Elsa: Metaphor For Mental Health
Posted by flowerstar
22nd Jun 2020

Aside from Sadness from Disney’s Inside Out and Eeyore from the Winnie The Pooh franchise, Elsa is a metaphor for mental health.

Ever since she is born, she always has been different while her parents, her sister and her royal subjects are literally powerless. Since her birth, she doesn’t know where her magic comes from until she, Anna, Olaf and Kristoff travelled to the Enchanted Forest (and later Athohallan) to seek out answers.

Elsa may not be the only person who suffers from mental illness, anxiety and depression, Anna might be too. Due to years of being isolated from her elder sister, she is prone to talking to paintings or to herself, hence why she is so desperate for love as Prince Hans puts it. At the end of Frozen, she finally found someone to love in the form of Kristoff. Unlike Anna, Elsa still remains single but she doesn’t need a special someone to make her whole. She is a strong, independent woman who needs no man.

The gloves Elsa wore symbolise her habit of hiding her true self, including her ice magic. Prince Hans wore gloves to indicate his upcoming betrayal and his deception.

When Elsa said the words, “then leave”, to Anna, it hits home, not just their parents’ abysmal parenting skills and their upbringing. This reminds me of the numerous times my bratty sister threatened to kick me out of the house. There are times when she forced me out of the house, despite I didn’t pack up my belongings and I’m still wearing my pyjamas. This caused me to distrust her even more than I already have. This is this one time when she tried to force me out of the house. This caused an outburst from me as I revealed my mental health and she and my parents are mostly the sole reason why I am the person I am today in a negative way. This resulted in her gaslighting and guilt-tripping me before she shut off my PlayStation 4 while I was playing Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair. She continuously to attack me which made me nearly fall off my chair. If my PlayStation 4 ceases to work because of her not switching off the console properly, she needs to pay me back £199.99. The nerve of her! She can’t be arsed to apologise to me. My mum didn’t even bother to do a thing to stop her. This incident still makes my blood boil.

On that note, I know what it’s like to hide things. I tend to bottle up my emotions and I keep my feelings a secret because I’m worried my friends and my family will react negatively. My toxic and abusive family explode with rage at the slightest mistake. This is why I tend to shudder whenever my parents or my bratty younger sister are within my vicinity. All my life I lived in fear because they might shout at me, talk down on me, belittle me, treat me like I’m worthless, throw verbal abuse at me or hit me.

When Elsa’s ice palace is under attack, the colour of her ice changes colour depending on her current emotion. For instance, the ice is yellow when she combats Duke Westleton and his soldiers. However, the ice becomes purple or turns into a dark colour when she struggles to control her magic. The colour reflects her fear.

During her childhood, Elsa’s parents told her to “conceal, don’t feel”, which resurfaced in the song, “Let It Go”. Just like the song “The Next Right Thing” from Frozen II, “Let It Go” is an anthem for people still fighting their mental illness, anxiety and depression. When Elsa sings the lyrics, “Conceal, don’t feel”, “Don’t let them know, well now they know”, “Let it go, let it go, can’t hold it back anymore”, “Let it go, let it go, turn away and slam the door”, “I don’t care what they say”, “And the fears that once controlled me, can get to me at all”, “No right, no wrong, no rules for me” “I’m free”, she expresses her feelings of being free from her responsibilities and her fears. Whereas Anna sings “The Next Right Thing” when she falls into depression after losing Elsa and Olaf (he ceases to exist when Elsa dies due to knowing the truth at Athohallan), despite she lost everything, she used the remaining strength within her to take baby steps towards the exit of the cave.

In Frozen and Frozen II, fear is the enemy. Especially the actions Elsa and Anna’s grandfather is responsible for, he caused them out of fear. He assumed the Northuldra are conceited and will think highly of themselves due to taking advantage of magic that surrounds them. This resulted in him killing the Northuldra leader. He’s afraid the Northuldra tribe will overpower the Arendelle army.

By the end of Frozen, Elsa learned to embrace her magical powers, she learned to control her ice magic and she learned to let the people she loved in instead of running away from them. At first, Anna thought true love is the key to break the eternal winter curse when it eventually turns out sisterly love is the key to bring back summer. All she needed is love, some understanding and people accepting her for who she is. This is all mental health sufferers could ever ask for.

What set Elsa apart from the mass array of Disney princesses is her inner battle with mental illness, anxiety and depression.

In Frozen II, Elsa is the only person who can hear a voice but everyone couldn’t. Not to mention, she’s the only one who can see the magical phenomenon appearing before her very eyes during the song, “Into The Unknown”. Ever since the death of her mum, she keeps hearing a voice calling out to her. When she reached Athohallan, the voice is revealed to be her mother’s when she is young.

Throughout Frozen II, Anna often relies on Elsa and following her around in order to keep her safe. She doesn’t realise she has worthy attributes to her personality. Not to mention, she doesn’t know how much potential she has. When the suffocating flames caused by the fire spirit engulf the Enchanted Forest, Elsa used her ice magic to douse the fire. This resulted in Anna going after her. After the fire is dealt with, Anna scolds Elsa for causing her to follow her into the fire and not being careful. This might mirrors the mental health sufferers being reckless and acting before they think. For instance, while I was still in the midst of transferring my belongings to my soon-to-be new home, I placed my Ratchet & Clank clay sculpture in one of the bags, not ever thinking about what might happen to it if I bring it out of the bag. By the time I dropped more of my stuff at my soon-to-be new home, it’s too late. Clank’s antenna and Ratchet’s head came off the clay sculpture. I can’t help but be saddened that’s a lot of money down the drain. I think it cost slightly over £100. A couple of days ago, I placed Clank’s antenna on one of the cardboard boxes (which contained the Retro Fighters Nintendo 64 controllers) and now I don’t know what my father has done with it when I realised it suddenly disappeared. This made me regret not placing the clay sculpture in a different bag instead of a bag filled with the rest of my belongings.

