I Feel Faint! (YA Hereoines: the Possums of Literature)

29 Apr

This is the moment before fainting occurs.

Ahh the beautiful young ladies of YA fiction. Who find themselves dull, and plain, but in reality they must all be devastatingly beautiful and witty, because every male with in a thirty foot radius finds them irresistible. Day after day we flip through the pages of their incredible lives. And yet we still wish to smack them smartly upside the head.

These are the problems with Young people – uh-ahm I mean Young People’s book’s- these days.

I’m not sure why a good 60% of YA heroines end up with the same personality, but they do. In order for us to avoid these  pitfalls (and also allow myself to rant) I’ve decided to begin at the beginning of a terrible Heroines personality, and lay out why they so rightly deserve to be called possums of literature.

First off all they generally find themselves unattractive, calling themselves ‘plain’ and ‘average’. Why! Why!? Oh, how this drives me insane. I’m not sure if authors these days just want their characters to sound hypocritical or what, but it’s annoying. As soon as you have a self-proclaimed plain Jane you are nearly guaranteed a love triangle. Or a love hexagon (with the number of guys going after her ‘hideous‘ face you just don’t know). I’m not saying there is anything wrong with having an average looking gal, just don’t have men throwing themselves at her. unrealistic.

Then, they all seem to have fainting issues. Maybe it’s because they are all skinny and don’t eat enough, maybe they are all diabetic and don’t know it, or perhaps they are all cyborgs and when their batteries run low they just konk out. Whatever the reason YA heroines are always fainting. Melodramatic. Every-time a chick faints in a novel I just want to throw something at someone.  Sometimes its passable if, you know, she’s been hit on the head with a large rock, or is bleeding to death, but as that is really the case it’s inexcusable. I’ve managed to go my entire life without fainting! But these girls, they faint five, six times a week. That can’t be healthy. The swoon should be saved for soap operas, and  people who have lost several pints of blood.

Fainting, is always untimely too. For some reason it always occurs when adrenaline should be kicking in to fight off bad guys. But, they faint instead, and that leads to our next issue. Waiting for their man to come save them. *bangs head on keyboard*. The classic faint scene is usually followed by a scene where she awakens to see her lover cradling her in his arms, asking if she is okay, if she’s hurt. And, of course, she’s okay because he got their just in time to see her faint and to kick some bad guy butt (while she’s knocked out cold in fear).

In short, today’s YA Heroines are the possums of literature. Skittering about, afraid of their own shadows, fainting on a consistent basis, and generally avoiding mirrors so that they won’t have to face their hideousness!

Anyone else tired of the fainting?



8 Responses to “I Feel Faint! (YA Hereoines: the Possums of Literature)”

  1. Kylie April 29, 2012 at 8:30 pm #

    I cannot express how much I agree! It drives me insane. If the character is pretty, SAY SHE’S PRETTY. That’s fine! It’s okay to have a pretty main character! For some reason most authors want to avoid that. But personally, I’d rather read about a character who’s exceptional than a plain-jane boring wallflower. Unless, you know, her wallflower-ness leads to her solving a murder or something.

    • nkeda14 May 5, 2012 at 11:47 pm #

      Exactly! What’s wrong with having a pretty MC? I suppose they are afraid of making them unrelatable, but looks are pointless in that department. Good writers can make anyone relatable!

  2. lilacandivy April 30, 2012 at 12:36 am #

    Ha ha, great post. 🙂 Yeah Disney tended to have possum princesses, but you can tell they began to decide to give the women guts as you follow the timeline… Esmeralda, Mulan, and of course pan-wielding Rapunzel… yes, fortunately the women are fainting less and fighting more. 🙂

    • nkeda14 May 5, 2012 at 11:48 pm #

      Yes! Break through! I love Rapunzel 🙂 That’s been my favorite Disney movie since it came out. It’s so cute and funny.

  3. harmamae April 30, 2012 at 3:37 pm #

    I like this rant! How many “average” women are constantly in the middle of love triangles? I suppose writers feel plain heroines are more relatable to readers, but they still want to have tons of drama, which leads to this awkward situation…

    • nkeda14 May 5, 2012 at 11:53 pm #

      Ha thanks! I have NEVER meet anyone in the middle of an intense love triangle, particularly not a plain Jane girl. I mean if your going to give a plain Jane a love triangle at least down grade the guys from Tom cruise to you know… John Does… Don’t see that happening though :/

  4. Naomi May 21, 2012 at 5:50 pm #

    Ah, I agree, I agree, I agree!
    Seriously, if she’s pretty, don’t deny it. Nothing worse than girls that usually even know they are pretty saying they aren’t just so people say they are.
    Nothing wrong with her being pretty, in my opinion most girls are very pretty, and I mean most girls, not just the ones you hear about. Maybe I’m more open minded with my standards of beauty but I’ll rarely see a girl and not think she’s pretty in some way or another.
    Now, I don’t think that being plain means you won’t get boys, because you can, if you have a personality, but a lot of people, the kind that throw themselves at you, probably won’t bother finding out. People who get a lot of attention from boys are generally attractive, because men are visual.
    Of course, she doesn’t have to be pretty, I believe that if you love someone you don’t find them unattractive anyway, I mean love makes you blind right?
    Something that annoys me, especially with more recent stuff, is how they try to make the girls seem smart so they don’t look like all that matters is how pretty they are.
    To anyone with half a brain cell, you can tell they are made to seem smart, by making them interested in ooh philosophy and shakespeare and physics. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but that doesn’t make you smart. It’s just trying to make people look smart by saying “Oh, but Bella reads Wuthering Heights! She must be super smart, right?”
    Great post as always (:


  1. Stalkers: They’re Everywhere! « NOVEL IDEAS - May 20, 2012

    […] They’re Everywhere! 20 May In an earlier post I tackled YA heroines,  and since I’m in a ranting mood today I’ve decided to talk about their hunky, […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: