Women Reveal The Most Frustrating Female Character Cliches Of All Time.
There is still a lot of progress to be made on the representation of women in the media.
Here, women reveal the most frustrating female character cliches that still happen all the time in media.
1. As if you can't be sexy and look smart at the same time.
Wears glasses = super smart
Removes glasses = oh my gosh super babe
2. Hair happens.
Women waking up in the morning with a full face of makeup and perfectly styled hair. Or, women in the past or a dystopian future but they have curled hair and hairless legs. Like if you're on the run from zombies why would you be bothered about how your armpits look? Like when men are stranded on islands or whatever we see them growing long beards but leg hair on women is just too unreasonable.
3. Then they get all the credit...
The woman has all the skills, but has to teach some clueless man how to save the world. Because she's not "the chosen one".
If the Harry Potter series were called Hermione Granger she probably would have saved the world by book 4 and then become the youngest Minister for Magic in history by the time book 7 started.
4. I wear hiking shoes everywhere. No exception.
Women wearing heels in action movies (story continued on the same page...).
This is extremely unrealistic. I saw the photo from Ocean 8's and it's absurd.
I see female police officers in most tv shows wearing heels. It's utter bull.
5. So sick of it.
I'm sick of the "hot/nice wife and fat/old/balding/idiot husband" thing. Like every woman is supposed to be hot and a good person while staying married to a blubbering idiot who can't even tie on a pair of walking shoes.
6. All the freakin' time.
Black women are the supportive friend with no personality other than to be "sassy" and supportive of white women.
Asian women know karate or kung fu.
7. There's only ever one, too.
One "cool" woman that can kick butt and hang with the guys, but also needs to be rescued and is almost always scantily clad (or in a totally body hugging outfit that leaves nothing to the imagination) even when it's impractical.
8. You shouldn't be ashamed for being a sexual being.
I hate the women never want to have sex unless they're "morally deficient", especially when paired with the men always want to have sex trope (story continued on the next page...).
It's so hurtful to both genders. Women feeling ashamed of their urges and like something must be wrong with them if a guy doesn't want them. Men feeling like something is wrong with them if they don't want sex.
9. No personality.
The gorgeous supermodel who is 21 and has no muscle tone but can kick any man's butt. Usually has little personality other than can beat people up. I see this in most superhero films and sci-fi.
10. I'm taking that one.
What I call "Chekhov's Vagina". If a woman is present, fertility or motherhood or pregnancy is somehow brought up, regardless of the tone of the movie.
11. So many shows do this!
Latina women are super hot/exotic/dumb (a la the recent discussion of Sofia Vergara) or are only there to be the love interest and get no character development other than being a stereotype.
12. There's nothing else to life, right?
The hardened no-nonsense professional woman with a frumpy ponytail and boring suit who learns a valuable lesson about the true meaning of life: (story continued on the next page...)
BABIES. I NEED BABIES!!!! AND MARRIAGE!!!! BUT MOSTLY BABIES!!!
13. Diversity? Not really.
One Blonde! One Brunette! One Redhead! Power Trio!!!
14. It becomes their "thing".
No woman's sexuality or relationship status is a side note. A character can't be smart, good at her job, fundamental to the plot, and also, oh yeah, she has a girlfriend at home. She is now Lesbian Character. Same with Single Straight Woman or any other combination of relationship status and sexuality. Their relation to the plot is secondary to their relation to the male protagonist's junk.
15. Couldn't just be living her life.
If a 30-something woman doesn't have kids, it has to be a plot point. She's either frigid or barren. If she does have kids, every scene she's in is about her being a mom, because that's all she is now.
16. Being cool is not a nobel pursuit.
I really really despise the 'cool girl'. For reasons stated in the monologue in Gone Girl, mostly, but I find the obsession with being the "cool girlfriend" or "one of the guys" to be the source of much dissatisfaction in dating relationships that I know of, or worse, accusations of being a nag (story continued on the next page...).
When husband says that I'm ~NAGGING~ for asking him to try on the pants (that I ordered, brought in the house, unwrapped, and gave to him, and yes, it has to be done right now because I'm going to the post office and if they need to be returned, I can 2-for-1 the trip), it makes me mad that he thinks a 'cool wife' shouldn't ever ask for anything (FOR HIM!) ever. It makes me mad just thinking about that and how much he accuses his own SO of "nagging" even though it's 2 entirely different actions that are described as nagging. No, I'm not "cool," I'm actually quite tightly wound, but you know what?? Being 'cool' isn't a thing that my husband needs in a partner, and he quite likes that my uppity-ness translates into tidy, efficient lives for us. Just because you don't like your partner and wished she was cooler, don't project that crap onto me!
In a word, I hate "cool girl" tropes and how that's some noble goal that all women/ girls that are married or dating should strive to be - the utmost compliment.
17. "Change yourself and maybe then I'll love you."
The female sidekick who falls in love with the hero and turns into a completely different person as a result.
18. We don't care what you eat.
Personally, I'm tired of the "look how much I, an incredibly skinny woman, eat!" trope, usually junk food. Gilmore Girls is the worst offender of this.
19. And she ALWAYS has to make jokes about her weight.
The idea of the female comic relief in a film usually being the fat sassy one. So over that.
20. Representation is only good if it's positive representation.
When they just add a woman to a team because woman. She has no skills that are valued by the team, she just hangs around because romantic interest or something.
21. Even happens in animated content.
Gratuitous anime upskirt/cleavage shots. It's hard to recommend a show/movie when there's so much ridiculous fan-service garbage.
22. I had much better things to think about. Like, Pokemon.
Preteen girl characters in kids' shows whose defining interests are "boys" or "love" or "shopping", when a) girls of that age would be unlikely to have those interests as the most important thing to them and b) the rest of the plot is twisted to make these interests seem shallow and silly, as if boys weren't also interested indirectly in those things - 'shopping' is essentially just getting things you want. And 'love' and 'the opposite sex' are pushed hard as things that adolescent - and even preteen, sometimes - males live for!
On that point I'm also not a big fan of 'dating' and romance storylines at all on shows aimed at or starring preteens and early teens. Why can't everyone just be friends together and let 'best friends' be the highest level of relationship you go to?
23. "Other girls". What's wrong with being a girl, huh? What does that even mean??
The "I'm not like other girls because I was raised by 73 brothers, I'm incredible hot and ridiculously smart, also I'm single!"
This seems to be common in young adult novels: female characters with a mind of their own are seen as outliers instead of being seen as just another person. She states her opinions? She's the rebel of the family! She's got other concerns besides dating? She's the outcast of her school! She's strong willed? She's the hero of the story! As if there's only ever one female in any given situation who actually is capable of being strong and independent.
Those of us who live in New York live this truth on a daily basis.
Sometimes, you just meet a person who isn't quite all there. It's hard to tell at first, but then you talk with them for a little while and it just becomes abundantly clear if they're two eggs short of an omelette.
The stories of how you find out are so interesting. But yet, they teach us to look for clues when we interact with others.