Hello! What's that, I'm running back to the topic of insecurity in YA again so soon? I must have nothing else to post about! Which is true, I kind of don't, but I read this really wonderfully honest post on insecurity over on Bloggers Heart Books (please read it first, it's really awesome) and it kind of make me think even more about the topic, and more importantly my post on it and how I may have got a bit carried away with my one-sidedness. Which is something that, if you've read any of my other discussion posts, happens every single time. And it's something that I'm hoping to avoid today because I seriously need to start being more objective about things. And I completely stand by everything I said in that post, I think that they're valid points, but I think that I may have been so frustrated about the matter for more than the reasons I gave, and that maybe it's not insecure characters that irritate me, but for they way that it's portrayed. So, I guess this is more me trying to work out some of deeply inset issues than with it being about actual books. You're more than welcome to leave now if you want to, because I can't guarantee this won't just be a mishmash of greatly conflicting feelings, because that's kind of all I am at the minute. Anyway, I'm rambling.
So, I'm a pretty insecure person. I know this, and the fact that I know this and strive to change it, and yet cannot, frustrates me to no end. I analyse everything I do to a ridiculous extent and I over think all of my actions after I do them just to see if I might have offended anyone or done something bad, and I'm so concerned with the idea of changing myself to make other people like me more means that I kind of find it hard to accept who I am as a person. I don't like myself because I'm constantly concerned that everyone else hates me, and this just makes me not like myself even more and it's basically just a circle of horrible self-destructive horribleness, and my personal insecurities have affected my life as a young adult more that I ever like to accept or admit. Which is why I get so frustrated at YA sometimes.
In genres where insecurity isn't really needed to be a big 'issue' or whatever, and is just used in passing and is never really built on, it's very, very frustrating to me, and what I'm sure is swathes and swathes of other insecure teenagers (because let's face it, there are millions of us out there) because it's not treated like a serious problem. Which, y'know, it is. You can't just use it as a filler for when a character is looking in a mirror and then never bring it up again like the main character hates how they look, but not that much. I'm not saying that every book with an insecure lead should have it as the main thread though their book, but that it should be treated as a more serious issue than it sometimes is in books where being insecure isn't the whole point of it.
Insecurity is something that affects my life greatly, and it doesn't make me feel better about myself when I keep on reading about people who just get over it so quickly or forget about it at the drop of a hat. I can't relate to that. I can't believe that I'll just look in a mirror one day and never think I'm not pretty again, because that isn't relateable. As Julie said in her post, I guess I would secretly like to see more insecure characters of whom actually have a problem with themselves. Because it isn't always just about looks, it's about not being comfortable with who you are. And I don't think something like that can just be forgotten about, I think it takes work to get over and good friends and I really just want it to be portrayed better.
I'm a fifteen year old girl, which is basically the human equivalent of a boiling pot of hideous and contrasting emotions, and I'm, at my heart of hearts, a coward, because I can hardly face up to the truth about how I feel about things just with myself, let alone in front of people, so I hide behind my anger and indignity about things while trying to hide my feelings about the issue not just relating to books, but myself. See, as much as I cry at stuff, I'm kind of scared of feeling things, I guess? That sounds a bit weird, but I just don't like having to come to terms with stuff. I'm basically the living embodiment of denial.
But there isn't anything wrong with being insecure. It's something pretty much everyone goes through at some point in their lives, and I wish that it was dealt with in a more sensitive matter in books, but I also don't want it to be the only focal point of the plot. Because for a lot of people it isn't, it's something that comes with hard work, but also just with living life, and maybe if I stuck my head out of my fantasy world full of books where everything is perfect, I would realise that too. I just want it to be realistic rather than trivial, and reflect on a real teenagers perspective of themselves. Just stop using insecurity as some sort of gimmick. It isn't, and it's an insult to people if you do treat it as a less important matter than it is. It won't make me like your character more, and it won't make me feel like I can relate to them as much as people might think, I guess. I don't feel supported by these kind of characters (which aren't as common as I may be making out), I feel isolated by them, because they make me feel like my insecurity isn't important. That they got over it really quickly, so I must be really fucked up for not having done the same. I don't know, see, I told you this would just be a mish-mash of irrelevent feelings! *sighs* Okay, I think I might have got my point across by this point because I've basically just made the same point about seven times.
Like how Julie said, I don't want to see less insecurity as a whole, I just want to see less of insecurity used in a half-asses way, and more well done, well fleshed out characters who are going through the process of accepting themselves as themselves. (Of which I know there are a lot of, but I just need to rant about stuff sometimes.)
So, I think this will be my last post on insecurity, before you think I'm running out of steam on post ideas. Again, this was kind of written more for myself, and I feel a lot better for writing it, so if you think it's stupid and stuff, that's cool. I feel like a weights been lifted off of my shoulder a bit, so it's all good, I guess. :)
Great post. And what's even greater is how your thoughts have sparked a thoughtful conversation. And we're sure that there are more people thinking and talking besides just what you've seen online.ReplyDelete
You don't need to apologize for your original post. You were sounding off about your opinion, and you were not disrespectful or unreasonable. The whole point of blogging about it is to get feedback, hear other perspectives, absorb and grow. That's what you're doing -- so rock on!