The year is 2002. I’m 14 years old, in Grade 9 at high school, and one of my friends has just had her first boyfriend. The relationship only lasted about a week, if I recall correctly. But that didn’t matter. All that mattered was the fact that she had had a boyfriend.
One day, she very seriously declared, “If you haven’t had a boyfriend by Grade 10, you may as well kill yourself.”
Clearly, I was in trouble. I hardly even had any friends, let alone any boy ones who could potentially be a boyfriend. As Grade 10 came and went with nary a boy in sight, I resigned myself to a life of spinsterhood and copious cats.
I don’t even like cats.
I bet it’s even harder for teens these days. You can’t take a single step now without tripping over another paranormal romance, dystopian romance, fantasy romance, 100 easy recipes for chicken romance. Every single book has to have some freakin romance!
Which brings me to why Pixar’s new movie, Brave, is so important.
Brave is the princess movie we have been needing for decades. Here is a female protagonist who has no interest in romance, who has no intention of marrying a prince, so she doesn’t.
That’s right. Spoiler warning: the princess makes it to the end of the movie without falling in love. It’s like a fucking revelation.
How often does that happen? How often does a woman get to reach the end of her story arc without collecting at least one dude along the way?
Maybe its a redhead thing, but the heroine of HTDC, Lycia, has no need for a prince either. I could have made a love triangle between Lycia, Aster and Meg. I could have made Aster extremely attractive and heroic (hell, I could have just made him a vampire). But I write stories because they are the kind of stories that I want to read, and I don’t want to read about silly girls who still believe in prince charming.
So thank you, Pixar, for creating Merida. I’m sure she would be the best of friends with my Lycia if their dimensions ever crossed paths.