Happy Monday, fellow book lovers! Hope you all had a lovely weekend and got some good reading done! And for those of you that were literally booked and now find that Goodreads is yelling at you for being behind on your reading challenge, just know that it’s the start of a brand new week and there’s still plenty of time to catch up.
Over the weekend, I joined Litsy (come find me by searching “NerdNarration” so we can be friends), a currently phone-only app that merges Goodreads content, with Bookstagram photos, and double the amount of Twitter characters. So basically a hodgepodge of all the social media outlets I love to utilize while connecting to fellow bookworms.
Anyways, after uploading my current reads and a few mini reviews to the app, I went to my Pinterest board to find a quote to share with my new community. I came upon a pin (see below) that I happily posted years ago without a moment’s pause that now has me second guessing my initial reaction. This pin brings me to today’s chat:
What do we, as readers, look for in our heroines?
Before I dive into my thoughts, let me reveal the pin that created this whole line of thinking: So like I said, I was much younger when I originally posted this problematic pin.
When I first posted this my thoughts were along the lines of: 1) It’s Pro-Hermione 2) It’s Pro-HP, and 3) It’s a sign of my maturity that I now (really, then because this was years ago) no longer supported the love-crazed motives of Bella, a character from a series I fawned over in high school.
Now, thanks to the book community, which has caused me to reflex deeper on the material I encounter daily, I do see some of the flaws in this pin. I don’t like that they’re making light of depression, anxiety, or suicide just to take a dig or to prove a point. I don’t like that they’re comparing one woman’s pain with another and assuming it’s the same.
That being said..
Part of me still fully supports this pin. Whether it’s the #GirlBoss in me, or really opening my eyes to the underlying messages delivered via today’s media, I want to champion the ideal that:
REAL HEROINES DON’T HAVE BLANK PAGES.
And if you’ve read New Moon, you know what I’m talking about. I like the idea that a girl/woman wouldn’t completely shut down or become a bitter version of themselves (I’m looking at you Cursed Child) because the male lead in her life walked out. I think providing stories where a woman has her OWN narrative and isn’t saved/guided/controlled/insert verb of choice by a male is good for young women AND men to read to help us understand how to navigate the world we’re living in. But wherever you fall on the pin issue, it leaves me with questions:
Does dependency make a character less of a heroine?
Do our ideal heroines need to be emotionally shut-off in order to garner our praise?
Do they have to have a goal beyond a love interest/happy family to warrant our attention?
Do they need to have achieved an “unimaginable” feat or standard in order to be admired?
Do they need to defy authorities and partake in superhuman, life-threatening scenarios to earn the title?
What is it that we’re looking for?
This really left me thinking for a good chunk of my Sunday, and I hope its landed amongst you as well. I’d LOVE to hear your thoughts on what makes a good heroine. Who are some of your favorites? Why do you believe they fit the mold? I sincerely look forward to your thoughts!
And, as always, Happy Reading!