Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

The Girl-Power Generation

The Girl-Power Generation
Still from Disney's Frozen

Ever since the November release of Disney’s “Frozen,” no one can seem to let it go. The lyrics of Idina Menzel’s beloved ballad have gotten stuck in many a head, and the question “Do you want to build a snowman?” has taken on whole new levels of philosophical significance.

Fans love the film for its infectious musical numbers, lovable characters and especially its message of the unbreakable bond of family. Critics herald its girl-power themes and strong female protagonists.

However, “Frozen” is not by any means a trailblazer in this regard. It’s merely the next step in the progression of Disney princess films that follows predecessors like “Mulan,” “Tangled” and “The Princess and the Frog.”

Disney princesses have been competent, ambitious and independent for quite a few years now, so much so that weepy and wistful maidens like Snow White and Cinderella feel like antiquated novelties in the Disney vault.

Nor does this trend exist solely within the Disney bubble. Our generation was raised on real heroines. Almost every massively popular modern work of literature and film has featured a prominent, strong female character.

Take, for example, the protagonist of “The Hunger Games,” Katniss Everdeen, who is the antithesis of the elegantly weak damsel in distress stereotype. Her power comes from her fighting ability and ruthless protectiveness of her family.

And she is beloved: “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire”became the highest-ever grossing film featuring a female lead (followed closely by its prequel). On Halloween, little girls everywhere switched out their pink princess ball gowns for bows and arrows. Katniss’ strength doesn’t make her masculine and unappealing — it makes her dynamic and cool, somehow more attractive.

Our generation has witnessed the dawn of the heroine. She is resourceful, independent, intelligent, powerful and tough. The overly feminine is no longer the standard. The overwhelming popularity of these modern characters can only speak to the desires of the society that loves them.

We want female characters that magnify the traits we see in real women all around us – women in high-power jobs, women with passion and ambition. This trend will likely continue, giving our generation and future generations more powerful female characters to admire and emulate.

(The cold never bothered them anyway.)


Kate Riga is a sophomore in the College. The Four-Year Run appears every Monday at

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