Hello, lovely people of the blogosphere. I’m back with another bookish post (on a kind of unrelated topic, check out this super cool book I read)
Where do I begin? I cannot tell you the number of books I’ve read where I just have to sigh out loud and ask “Why *insert name of author* Why did you have to do this? So without further ado, here are some stereotypes in books I dislike.
- the damsel in distress classic/a female needing a man to turn her life around
Girl, you do not need a man to magically solve all your problems and change your life. Seriously. I wish authors didn’t use this line because it underestimates us by a milestone. We can be strong and make our own choices, Instead of having a man swoop underneath our arms, kill the bad guys, and save the world. *cough, cough Kiera Cass*
- the girl who wears glasses, but because of beauty she switches to contacts
Okay, this really isn’t true. There are so many clichés which play out something like this: there is a girl who is considered a nerd and always has her nose in a book, but because of *insert dramatic reason* (like modeling) she needs to switch to contacts because glasses are ugly. Okay. I obviously rebel against every word of that sentence but still. It’s not just for beauty purposes, but it’s still a concept in society that still lives on (my big fat greek wedding, anyone?) In both books and movies, this message imprints itself into us like a constant reminder. This has got to stop.
- that one rich, mysterious relative
Like who are you, where did you come from, and how is your existence make any logical sense? You’re great and all… but you shouldn’t be here. Let me set the scene for you : some unsuspecting kids who have a mysterious, wealthy relative who they know nothing about. All of a sudden, they’re caught up in this big mess with the relative needing to save the world from danger. First of all, there are some major plot holes in this line, so if an author is planning on using it, it needs to be coherent in the writing. Otherwise, it won’t end well. I could list five books off the top of my head with this scenario.
- the tough boys who never cry
From what I observe, this is quite popular and I can never figure out why. Because it’s perfectly okay for boys or anyone for that matter to cry. It definitely won’t exploit weakness, but it’s a good way to let go. For those characters who say that they’ve never cried before, I’m a little skeptical… Plus, it’s hard to suppress emotions like that. Whenever I read about this in a book, I just have to sigh out loud.
- the “awkward introvert” who suddenly becomes an extrovert??
My friends and I were talking about this recently- how a shy introvert suddenly becomes an extrovert by the end of the book. The person from the beginning and the end is a whole different person. It could definitely happen in reality, but remember that these books go very fast. This could easily be a month for the main character to become that stranger. I mean, it could get first place in a contest for the most creative character, but I’m not sure it’s really what the author would be aiming for…
- falling in love over a school project
So this stereotype isn’t as bad, but it also has some holes. It also happens with friends, but more commonly with lovers. I can’t understand how two polar opposite who hate each other, would fall in love. Okay, I take the first part back- it is bizarre. Again with the timing card, this wouldn’t even be common since many of these projects should theoretically take maybe half a month to a whole? That would be less time to fall for the love of your life. Just sayin’.
- the orphan or poor who *surprise, surprise* actually is royalty
Nooooo not this again. Okay, I admit that I read the Ascendance Trilogy and I loved it, regardless of this line. But it does start to get unoriginal- it’s hard to keep your story creative and flowing with dozens of other books already following the same line. It’s all one big traffic jam. There’s also going to be an awful lot of explaining as to how this orphan has “royal” blood flowing through their veins.
- siblings who are seperated from birth by “danger or a prophecy”
- when people of color are portrayed as poor
Okay, I can understand if this happens in a historical fiction, because although it hurts, the truth is that it was possible in a time such as the 1900’s. But otherwise, it’s just plain racist and unsympathetic. Please.
- love triangles
Love triangles make a huge sticky mess out of things. Within young adult novels, it is the most popular used line of all time. From my perspective, I’m just enjoying this amazing book about slaying dragons and faerie realms when bam! I’m hit with a love triangle and it sure does hurt. I’m going to be brutally honest here- this happens a lot with a protagonist who typically unappealing and shallow. Sorry, I just had to get that out there. *Phew*
Overall, stereotypes suck because…
- they prevent more in-depth characters character building
- they prevent creativity within the characters and give the author a narrow outlook to work with
- they’re old.. they get so old
- they even indirectly affect world-building
- they can be extremely disrespectful to gender and race
stereotypes can be the factors of an amazing novel if the author knows how to properly use them
Moving on, here are some succulent pictures I took in my backyard which I think look kinda cool.
Are there any other stereotypes or clichés in books that you seriously hate? What about movies?
Shine on and dftba,