Fitting Things Into Boxes

via Tavi Gevinson

I tend to regard myself as a little bit of a pop culture enthusiast, and I guess the problem I’ve been having with much of hollywood and most media content produced these days is that it tends to oversimplify everything.

In trying to make big money, and in feeding the needs of everyone, eventually we end up with very flat, two dimensional characters in movies and film.

In trying to make a character relatable to the masses, though played by different actors, the characters eventually become one in the same.

The male protagonist is often- the hotheaded rebel that can’t be tamed.Or the nerd that eventually “manned-up” at the end of the movie. He is the lone guy opposing the status quo, that eventually becomes the hero because of his individualism. Its either that, or we have the protagonist being the one with staggering potential but not living up to it, and by the end of the movie, we finally find denouement in him living up to it.

The portrayal of female protagonists is worse, with her strengths being her sexuality or her total embodiment of motherhood. Or her roles being limited to just another eye-candy. Well, that’s not what a woman is, and that’s not what a man is.

I was thinking about it for a long time, and realized that as much as it is human to want to fit everything into boxes, people don’t fit. We are contradictions. A woman is a contradiction, and she is complicated, and she doesn’t have to feel mad at herself that she isn’t as simple as the world wants her to be. A man’s identity is also complicated, though often touted under the label “A man is simple. He just wants sex.”

Well Freudian theory has been disproved, so we don’t have to go back to that. Yet that still doesn’t answer the questions of what a man is.  A man, often doesn’t have the luxury of being anything he wants to be, because there’s always the “man-box” that society wants him to be. The hero- the provider, the strong one, anything less and he gets hen-pecked for “not being a man”.

Well society is wrong. We can’t all fit into categories and titles, or sub-headers. We are all contradictions, and its okay to be a contradiction.

Its as if there’s this black hole in the universe where things don’t and will never fit into. And that’s okay. As much as I know many of you, like me, like making lists and finding things that relate, and matching all the patterns that fit, we can also have a little fun with the pieces that don’t fit, and marvel with it, and wonder where it comes from, and maybe fit it into that space in your mind marked “Things that don’t fit”.


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