tonight imagine me gown and all, fetchingly draped against the wall
a picture of sophisticated grace
I suddenly see him standing there, a beautiful stranger, tall and fair
I wanna stuff some chocolate in my face
Something I never quite expected was to have the character of Anna resonate quite so much with me. Growing up, I loved Jasmine most, probably because she was the only of the Disney Princesses who actually looked anything like me, never mind that I’m not in the least bit Arabic. I shared something with each of the other princesses I grew up with, though: Ariel’s fiery free spirit and determination, Belle’s love for reading and understanding of others, Mulan’s… Chinese… dress… (why couldn’t a Chinese dress be beautiful and meaningful and flowy like kimono or hanbok? Wait, the cheongsam is actually Manchurian? the hanfu is really the actual traditional Chinese dress?) … okay fine, Mulan’s sense of honor and duty to her family. In my adulthood (hahahaha), Ariel has definitely become my favorite of the classic Disney princesses, with Rapunzel from Tangled my favorite of the newer Disney princesses. I think it’s something about the ingenue wide-eyed spunk with which they drink in the world.
And then Frozen came out, and here comes Elsa with the big showstopping coming-of-age power ballad in which she transforms from a shy, cloistered princess into the strong and beautiful ice queen. That dress-into-ice transformation? Helllooooo mahou shoujo. I came out of the movie theatre scheming about how to construct that dress and my husband took one look at the glint in my eyes and said, “Noooooo Prissi nooooooo.” One at a time, he says, finish one at a time. Nevermind that I am not in the least fair and that titanium blonde hair would never look good on me.
But Anna? The awkward ganglyness, the wide-eyed honesty, the way words sometimes come out before she thinks, the way she wakes up in the morning, the way she fancies herself as someone more graceful than she really is, the utter randomness that is the way she bounces from thought to thought (from the man of her dreams to wanting to stuff chocolate in her face!) — oh… I think you wrote the essence of me into a song, there, Disney. ♥