Bad Romance Role Models: An Anti-Love Series

Happy Valentines Day… or not. Whatever you’re into. Thats why in this series we will be unpacking the worst romance role models.

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Stories are meant to tell the lives of characters at their best and at their worst. This way, readers can get a sense of satisfaction watching these characters develop through their romantic endeavors, and they can most of the time identify with them. This is especially true about our female leads. However, there is a commonality in romance where women are depicted without agency and are always being influenced by their male counterparts. Basically, they don’t make good role models.

Women today are looking for a strong leader, not one that is constantly being wooed by the tall, dark, and handsome stranger who ultimately influences their life for the worst. With that being said, on today’s Anti-Love series we will be looking at some of the worst role models.

Bella Swan in Twilight

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Let us start off on a strong note. I think we can all agree that she is not a great role model for women. She was not the brightest bulb on the tree, yet she was paraded around as if all teenage girls should be like her. For starters, she was unable to make her own decisions, she lied to everyone she loved, and she was a cheater. Must I go on? She simply could not function without Edward by her side. When he left her, she had night terrors and had hallucinations about him. By definition, she greatly lacked agency as a woman depicted in both literature and in film. NOT a good role model.

Arwen in The Lord of the Rings

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I know what you’re thinking, “How did we go from Bella Swan to this?” Hear me out. Even though she saved Frodo blah blah… Actually, in the book all she does is whine and complain about her father as she pines after Aragorn. She looked quite pathetic. Not to mention, the book overall was primarily male characters. Tolkein honestly never really gave any of his female characters a chance (or the lack thereof).

Dolores Haze in Lolita

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One of the most controversial books in literary history: Lolita. Let’s go out with a bang here by talking about Dolores and her flaws. Granted, she was a young bratty twelve-year-old girl. But she was incredibly intelligent and knew of her sexuality from a very young age. She explored it and discovered that she could use it to get whatever she wanted. The overall principle of utilizing a young girl as a sexual being who manipulates men to get cash with her body is just overall insane and deeply disturbing. This character puts the readers in a very uncomfortable position. I believe that we are not supposed to like Dolores and we are not meant to aspire to be like her.

If you love our Anti-Love Series, check out our latest on films that didn’t choose love.