There are so many things from 2021 that I want to change or bring to an end. The pandemic is the first and foremost. Following that pretty close is tropes; not all of them, only the most cringy of them that border toxicity. Tropes and clichés have power in the literature that not many fully acknowledge. Thus, it is our responsibility that with the new year around the corner we stop the worst ones from making way into new literature.
Here are 3 tropes that need to end in 2021.
1. The Perfectionist or Super OCD Tropes
There is a simple and obvious reason why this trope needs to come to an end. OCD is so often misrepresented in this trope and is usually labeled to a person who is organized or a neat freak. If a character is a perfectionist, then they are OCD. This is not true. Characters can be perfectionists, have the right way to do something and also have a fixed ritual of things but none of these define them as OCD. Having OCD translates to many different effects. The action of requiring order has been exaggerated and emphasized as OCD in fiction so much that using it as a joke is also harmful for those who actually suffer through it. This trope has to go.
2. I-Can-Fix-Them Trope
Absolutely Not. The entire idea of someone living wrong or broken does not sit right with me. If a person likes to smoke, drink or do things that negatively impact their body on a regular basis then making them addicted to a person is not the right course of action. To stop one addiction introducing a replacement addiction will not change anything. Nobody gets fixed. In the I-Can-Fix-Them trope, the main character makes it their responsibility to fix the lives of the love-interest in a way that they seem fit.
This fixing is also primarily through emotional bribes, spending insane amounts of time with only each other and using themselves to replace the addictions. Toxic relationships start like this. What is not explored in stories like this is what will happen if the couple breaks up. The love interest is most likely to fall back into their own patterns in an even worse state. For the sake of young readers, this trope should end.
3. Ugly Turned Beauty Trope
This trope gives the idea that there is a right way to be beautiful. The entire makeover situation is so inclined to physical changes like the character drastically losing weight or switching from graphic tees to floor-sweeping ball gowns. It is setting standards to how beauty should be defined. At this age where social media is already a burden on a person’s self-confidence there needs to be a forum where they feel that their beauty is not defined by someone else’s.