We Actually Need MORE Problematic, Realistic Protagonists In Coming-Of-Age Stories

We Actually Need MORE Problematic, Realistic Protagonists In Coming-Of-Age Stories

Do-no-wrong characters written to be sugar and spice and everything nice are boring, leaving nothing worthwhile for the audience.

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It is inevitable to watch a movie, TV show, play, or even read a book without being able to recognize the protagonist of the story. The protagonist is the main character who is typically seen as the good guy/gal, the hero of the story. While these all can be true for the most part, protagonists certainly do come with their flaws that should be celebrated rather than criticized.

Let's begin by taking a look at some of the most recent examples of problematic protagonists. In the new Netflix series "Insatiable," a high schooler named Patty seeks revenge on everyone who used to bully after losing weight from a rather unusual incident. While the series follows her, a seemingly nice girl becomes a monster with ill intentions when she becomes skinny. While we're on the topic of new Netflix material, the same can be said about the title character in the platform's original movie "Sierra Burgess Is A Loser." Sierra Burgess, who is considered a loser at her high school, offers one of the most popular girls in school, Veronica, tutoring in exchange for her photos to catfish her crush. It's Dan, Sierra's best friend and supporting character, who points out the wrong in what Sierra is doing.

Troublesome, cringeworthy protagonists are not a modern-day emergence. Think of Holden from J.D. Salinger's classic novel, "The Catcher in the Rye." Between his constant complaining, lack of interest in anything, and overuse of the word "phonies," he's no ones favorite character in literature. However, these traits make Holden a wonderful character to experience as a reader. The undesirable qualities in Holden, as in most other coming-of-age protagonists, are what makes him realistic and therefore, relatable. The thing that is so important about these types of stories is that it isn't about saving the day, but rather growing and learning about oneself- a heroic act in itself.

It is rather refreshing to see imperfect and even unlikable main characters. Do-no-wrong characters written to be sugar and spice and everything nice are boring, leaving nothing worthwhile for the audience. Let us applaud the introduction of more and more three-dimensional characters to keep us audience members on our toes. Perhaps the definition of the term "protagonist" is changing, and that's not necessarily a bad thing.

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13 Quotes For All Of Us Empowered Female-Identifying People Out There

For the days when you need to be reminded that you are really doing the dang thing and doing it well.

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For the days when you need to be reminded that you are really doing the dang thing and doing it well.

1. Do you really need someone else's permission, acceptance, wink, or nod, or are you ready to give these to yourself? -The Universe

I get notes from the Universe everyday and all of them are so amazing and inspiring. There might be a few of them on this list. You can sign up for your own notes from the universe here.

2. The princess saves herself in this one. -Amanda Lovelace

The quote is based off a book called The Princess Saves Herself In This One, which is a collection of poetry about resilience, you can get the book here.

3. I'm made of more than you think. -Snow White, Mirror, Mirror

4. Other people's perception of you ain't none of your business. -Lisa Nichols

CLAPPING HANDS EMOJI.

5. Do you realize how many events and choices that had to occur since the birth of the universe leading to the making of just exactly the way you are? -Mrs. Which, A Wrinkle In Time

I love this because it really hits home how so many right and wrong decisions led to the creation of you and how you should appreciate the good and the bad because without either of them you wouldn't be exactly who you were supposed to be.

6. You can't stop what's done to you. You can only survive it. -Rachel, Georgia Rule 

This brings up an important theme of my life that I'm still trying to figure out. The only thing you can control in your life is how you react to what happens to you.

7. Don't let anyone ever make you feel like you don't deserve what you want. -Patrick Verona, 10 Things I Hate About You

8. No one can make you feel inferior without your consent. -Queen Clarisse, The Princess Diaries

9. No trifling of the past, no matter how great, can tarnish the brilliance of eternity. -The Universe

10. People who are insignificant to your future shouldn't have an impact on your present.

Someone once told me this, and although I can't remember the person, this quote has always stuck with me.

11. Talented, brilliant, incredible, amazing, show stopping, spectacular, never the same, totally unique, completely not ever been done before. -Lady Gaga

You know what... I think she was talking about you.

12. Tell yourself it's easy. Tell yourself often. Make it an affirmation. Eat, sleep, breathe it, and you life shall be transformed. -The Universe

13. Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. -Mark Twain 

Go on then, be empowered and trust your instincts, you've got big things coming... I can tell.

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