Kicking off yet another week with Miscellaneous Monday, I want to talk about something a little more specific than usual: heroines. Anyone who reads my reviews has probably noticed that I'm tough on heroines. Not only do I want them to be well written, three-dimensional, and fully developed, but I also want them to be tough, smart, and talented. I'm quick to point out when the leading lady isn't up to snuff. Why am I so tough on heroines? I guess it's because when I read a book, even one written in third person, I tend to "see" everything through the heroine's eyes. She becomes like my tour guide through the story, and if I like her I feel like she's my friend. If she's stupid, whiny, or boring, I end up hating her and the entire book by proxy. The same goes with shows and movies (just look at how I reacted to The Secret Circle). Let's look at some of the heroines in my fictional life.
Once Upon a Time
Emma from Once is a great example of how you can have a likeable heroine who isn't boring. She's a loner, and she's lonely, and her social skills are questionable. She obviously hasn't had an easy life. But she has a lot of heart, and she wants the best for her son. So she stays and fights even when she'd much rather leave. If you've seen the show, than you know what I'm talking about. And if you haven't, than you need to. It's like a family drama and a fantasy show melded together.
I made this the subject of last weeks poll because I've been on such a fairy tale kick. A lot of people, especially really hard core feminists, like to go on and on about how Disney heroines are not stellar role models. On some level I can see their point, but it's not something I take too seriously. To me they've always been fantasy characters from another time and place, and you can't hold them to the same standards that you would a contemporary character of today. That would be like berating the ladies of Jane Austen's books for not getting jobs.
Anyway, Mulan ended up winning in the poll, which I find exciting because she is an entirely different kind of heroine. Not only is she actually heroic, she has goals that have nothing to do with romance and getting married. Sure, the romance is there, but it's a secondary concern to all of the cross dressing, self discovery, and saving China plot threads. I just watched Mulan over the weekend for the first time in quite a few years. Questionable handling of Chinese culture aside, I really love that movie.
So, who is your favorite heroine (Disney or otherwise)? What makes her awesome?
As always, a new poll is up! In keeping with the fantasy theme, this week I'm asking what super-power you would choose. Take a second to vote on the right side of your screen. Thanks a bunch, and Happy Reading!