Fictional Female Heroines (mostly teens…)

Photo on 2012-04-16 at 10.32 #2

Before I start on my rant, sorry I didn’t post anything yesterday I was busy and was working on this but couldn’t stay up all night because like most human beings I’m not nocturnal. Also, I will apoligise yet again before-hand for saying: infact, totally and actually about a gi-zillion times. I have bad habits OK?!? Enjoy…

When I first saw hardcore dragon slayer Astrid (from the kids movie ‘How To Train Your Dragon’) my immediate thoughts were damn she’s awesome. Ok, I was probably too engrossed in the movie to think about that first time, but after the movie the realisation that I totally wanted to be Astrid sort of hit me real hard. Ok, so yet again, not as hard as the realisation that I totally needed to be Tavi Gevinson, but hey, still pretty hard. Actually, nothing really hit me at all; I just drew a picture of Astrid in my notebook and left the cinema knowing she was a character I wouldn’t forget.

Which brings me to my next point: what makes a strong or memorable female character?  Well, like Tavi explains in her TEDxTeen video (which she recently posted to celebrate the anniversary of her blog), movies and TV shows have influence on our opinions and ourselves in a way that we cannot even notice- groups like, I dunno, Marvel maybe? They promote unrealistic images of “super-women” who in fact are very obviously flat or ‘cardboard’ characters  because of the way they are depicted. For example, again like Tavi says: “a catwoman type who plays her sexuality up a lot”, but seriously, does playing your sexuality up give a woman any sort of real power? Does that really make them a strong female character in the long-term? Not really. And because of these all-rounded characters (who are really good at one thing and then all her flaws or everything else that matters is completely covered up), we get this image that woman are simple when in actual fact they are one of the most complex things (I couldn’t think of a better word OK!?) in the world. This again again again (sorry) like Tavi says, “…Makes women feel mad at themselves or not being as simple as they supposedly should be.” So what I and probably a lot of people out there are trying to say is that: a strong, memorable female character does not have to be this perfect, amazing person that is depicted of us in todays culture- in fact (how many times have I said that?) To be a strong character it’s actually good to have weaknesses and flaws to balance things out {the key is in the flaws…), sometimes the most interesting characters aren’t the smartest or nicest or most likeable at-first. It is often that the most complex female characters are the ones you can keep your eye on and eventually relate to. Which sort of brings me onto the next bit…

My old baby-sitter introduced me to my first 90′s style culture American film: ‘10 Things I Hate About You‘- a sarcastic romantic comedy about complications of finding yourself between the cyclone of teenage life. I tried to do one of those cheesy movie blurb things giving just the right amount away, but it failed. So I’ll just say: basically, this dude fancies this girl called Bianca, but here Dad’s wacked out and won’t let her date until her “physco-feminist” sister, Katarina dates- so obviously the movie follows Cameron as he desperatley tries to convince her sister to go out with this total dude…It’s such an awesomely funny movie- well it kinda has to be if it’s got Heath LedgerJoseph G.L and Julia Styles in it right? I think I get {LIKE} half my insults from that movie, so we’re cool…And my first (of three female) heroines is- no surprise there…”The hostile, the vicious, the muelling, rampale-ian wretch herself: Katarina Stratford…”

-WHY?

Well first and foremostly because she doesn’t actually give a crap what anyone thinks, which in reality is quite an achievement for someone her age, because when you’re at that, I dunno, like puberty stage and nearly every girl is “totes hating on themelves” and your self esteem just goes out the window, it’s really awesome for someone to be that secure about them selves and actually confident about who they are. I love that bit in the movie when Joey Donner drives up in his flashy red car and comments on Kat’s clothing and you can see that she totally doesn’t let it get to her because she merely rolls her eyes and says: “run along”- it’s true that movies are really influencial, I probably don’t realise it but I use that phrase every time some jerk off tries to comment on my clothes. Another reason I like her is becuase she just does what she likes and doesn’t let what everyone else’s doing rock her boat (you find out why later in the movie)- she’s one of the few female characters who’s actually that determined about her beliefs and won’t do something just because everyone around her is doing it (literally!) Anyway, considering the points above, she is (and is proud to describe herself as) a feminist who stands for what she believes in, doesn’t give in to peer pressure and certainly doesn’t dress or act or do what she does for boys {feminism is not a rule book so I’m not saying that’s how every feminist should be but it’s very admirable none the less!} Lastly, she is probably the best at shooting back insults (which is good in my case because I’m pretty crap) so I watch it many a times to fill my book of insults to whip out when some ‘can’t-get-over-him-self’ boy tries to come and be his usual slef. In the end I think the main thing that makes her such a strong female character is the fact that she’s so controversial to the typical weedy or body-obsessed or girly image of teenagers at that age.

Katarinaparkinglot <– clip to watch.

My second character is Astrid. Have you ever watched ‘How To Train Your  Dragon’? Well its a good kids movie, and (unlike Disney’s sexist fairytales telling stories of princesses ‘simply waiting for their prince to come’) it gives off good vibes. My favorite character is Astrid: (I’ve already kind of talked about her so I won’t say too much)…she’s this is tough viking chic who’s totally there to win it and doesn’t let boys get in her way, I mean, that’s one of things most of my fictional herioines have in common I guess- they’re really dismissive of boys and just are those kind of girls who the boys are intimidated by I guess…I’m not saying that to be a strong female character you have to be anti-boys: infact, in both of the movies I’ve talked about so far, at the end of the movie the relationship between the character and co-character develops to reveal their compassionate sides. Anyway, I LOVE ASTRID.

The last character imma talk about today is Hit Girl from the movie ‘Kick Ass‘. Ok so she’s possibly the coolest kid in the history of movies and knowing me, I’m probably gonna be crap at describing this cause I get too excited to actually say anything educational or interesting or of any relevance to you, kind reader. So Hit Girl is Mindy, a young girl who’s been taught by her super-cool ex-policeman father how to defend herself in the most brutal way possible- she’s an 11-year-old killing machine who will KICK YOUR ASS. I mean, it’s obvious what I like about her: she’s tough, she doesn’t need anybody (certainly not boys!) And she’s totally confident about herself. I love people who aren’t all weedy and weak and like: “Omigod that is like totally the most butters photo of me, you’re too beaut xx”, she likes herself and isn’t scared to show it, why shouldn’t she like the way she is? Anyway you gotta watch this movie, THIS GIRL IS THE BOMB.

HitGal <—clip to watch.

I really wish I was introduced to shows like Freaks & Geeks, My so Called Life or Ghost World (I would say as a kid but somehow that doesn’t fit) earlier: they’re such honest shows in the department of teenage life, Tavi’s always talking about how influencial they are: Lindsey Wier and Angela Chase who are still trying to figure it out- I think something that’s really good about those shows is that you can totally relate to them- I loved it! I watched Freaks and Geek this morning and got totally stuck into it. I am totally buying some kind of set {and I can feel an obssession on the horizon} “Not again” I hear you say…

And guys, if you wanna be like these girl bombs, please,

just {like Tavi says AGAIN AGAIN AGAIN} “Just Be

Stevie Nicks”

Comments
4 Responses to “Fictional Female Heroines (mostly teens…)”
  1. Ginny! says:

    AWESOME! :D Happines!

  2. Steve says:

    As an author who is particularly poor at portraying believable female characters, I found astute this article to be very interesting.

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