As a woman, I know how much stories define how I view myself. And it wasn’t until things like Buffy came along that I realized I didn’t have to be the sidekick. Sure, if I was in the vein of Elizabeth Bennet, I could be the heroine, but in an adventure story? Nope, I was on the outside looking in, I was sex appeal, or the best friend. Never the heroine.
Think now to how many movies (besides a Karate story or our dear Will Smith) have you seen with a diverse PROTAGONIST? They exist. They’re awesome, but they’re few and far between. Diverse characters and women are always the romantic partner, the wise mentor, the quirky best friend. We’re condemned to the side. We’re included; we’re told to be happy with what we’ve got– we’re in the movie! But it’s not about us. We’re the support team.
How often do you feel like a sidekick in your own life?
We need diverse books. We need diverse books to turn into diverse movies. We need real characters. Not flat-I-can-hardly-write characters. And we will need them forever, because everyone deserves to know they’re a main character.