Monday, 3 August 2015

Not Your Typical Loner

Street art in Waterford. Let's ignore the side view mirror in the way. 

Another blogpost of "Crap ! That's deep !" 
I'm just going to continue to be unapologetic for emptying my overthinking online with a drop of bad grammar. 

Three of my all time favourite films are those of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid trilogy. I adored the plots and antics of the brilliant characters which made me splutter laughing and bury my head into hands with cringe. I was devastated when the third film was released just before I entered Second Year as it was announced that there were no plans to make a fourth film since the cast were getting older and wouldn't be middle-schoolers anymore - personally, I would have watched Greg, Rowley, Holly and co's antics right through their high school days ! 

In the first film, Angie Steadman played by Chloe Moretz is one of the two female supporting characters. Angie was never a character in the book series and didn't appear in the next two films and although her role was minuscule, the character was just as influential as those with more prominent roles. Angie was different - she was the first female character of a film - note, a kid's movie - that I watched who was slightly alternative, cynical and complex. The audience are first introduced to her reading a book outside under the bleachers where she spends her time alone. She's a year or so older than Greg and Rowdy and has come up with her own understanding of how middle school works,  describing it as an 'intellectual wasteland'. The whole characterisation amazed twelve year old me - how could someone be so comfortable in solitude whilst enjoying and wishing for company and how could someone be introverted yet willing enough to get to know people ? Again, I was twelve years old, behind my peers anyway and I didn't ever think that there could be something between a 'loner' and a 'confident, outgoing popular'. Angie was the first female character that I watched in a film who was neither your stereotypical loner nor your stereotypical popular. She had a pink streak in her hair, was the school newspaper's photographer and didn't care about popularity yet didn't detest those who was. Although I've watched plenty of similar characters since who don't confine to the stereotypes, these have all been in teen films and I never saw a similar character who didn't keep to a stereotype or a clique in another kids' film. And for that, Angie opened my mind to a lot of things as I entered secondary school. 

Like most people, I spent a good chunk of my primary school days worrying over fitting in - you can read my post about that here - and when the going got tough in First Year, my ridiculous efforts to 'fit in' returned. The characterisation of Angie contributed to both my growing and decreasing hopefulness. It led me to believe that I could handle spending so much time - generally, lunch - alone and enjoy my own company, although I quickly found that the results of this included weird stairs and teachers throwing you out of whatever classroom in which you spent your lunch ! I'm going on a little tangent here but regardless of how my attempts to enjoy my own solitude drastically failed - probably for the best - Angie was definitely one of the film and book characters who have had an influence on the person I have become ! I could be described as artsy, I am somewhere between an introvert and extrovert without confining to labels and I rarely care for what people think of me. I've learnt that all of the above either thinking less or more of me. But if I don't succumb, it shouldn't bother me. These kind of characters have also taught me a lot about other people as well - mainly about stereotypes and complexity since the whole situation of introverts not necessarily being completely insecure and extroverts not necessarily having high self esteem baffled me for quite a while ! I feel that the most memorable films are the ones that create characters who tick multiple boxes of personalities rather than one or just don't belong to any boxes at all ! It's way too lazy nowadays for a film for children or teens to be like

Okay, so this guy plays sports so he's popular, unintelligent and a jerk so he refuses to hang around with this geeky guy who is extremely uncoordinated and only has two friends and this girl, she's really smart and wears lipgloss so everyone worships her and this other girl who has no style sense loves art and is a really shy loner

As much as these characters and relationships do exist in real life, it doesn't apply to every single person who fits a characteristic of that stereotype. And as much as some of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid characters did fit these stereotypes, I enjoyed how Angie was so many things rather than just your typical loner kid. 

Wow, I hopped to and from a lot of topics in this blogpost, how did this even start ? 

Grace x

2 comments:

  1. I really can relate to this post Grace! I'm the same, not exactly an introvert or an extrovert and I'd say that I (hopefully) don't have some sort of label attached to me! Great post :)

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    1. Yess completely get what you mean :D and thank youuu glad you liked it !

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