Most of us have a clear understanding of what we think is a strong female lead versus what we think a weak female lead is. The fact of the matter is that a female character can really be put into two categories when it comes to dramas. She is either weak or strong. She is either plays the saint or the sinner in a drama, scarcely does a sinner win in the end.
❝ Rarity is a female character that shows true development. ❞
It is the sad truth of dramas that as the audience, we are either going to see:
the innocent, kind, hardworking, undoubtedly poor and indecisive female lead who lets others dictate their life.
physically strong, stubborn, sassy, dense at time of importance, but still evidently poor. (But will she stay that way throughout the drama? dun dun dun.)
The icing on top of these characteristics is both A and B will NOT be confident in her looks nor her feelings towards the male leads. And though these are just the broad characteristics seen in dramas, you will undoubtedly find them in any and every drama on some scale. (I challenge you to find one without them.)
Many people may also assume that a weak female character is lacking when compared to a strong female character. Often, there is a strong dislike of the Characteristic A characters when compared to Characteristic B characters. This is a gross misconception because the fact of the matter is that portrayal of female characters labelled as “strong” or “weak” is where the problem lies.
But have you ever wondered why there aren’t any articles about strong male characters? The simple reason is because no one needs to associate strength with males. It is automatically assumed by most of us. So why do we feel the need to label a female character as either strong or weak? What is it that is lacking severely in dramas?
In dramas, what female characters truly lack is a sense of realism. Males characters lack this as well, however, not to the same extent. Women portrayed in dramas often do not show actual women. Women are complex beings, flawed and uniquely beautiful, but on-screen we have been reduced to silly archetypes. Some may argue that it is a fictional character and that there shouldn’t be any realism involved. This, however, isn’t true. Such portrayals, although fictional, only continue misconceptions about women to each other, to men, and most importantly they influence the next generation. The furthering of these portrayals hurt women in the long run because it is constantly displayed as the norm in multiple media outlets.
This doesn’t mean you have to stop watching dramas nor do you have to start being picky about your choices of what you watch. Rather, it is about supporting complex female characters and pushing their popularity over the archetypes. It is also about supporting more female directed, written, and produced dramas to promote dramas that aren’t solely about male-female relationships but include friendships, competitiveness in career oriented settings rather than pure romances. Dramas have a predominantly female audience yet there are few women involved in directing, writing, and producing. This is where our involvement is important.
There definitely has been progress in recent years so I hope we can continue to push forward. Leave your comments down below of what you thought about this article. Be kind to one another. :)
UNTIL NEXT TIME!