powers without fear after she has been ostracized from nearly everyone around her, is a gorgeous girl-power anthem about casting away the doubts, fear and shame that have plagued her throughout her childhood. It’s the sort of message that resonates with so many people the world over, proven by the fact Let It Go has been performed in 41 different languages from all over the world.
This Let It Go Academy Awards win is also momentous because it means the song’s co-writer, Robert Lopez (who wrote the song with his wife) is an EGOT, meaning he has won Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony. Not too shabby for a 39-year-old.
When you compare Let It Go to the pop culture musical offerings our daughters are exposed to, the Miley Cyrus and Katy Perry and hundreds of other bubblegum, highly sexualized, auto-tuned ditties about mainly boys and meeting boys and dating boys and losing boys and making boys like you – Let It Go is about self-celebration and finding your true power within. It’s about growing up and learning to accept yourself and loving who you are on the inside.
I can understand why there has been criticism about the whole physical transformation Elsa undergoes when performing her anthem, the casting off of her cloak to reveal her slinky, icy blue, slit-up-to-here evening gown, but is that any different from all of the other Disney Princess movies and their heroine’s magical transformations? Cinderella got an evening gown, Ariel in The Little Mermaid got some long legs, and even book-smart Belle ended up in a flouncy yellow petticoat’d cupcake pile of tulle. The difference is, Elsa wasn’t doing this for a prince or because someone told her this is how a queen should look, she was casting off her cloak and everything it concealed while she had to keep her powers hidden, locked away in her room for so many years of her childhood. Her wardrobe choice is her decision, made alone on an icy mountain top where she finally accepts who she is inside.
It’s a gorgeous song, and one that sends a totally empowering message to all of our daughters about loving who they are. I hope Disney keeps up this trend of show-stopping ballads and story lines that have more to do with that message, other than meeting and marrying a handsome prince.