A Disney-mad film lover who is possibly the film Frozen’s biggest fan is crediting the feelgood musical with curing her depression.
Kirsty Taylor, aged 21, has her dream job – she runs a children’s party company and dresses up as her heroine Princess Elsa for a living.
But it hasn’t been always plain sailing for the former drama student from Brinsworth in Rotherham.
In 2013 she was diagnosed with depression and was struggling to feel positive about her life.
Kirsty said: “Around the time that the film came out I was suffering from depression and that was one of the things that got me out of it.”
In the film – a computer animated musical comedy – the main character Princess Elsa possesses magical powers which allow her to produce ice and snow at will.
But after accidentally injuring sister Anna, Elsa’s magic powers are removed and she locks herself in her room.
A rift develops between the sisters, which is eventually healed when Anna sacrifices herself to save her sister, and the pair reconcile.
Kirsty said: “I looked at the journey of Elsa and identified with it. She locked herself away and had to deal with all her negative emotions but eventually she accepted herself and found the love of her family. It was an inspiration to me and made me feel ‘yes, I can get there too’.
“Watching the film was a coping mechanism. Whenever I felt like I couldn’t cope, I watched the film and it was an amazing, uplifting experience for me.
“I saw the film six times at the cinema and I’ve got the DVD which I’ve watched about 100 times.”
The former Brinsworth Comprehensive student has spent hundreds of pounds on movie merchandise and her haul includes dresses, wigs, dolls and even a blue and gold outfit for her cava-poodle – whose name is ‘Elsa’.
The film inspired her to set up her own business Wonder by Wonder Parties.
She dresses up as Princess Elsa and visits children’s homes and schools, plays party games with the children and teaches them dances and songs from the musical.
Kirsty said: “I become the idol in the film and have the uplifting experience of going to the parties and making the children happy, which then makes me happy. It’s a new craze and it’s also my dream job.”
Kirsty’s boyfriend Jake, 20, also helps with her business by playing the character of Kristoff, one of the film’s male characters.
Kirsty said: “Luckily he loves Disney – we went to see Tangled at the cinema on our second date.
“To be honest I think he’s got a bit sick of the film now but he is fully supportive of it because he knows how much it has helped me.”
Kirsty said her counsellor was also supportive of her new-found therapy.
“She said I needed to grab hold of anything positive in my life and quite a few people have told me they can relate to Elsa in the same way.”
Teen Teri’s a dead ringer for Elsa
There’s hot competition to look like Princess Elsa, it seems.
In December 2014 John Lewis worker Alexandra Jenkins from Bristol launched a career as a Princess Elsa lookalike after being mobbed by Frozen fans who kept mistaking her for the fictional Disney character.
Now one Sheffield mum is claiming the city has its very own Princess Elsa.
Trainee hairdresser Teri Wilding, aged 17, from Wincobank, is the spitting image of the Disney princess, says her mum.
Mum Alicia Thompson said: “I don’t know why everyone is making such a fuss when the real Elsa lookalike is right here in Sheffield.
“I’ve always made fun of the fact that she has very pixie-like features and I’ve often joked that she would make a great Disney princess or Tinkerbell-type character.
“She is 4ft 10ins and a size 6 frame, making her very petite.
“When Frozen was released finally everything fell into place.
“Every time I saw anything related to the film, I was confronted by my daughter’s cheeky face.
“Teri always disagreed with me about looking like Elsa, so I put it on Facebook and people agreed.”