I’m not sure when a person realizes they are the unlikeable heroine.
It could be on the playground when they wear bright pink pants to school and everyone calls them: “the pink-pancer”.
It could be the horribly awkward middle school event when it was so hot they sweated like crazy and no one asked them to dance.
It could be the time they fought with their best friend and realized they didn’t have another friend to turn to.
It could be the time after time they trusted and learned they shouldn’t have.
It could be as an adult, when friendships are the hardest to find and keep.
It could be every time they attempt a conversation and the dreaded dead silent pause that haunts and lingers in the days and months after.
I’m not sure when we start telling girls they’re unlikeable. I see it in the media all the time.
The world tells us we must be young, and beautiful, and smart, but probably not too smart, maybe not too beautiful, definitely not too young.
The world tries to tell us we’re not unlikeable heroines, while enforcing we’re unlikeable heroines.
It’s not that I don’t want kickass heroine superheroes who are smart and compassionate and have wicked skills with a weapon. I love stories like this, write stories like this, and I’m happy to see more of them lately. I’m happy we’re being allowed to expand the narrow perception of media.
We aren’t always getting it right, but we can all see the attempts, even as we watch the stumbling.
I know I don’t always get things right. I know I’m not particularly adept at making people feel comfortable. I know my smile doesn’t come across as reassuring (when I’m uncomfortable, I kind of smile like Sheldon from Big Bang Theory when he’s faking it).
I know I’m painfully awkward and shy around strangers.
I know I can kill a conversation in ten seconds flat.
I know I’m jumpy and extremely distrustful of everyone. I know I’m paranoid to an unhealthy degree, and I know I’m not the fun girl, the girl who’s different, the girl who saves the day.
I know these things because I’m the unlikeable heroine. I’m terrible at cooking and keeping the house clean. I don’t remember things unless I write them down, and then I have to remember where I wrote them. I have massive driving anxiety so I guess carpool mom of the year is out.
I’m full of empathy but guilty of not having empathy at times. I can mourn for strangers sometimes better than I can mourn for a friend.
I could attempt to use a sword but it’d probably be more dangerous for me than you.
I am whiny, and dramatic, and annoying as all hell. Half the time I annoy myself, so I’m sure I annoy others.
I try to be respectful of people but catch me in a bad mood, and I might snap.
I rarely get super angry, but when I’m pissed, stand down.
The hardest part about being unlikeable is you know other people have their own quirks, yet they don’t seem so unlikeable. So what is it about you?
Sometimes when I read about unlikeable heroines, I start to feel really bad about myself. Because I am the unlikeable heroine, and I always have been.
It’s important to ones sense of self to be likeable. It’s not even that much of a compliment. It’s just the ability to be liked. It’s not even committing to full on like.
No one should grow up feeling like the unlikeable one. They are the heroes and heroines in their own journeys, and they should get to be who they are, flaws and all.
Everyone has the ability to be liked. Let’s stop taking that away from people.
If you want to read great stories about incredible heroines who are flawed and awesome I’d try Kresley Cole, G.A. Aiken, Victoria Dahl, and Tamara Morgan if you haven’t already. Share more suggestions in the comments if you’d like because that’s just off the top of my head.
If you want to read my rant about millennial news coverage, check out last week’s post HERE.