You can’t expect movies to portray life realistically because their main objective is to entertain and to make money off of it. They accomplish that by feeding the masses feel-good fantasies that may start on a sad note but end with a happy ever after regardless of how brain-damagingly unrealistic stories (and characters) are. Take these tropes in coming of age movies for example:

The “Popular Cheerleader” is bitchy because she’s insecure and neglected at home

Probably the most used character stereotype in the creative department of all teenage movies, the popular cheerleader. She’s hot, she’s popular, she’s flexible, she’s rich, and she’s a bitch. If she’s showing any kindness, she’s just being manipulative and fake. But don’t worry because she’s not perfect and the reason she’s being mean is that she’s actually extremely insecure. Also, she’s neglected at home because her dad is a workaholic and her stay-at-home mom prefer going to brunch with other older blonde retired cheerleaders. Sounds familiar?

In movies, yes. In real life? Not so much. This stereotype doesn’t do service for actual cheerleaders who bust their bums off during practice to perform. Newsflash, not every pretty and bitchy insecure princess is drawn to dancing as not every mean person is a result of neglect.

The “Ugly Duckling” who wears glasses instantly becomes a babe when she takes them off

In almost all high school movies and TV shows, the ugly duckling character is more often than not, wearing glasses. It’s just like a requirement that will identify them as the ugly one. Then, when she takes it off, the heavens suddenly open up and she transforms into a beautiful and elegant swan. When this finally happens, she becomes popular, all the boys suddenly want to date her, and she unknowingly usurps the current queen bee.

This is one of the most annoying tropes ever. First off, not all people who wear glasses are ugly as not all those who don’t wear glasses are pretty. Secondly, wearing glasses is not as dramatic of a change like Clark Kent would have you believe when he transforms into Superman. Thirdly, it’s not a simple fashion choice. Some people are just born with eyes that need glasses to function. And lastly, high school is not as dramatic to have an established hierarchy ruled by the hottest of the hottest girls.

The “Playboy” finds his true love in high school and stops his philandering ways

What people need to realize is that finding the special someone you’ll end up happily with for the rest of your life can be difficult. The chances of you getting together with the right one while still in high school are even more implausible. It happens but rarely. And if the guy you’ve set your eyes on is a playboy, then the chances are zero. Zilch. Completely non-existent. 

So, expecting the playboy to find true love at such a young age then immediately stop being a playboy is unrealistic. It’s also an incredibly harmful fantasy shoved down the throats of young and impressionable teenagers who are swayed into believing that philandering dudes will always change for the right girl, for them. This needs to stop especially for movies that feature teenagers as well as young adult literature.

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