Friday, 10 May 2019
Rant: Ugly Duckling Trope
Thanks for joining me today! It's my birthday today and I thought, what better way to celebrate me getting older than to rant about tropes that make me angry? So today I will be ranting about something I never even really thought about until recently: The Ugly Duckling turned Swan trope that is everywhere. I find that this is more of an issue in movies than in books, but I still find that it is a reacurring trope even now.
I'm all for female empowerment and I do appreciate someone going through changes in order to feel better about themselves. However, I often feel as though with this trope the female character who is glowing up, isn't really appreciated as a human being until she has become "beautiful". I hate it because when these young girls are reading these books they feel as though they too have to undergo these changes in order to be of value.
It makes me think a lot about that one scene in the Harry Potter books where Hermione has her front teeth shrunken down because Snape, Malfoy, and endless others were terrible to her about them. I definitely don't think this trope applies to Hermione exactly. I just felt for her so much in those books especially considering the way that other characters would always criticize her appearance. I respected her a lot because of the fact that for the most part, she never had to conform in order to be brilliant. Growing up I think Hermione was a great role model for young girls despite the whole tooth thing.
I don't know, it just sort of pisses me off that girls are held to impossibly high standards; And that there are books out there that celebrate women conforming to societal definitions of beauty just so they can feel like they fit in. There are movies out there like She's All That where the entire plot is based on this sweet nerdy girl becoming that It girl and before that everyone sort of sees her as a joke. She's not really taken seriously because she isn't "beautiful" yet and then once she is her love interest finally cares about her. It's so incredibly annoying.
There are books and movies that I understand the transformation like The Princess Diaries for example. You know she had a role that she needed to fit and I understand why her transformation happened, it would have been the same if Mia had been a dude. I mean, you can't wear cleats to a ballet recital. However, I highly doubt that most stories that include this trope actually have this type of foresight in mind.
Anyway PSA: Stop making female characters unnoticed until they're pretty. Girls should be treated with basic human decency whether or not they choose to be high maintenance or low maintenance.
Thoughts on the subject?
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