I had plans for today, but I got a cramp in my leg despite imbibing plenty of liquids, so I returned to the AirBnB to nurse it, which lead to me writing this, because I wasn’t able to walk very much. Therefore, here I am, lying in bed, writing this. And don’t worry, the cramp does have a very strained connection to what I’m writing about here.
I just read a book called Unlikeable Female Characters by Anna Bogutskaya. In her book she describes various archetypes for female characters, that have caused controversy in some form or another over the century of visual media she covers. The last of these archetypes is The Weirdo and one of the examples she give of this trope is Wednesday Addams. The book was written before the Netflix series, so it covers the two movies from the 90s, where Christina Ricci played the characters.
The key point in this part of the book is that we enjoy Weirdos, because they are comfortable with who they are. Wednesday doesn’t care that she dresses differently and that her interests are nothing like the people around her (except for her family). Actually, the whole family approaches life this way. They don’t care what you think of how they live, but Wednesday is easily the most popular of these characters. Despite her namesake series being pretty bad (the character is what carries it, but I do hope they don’t try to force her into being more “normal” as they seemed to, I mean I sort of trust Burton on this, but I’m not sure the Netflix execs understand why we enjoy her antics), it is the second-most watched series on Netflix ever (after Squid Games). There was a time when my YouTube shorts recommendations was just a series of Wednesday dancing to The Cramps (I told you there was a very strained connection to the cramp in my leg). While that scene is one of those things that goes against The Weirdo principle as Wednesday goes against her character here by trying to fit in, it is a glorious scene.
Anyway, I really, really don’t like Wednesday trying to change. Sure, we should be willing to change if there is a need to do so, but is there a need for Wednesday to change? She might not be happy with her situation at the boarding school, but that should not be a reason to change herself. That’s a reason to change her circumstances, not accommodate the wants of others.
A huge part of being a teenager for many, many people is trying to find and show your individuality by joining a subculture, which is fine. It is good to find like-minded people, especially if you are feeling isolated. At the same time, others should be able to let you be yourself. Be a Weirdo. I am.
Should you try to better yourself? Yes. This isn’t an excuse to stop doing that. No one is perfect, but we should try to be.
Honestly, I sort of lost the thread here. So, I guess this is just a recommendation to get the book by Bogutskaya.