She’s a prevalent feature in most of modern day culture: The Girl. A boy comes up to her and asks her why she isn’t hanging out with the other girls. Odds are, she looks quirky and tomboyish – but looks can be deceiving. I’m willing to give her the benefit of the doubt. Then, the words “I’m not like the other girls” come out of her mouth. That’s my cue to end whatever item we were.
The media feeds to us that we should be distinct from one another. Individuality is important; it sends us off on a journey of self-discovery to become the best and most unique individual. There’s some catch to this individuality. The Girl sends the message that enjoyment of the conventional is bad because it’s brainless and pure entertainment. So what does she do? The Girl does remove herself from the mainstream – but there are so many like her. She’s trying to battle a mass while becoming part of one.
With this message against the mainstream being shared and adored all around me, I find myself putting down more books and pushing aside more Hollywood movies than I would have in the past. While as a teenager, I was drawn to the excitement of enticing stories and visuals, now I focus so much on nuances and interpretation that the fun gets lost. I don’t want to pinpoint a reason for it – it depends on who and what I surround myself with.
Nonetheless, I’m trying to return to my roots: the DVDs I own of some of my favourite superhero movies and science fiction TV shows. Maybe whilst watching these things, I’ll remember to stop being so critical and just enjoy the stories for their entertainment.
I would be lying if I said knowing something that others don’t doesn’t fill me with silent pleasure, but I’m also the hypocrite who has seen the latest Star Wars about eight times and has no plans to stop. To consume a certain thing is up to you, albeit the holier-than-thou attitude is unnecessary when one doesn’t know your foreign language movie that was screened twice in the greater Rotterdam area.
All in all, if you want to watch Pacific Rim for the millionth time, do so. As for The Girl: there’s no need to overcomplicate things – you can be an individual in any group.