By: Daniella Aryeh, Guest Blogger
In early June, my mom came to over to me with a huge smile on her face. Barely able to contain her excitement, she said, “Idina Menzel is having a concert at Radio City Music Hall!” Of course we got tickets immediately.
Many people know Idina as the voice of Princess Elsa from the movie Frozen. But my mom and I have been fans of hers for YEARS-from her Rent and Wicked days. What an unbelievably talented woman with an extraordinarily powerful voice.
While listening to her sing many of her hit songs from her Broadway shows, I realized how important her body of work is, and how many lessons her work teaches her audience.
Idina has played many strong women throughout her career. My two favorite characters that she has played are Elphaba from Wicked and Elsa from Frozen. And strangely, these two characters reminded me a lot of one another.
Both Elphaba and Elsa have were outsiders who were seen as evil by those around them. They both have powers that they had to learn to control. Due to their powers, they compromise who they are for so long, and were forced to live in solitude. In the song “Let It Go,” Elsa sings, “Don't let them in, don't let them see, be the good girl you always have to be. Conceal, don't feel, don't let them know.” For so long, both Elsa and Elphaba were told to sequester their powers and not to show who they really are to the world.
When their powers finally came out, they were seen as evil. Yet their powers did not make them villains. They are dynamic, complicated, conflicted, sensitive and vulnerable, scared yet courageous.
They are just like real women.
They both finally allow their power to come out and allow themselves to be who they truly are. Even though they are living in solitude, they OWN who they really are.
It’s such an empowering moment when they allowed themselves to break free.
In Frozen, Elsa sang: “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're going to say, the fears that once controlled me, can’t get to me at all.”
Elphaba sang in Wicked: “I'm through with playing by the rules of someone else's game. It's time to trust my instincts, close my eyes and leap. I'm through accepting limits, ‘cause someone says they're so. Some things I cannot change, but till I try, I'll never know, as someone told me lately, everyone deserves the chance to fly! And if I'm flying solo, at least I'm flying free. And nobody in all of Oz is ever gonna bring me down!”
These are my favorite lyrics of all time. They make me think that we continuously have to take stock of who we are. We care so much of what people think of us. We want to be well liked, but that desire makes us stifle who we are. However, the times that we are completely authentic, so many doors open and so much true love comes into our lives.
It is a scary thing to own who we are and to show all of who we really are to the world, especially for women, when we’re strong, powerful women. We wrestle with letting that be and still being loved.
But we can’t compromise who we are for others. Life is too short, you know? When you allow yourself to truly be you and allow your talents to come out, you have so much more to offer the world.
Do you find yourself hiding your light or being someone or something you're not? It's never too late to make a change! Embrace your authenticity and find others who support you as you really are!
I am in the process of completing my master’s degree in speech-language pathology. I love traveling, meeting new people, hanging on the beach, and will read anything I can get my hands on. I am obsessed with country music, and I constantly quoting Friends and One Tree Hill.
image via the personalfreedomproject.com