Meg, Jo, Beth or Amy?

Ever since I can remember, I’ve been attracted to the literary or film characters that I’m not supposed to like. I first realized this preference in myself when I was very young. Rugrats was the show du jour in our house, and Angelica was my girl. I remember figuring out that I was supposed to root for Tommy, or maybe even nerdy Chucky. I’ll never forget the look in my mom and brother’s eyes when I admitted this taboo affiliation of mine – part “shit, she’s a sociopath” and part “I’m not surprised.” This unusual propensity of mine to empathize with the antagonist continued: Helga from “Hey Arnold!,” Cera from Land Before Time and the Baroness from Sound of Music. Despite what the world was telling me, I’ve never been ashamed of this personality trait. I admire the strong kickass female characters who are unapologetic in their quests for power, love and happiness. Interesting that these characters we’re supposed to hate are so often girls, huh?…

My mom would always fast forward scenes in movies where parents die. This was probably the right thing to do since my father died when I was 2.5 and I was riddled with separation anxiety, and sure my mom, too, would be taken. But it did cause me to be quite surprised when I eventually saw the entirety of Land Before Time, Bambi, and Lion King. The stories finally made a lot more sense…

My mother first read Little Women to me – an abridged version – when we were in Italy and I was very young. I fell in love with the March women and I’ve probably read the book 5 more times since. But I have a confession to make: I HATE Beth. Her goodness and selflessness (which, by the way, end up proving themselves completely uncaring of the people in her life who are most important to her since her actions ultimately lead to her death and their loss) irk me. The scene where she visits the sick Hummels is like nails on a chalkboard to me…

Greta Gerwig’s version of Amy finally capturs the Amy I’ve always related to – smart, calculating, able to work within the limitations of her time. She does not steal Laurie (or Europe) from Jo. She simply grows up, makes the most of the hand she’s been dealt, follows her heart and her passion, and gets the life she deserves. Much like her big sisters who are never derided for the ways in which they acquire life and love. Amy is not simply spoiled and beautiful. She’s so much more complicated than she gets credit for…

Published by imworriedmytherapisthatesme

I'm a history-PhD-turned-stay-at-home-mom of three. When I'm not microwaving Trader Joe's meals for my kids, breaking up fights and wiping butts, I like to paint and write. To cope with the endless hours I'm spending with my son doing virtual school, I've abandoned my gouache paints for the more portable, less messy tried but true, paper and ink. While he learns to read to 20 floating heads on his screen, I sit on a tiny chair, at a tiny table pretending to be a productive adult.

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