Outskirts online journal

Maja Rudloff

Further information

About the author

Maja Rudloff holds a PhD in Media Studies and an MA in Art History. She currently works at the Department of Communication and Arts at Roskilde University, Denmark, where she teaches and researches. She has a particular interest in visual, discursive and political dimensions of gender representation in the media.

[email protected]


Publication details

Volume 35, November 2016

(Post)feminist paradoxes: The sensibilities of gender representation in Disney's Frozen 



Disney’s 2013 animated movie Frozen has been hugely popular with critics due to its perceived promotion of feminist ideals. In this article, I investigate this claim of the feminist ideals portrayed in Frozen, from the perspective of visual and cultural representation, situating my analysis within the context of feminist and postfeminist media studies. Focusing on the signs and cultural codes used to create meanings associated with the movie’s main female and male characters, the article is structured around four themes: signs of gender difference, heteronormative romance and female agency, empowerment and sexualisation, and disparities in male/female representations and role models. Emphasising the conflicts and interactions between feminist and postfeminist messages, the analyses reveal that on the surface Frozen promotes a narrative of feminist ideals of equality, empowerment and female agency, but conflates them with postfeminist ideals of appearance, self-discipline and strongly gender stereotyped depictions with regard to how the characters look and act. Far from being ‘truly feminist’, it is concluded that despite popular sentiment to the contrary, Disney still has a long way to go towards promoting egalitarian and diverse representations of gender. 


Download PDF (full text)

Back to top

Outskirts online journal

This Page

Last updated:
Friday, 1 June, 2018 9:21 AM