At the end of Frozen II, Anna realises how much she is capable of without relying on Elsa’s strengths. She soon becomes queen of Arendelle whilst Elsa is now the fifth spirit and the protector of the Enchanted Forest. Currently Anna is the Arendelle bridge and Elsa is the Enchanted Forest bridge.

Certain people (especially on Twitter) are still upset that Elsa no longer lives with her sister. At first, I didn’t like the change but now it’s grown on me and it actually makes sense. The thing is, sisters don’t live together in real life. Besides, Elsa has found a higher calling. She is finally free and she finally becomes the snow queen she always aspired to be. If she stays as a queen, her responsibilities will restrict her from experimenting with her magic. I wish I can be like her someday, free to do whatever I please without anyone telling me how to live my life. Look on the bright side, at least she can visit her sister and her friends whenever she wants.

On the other hand, Elsa comes off as a hypocrite in terms of making the decision to remain behind in the Enchanted Forest in Frozen II, particularly when she refused to allow her sister to marry Prince Hans of the Southern Isles in Frozen. Has she ever thought about: where is she going to sleep? How is she going to eat? How is she going to survive?

Elsa may come off as cold (no pun intended), quiet and reserved but she is actually a misunderstood person.

Yesterday while my dad and I were walking back to my home after getting off the bus, he kept telling and reminding I should get a job (which I already know many times) and I should give money to my mother. I wouldn’t bother due to her mistreating me, day after day. You know, if my parents truly loved me, they would’ve let me live with my friend. Sometimes, I don’t know what the hell my toxic and abusive family are talking about half of the time. Also, if my parents truly loved me, they wouldn’t have shouted at me and assaulted me when I was younger, especially when using a stick with a ton of feathers. Looking out for me, my ass. More like he and the rest of my family are controlling me and telling me what and what I shouldn’t do with my life. They have a tendency to put words into my mouth. They are one of the main reasons why I have trust issues nowadays. As a result, I continue to not trust them.

Just recently, my immature younger sister moaned and griped about me not purchasing a gift for my father because it’s Father’s Day today. She still assumes I’m using people for my own personal gain. Er… hello? I can’t go out even if I wanted to due to the stores are closed because of the lockdown.

Hours later, my mum told me to recycle my Powerpuff Girls posters when she noticed the posters inside an Elsa bag and told me I’m too old for the cartoon show. Just because I’m an adult doesn’t mean I’m too old for things I still like. It’s like as if she doesn’t know what fun really means. My abusive and toxic family still continue to be joykillers whenever they get the chance to merely rain on my parade.

My mum has placed a citrus fruit on my side of the table, despite I haven’t finished my dinner yet and my bratty younger sister had the nerve to take the fruit away from my side of the table. It’s clearly obvious she’s trying to starve me. She’s too blind to realise that abuse isn’t only for couples, it also applies to families too.

There is this one point where my bratty sister stooped so low to say to my face that I’m a waste of space, I waste a lot of things, I have no friends, I have no colleagues, she went on to tell me she has a friend who has Aspergers and she didn’t act the way I did or so she claimed (falsely, I might add) and she accused me of having multiple Twitter accounts. She’s only saying these things just to make her feel better. How pathetically sad can she be? Doesn’t she have anything better to do than to make my life miserable? She threatened to call the police on me so many times, don’t they realise she is clearly violating my privacy and my private space? The fact she threatened me countless times, it’s like as she’s not allowing me to write mental health articles on my blog or anywhere else on the internet, seeing as she has disconnected me from the internet. Where there is a will, there is a way for me to get back on the internet. Due to her obvious sinful actions, I don’t feel welcome and safe in my own home anymore. To make matters worse, she, the police and my parents think all I ever do is lie when this isn’t the case. I only document It isn’t fair when the abusers get away with their abusive behaviour scott-free and I always take the blame. They can’t always use the victim card forever. As soon as I leave the house, I’ll immediately change the status of some of the articles from “password protected” to “public”. Whenever I call them out on their abusive misbehaviour, they play the victim card.

Despite it’s scary to move out of my mum’s house, it’s for the best so my mind can be in a right place and so I can go on a road to recovery. Unfortunately, their abusive actions throughout the years have scarred me for life. I’m thinking of moving to live with my friend the instant my father moves to a retirement home/carer home. I don’t care what my toxic family says, I’m going against their rules no matter what and my mind has been made up. The YouTuber, Square Eyed Jak, make living alone look so easy.

Besides her fellow Disney characters such as Vanellope Von Schweetz from Wreck-It Ralph and Wreck-It Ralph 2: Ralph Breaks The Internet and Cassandra from Tangled The Series/Rapunzel’s Tangled Adventure as well as Ratchet from the Ratchet & Clank series, Elsa is one of my favourite relatable characters.

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