Frozen Fails With “Fixer Upper”


In the last two weeks, I have watched Frozen three times.  Unfortunately, I never got around to seeing it on the big screen and my first viewing was on the plane home from Boston last week.  It was adorable and I—like so many who watched it before me—fell head over heels for Disney’s latest animated romp.  It was heartfelt, hilarious, and filled with great songs that have me tapping my feet and singing along when I simply think about the movie.

Everyone loves “Let It Go” and it really is a powerhouse song, but I can’t figure out why no one is talking about the poor message from one of the other songs: “Fixer Upper.”

Take a moment and watch.  I’ll wait.

Not to be a controversial, pot-stirrer, but isn’t this the wrong message to send to young girls?

So he’s a bit of a fixer-upper,
but this we’re certain of
You can fix this fixer-upper
Up with a little bit of love!

It’s fairly common knowledge that a lot of women (though not all women), get into relationships with men wanting to change something about them.  Whether it be their wardrobe or the way they chew with their mouth open, women frequently want to “fix” their mates, particularly if said mate puts a ring on it.

I have counseled many of my friends over the years and have actually taken my own advice as well: do not go into a relationship wanting to change your mate.  No good can come of that.

I once dated someone who I was not attracted to.  He was a great person and I liked him a lot, but there were certain things about his appearance and behavior that were not appealing to me.  When I started to realize that these qualities bothered me, I knew I needed to end it because there were things that I wanted to change and I cannot be with someone who I want to change.  It wasn’t fair to either of us and I find it detrimental to any relationship where one or both partners want to change their mates.

There are dozens of articles in women’s magazines that teach you how to manipulate train encourage a guy to become the man you want him to be.  I always skip over these pages with an eye roll and a sigh.  Why does society keep encouraging women to change their boyfriends and husbands?

And we’ve all done it under the guise of “if he loves me, he’ll change.”  Even Frozen makes it clear that love is all you need to change, though there is a little ass-covering back-pedaling with lyrics like

We’re not sayin’ you can change him,
‘Cause people don’t really change.
We’re only saying that love’s a force
That’s powerful and strange.

I’m on to you, Disney.

The point that I’m trying to make, dear Wonderlings is this: accept a person as is or move on.  You shouldn’t be with someone who wants to change you and you certainly shouldn’t be with someone who you are not completely happy with.  If you want to change your partner, I can guarantee you’re not completely happy.

I’m not willing to write off Frozen for this slight oversight with “Fixer Upper” (and quite frankly, I do like that catchy tune), but I think it should be addressed.  Young girls should not grow up thinking that love will change someone.  It’s false hope and can lead to some drastic disillusions of successful relationships, only enhanced further by the magazines that reinforce these ideas such young ladies are bound to read through their teen years and early womanhood.

Let’s work on fixing the idea of fixing a person before we fix a person.

18 thoughts on “Frozen Fails With “Fixer Upper”

  1. skline2014 says:

    True love does change a person…YOU! It’s called acceptance and if girls are even thinking about changing their mate that person is not the one for them. You are spot on! Loved it. 🙂

  2. The Regular Guy NYC says:

    Whip me with a noodle, as I have still not seen Frozen even though I hear its great. Guess I’ll wait until it comes out on DVD. You are right as love does not change people, and neither do relationships. Accept them as they are or move on.

    • Jessica | Defining Wonderland says:

      You’ve got to see it, Phil! It really is a charming little film and available on DVD and Blu-Ray. I can’t recommend it enough and have already lent out my copy to a coworker.

      Acceptance is the key to life and all relationships. Without it, we can’t ever truly be happy.

  3. Caitlin | The Siren's Tale says:

    Very well said! One of the biggest mistakes I’ve made in the past dating (and have seen countless others doing the same) is trying to “fix” someone. People are who they are, and while they may evolve over time — many personality characteristics are permanent. The best advice my mother ever gave me on this is: Leopards can’t change their spots. It’s so true!

    • Jessica | Defining Wonderland says:

      I’ve done it too, Caitlin. Unfortunately, I tried to change myself to fit who I thought whichever boyfriend at the time wanted me to be. It was unhealthy, sad, and ultimately unsuccessful, but I learned so much about myself in the process. We must first learn to accept ourselves before we can accept others and if we truly cannot accept another, it’s best to move on. Your mom’s advice is great and very true!

  4. Shay Malone says:

    The effect for me was very different. I think mainstream media tends to promote choosing those who have it altogether (Hans) versus those who are more awkward and less socially acceptable (Sven). Fixer Upper to me was an encouragement to look past the “not quite polished” presentation to the person.

    Also, love DOES change a person. Not all at once and not completely, but a loving relationship should refine us. I’m a better woman for the honest reflections of my friends, coworkers and husband. We’re all fixer uppers and without relationships, we’d get worse, not better. So Fixer Upper was a refreshing change from the typical love song.

    I understand and agree with your point. We shouldn’t be trying to change silver into gold in our relationships. But we can, lovingly, polish the silver.

    • Jessica | Defining Wonderland says:

      Great thoughts, Shay! I agree with you about love changing a person, but no one should go into a relationship with that goal in mind. You can always polish silver, but at the end of the day, we need to learn to accept that the silver may never be polished. I personally would have gone with Kristoph because he was funnier and had Sven as his awesome sidekick. 😉 Thanks for commenting!

Don't let me do all the blogging, join in the conversation. Otherwise, I just feel like I'm talking to myself...

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