When the Washington Post published this very serious and insightful piece yesterday on why little girls love ‘Frozen’ (The Psychology of Why Little Kids are Completely Obsessed with ‘Frozen’) we were, well, frozen. Psychology professor Maryam Kia-Keating and researcher Yalda T. Uhls may have been intending to give us insight into the workings of children’s minds. But, we quickly realized that they were actually describing gay men.It was eerie. In fact, they were reading us, hunty, for filth.
If you want to understand why gay men are obsessed with ‘Frozen’ simply DO THIS: substitute every reference below to “children”, “little girls”, and “preschoolers” for gay men and you pretty much have it. So, that’s what we did courtesy of the Brightest Young Gays team. #TheLibraryIsOPEN
The Psychology of Why Little Kids Gay Men are Completely Obsessed with ‘Frozen’
The Movie Perfectly Captures What It’s Like to Be in Preschool a Gay Man
By Maryam Kia-Keating and Yalda T. Uhls (Washington Post) [Edited by the BYGays]
When the animated film “Frozen” was released last year, no one expected it to become a worldwide juggernaut. “Frozen,” which earned more than $1.2 billion at the box office, is not only the first “princess” movie to make the list of top 10 grossing animated films. Even more astonishingly, it is also the No. 1 animated film of all time. Talk about shattering the glass ceiling, or in this case, the glass slipper.
Little girls Gay men have long been drawn to princesses, a trend documented by Peggy Orenstein in 2011’s Cinderella Ate My Daughter: Dispatches from the Front Lines of the New Girlie-Girl Culture.
In the past few decades, animated heroines have become increasingly diverse and self-reliant, which has broadened their appeal. In the 1990s, Disney introduced Jasmine and Mulan, offering new cultural backgrounds and brown eyes. And in 2009, with the “Princess and the Frog,” Disney finally created an American princess who just happened to be black. In all of these stories, the prince is still present, but the princess is often just as tough.
Nevertheless, some aspects of the princess franchises never seem to change: Children Gay men remain enraptured not just by the movies but by the costumes and the toys, too.
But what is it that makes “Frozen” so much more appealing than its forebears — and why does it enrapture young children gay men in particular?
As psychologists (who happen to be sisters, just like the heroines in the film) and the mothers of princess-loving daughters, we decided to consider this question.
First off, a preschooler’s gay man’s emotional world is reminiscent of “Frozen” heroine Elsa’s internal struggle: Her Her emotions are strong, passionate and seem uncontrollable.
Preschoolers Gay men, too, are driven by their impulses. When Elsa laments that she’s afraid that there’s “no escape from the storm inside of me,” it resonates with young children gay men (and perhaps their patience-tested parents, as well).
Secondly, preschooler’s gay men’s imaginations are at an all-time high, making the world a wondrous place filled with the possibility of excitement and adventure.
Children Gay men respond to stories that employ magical realism, so Elsa — as a superhero with what Maryam’s daughter and her friends call “ice powers” (the ability to create a whole castle of snow and ice using only her fingers) — has special appeal.
Perhaps because they are so in awe of her magic and power, children gay men are less likely to get caught up in Elsa’s experience of isolation and desperation when she is locked away in her room as a girl and hides herself in a remote castle as a woman.
But with the allure of magic and the sense that anything is possible comes a high potential for terror. Maryam’s daughter particularly liked that there isn’t a witch in “Frozen.” Though she adores other Disney princess movies, the witch-like characters (like Mother Gothel in “Rapunzel”) are all too real.
The scary parts in “Frozen” are minimal and temporary, and the villain is an ordinary guy who sings a catchy love song.
Thirdly, Elsa has a genuine connection with her sister, Anna. Despite Elsa’s repeated rebuffs to Anna’s attempts to develop a friendship throughout most of the movie…
…their bond underscores dedication to family above all.
Preschoolers Gay men are deeply entrenched in their families ‘families’ and tend to demonstrate a strong in-group attachment, meaning that they favor members within their social circle.
Even when “Frozen” viewers are rooting for Anna to form a relationship with her love interest, Kristoff, the love between the sisters is much more appealing. The heroines of “Frozen” are authentic and real, and no longer solely focused on finding a prince. They preach sisterly love and girl power.
Finally, the sing-along music seals the deal. Maryam’s 4-year-old daughter and her friends love to sing the anthem “Let it Go,” wagging their fingers at one another: “Be the good girl you always have to be!”
They stomp in unison, pretending to be Elsa stomping on the ice to create her castle.
Even Maryam’s 1-year-old son gets into the act, mimicking their behavior. When asked what she thought the song was about, Maryam’s daughter smiled and put it succinctly: “It’s about Elsa being happy and free, and nobody bothering her.”
So there it is, the crux of the matter: a universally appealing desire to be happy and free. Perhaps understanding the perspective of a preschooler gay man can help us appreciate some of what draws us all to this movie: We all feel internal struggles with our impulses.
None of us really wants a (too) scary villain. Most of us are pretty loyal to our families, despite their eccentricities and the emotional challenges that we face at times. And all of us want to be happy and free.
You can follow the @BYGays on Twitter for sass and info on queer DC nightlife as well as @WaPoTHING for awesome serious journalism.PostEverything is edited by @AdamBKushner, @AmandaWaPo, and @SimonesNews.