When it comes to the big screen, we’re living in an age of book to movie adaptions. Between Twilight, Harry Potter, The Hunger Games, and most recently, Divergent, these trilogy or multi-book series have been very successful at the box office.
In 2008, Twilight debuted it’s first of five movies based on Stephanie Myers’ novels. The movie quality was low, the budget was cheap, and the acting was sub-par but it managed to connect well with teenage and young adult females. This series became one of the most popular of the generation, and the worst part about that is the plot. Don’t get me wrong, at the age of fourteen I thought Twilight was awesome. I was entranced by the love story, mostly because I young and naive.
Sadly, despite the popularity of the Twilight Saga, the message this movie was giving out the wrong message. The relationship at the core of the plot consisted of a young girl who couldn’t survive without her boyfriend. Now, is that the type of messages that should be sent out to 13-year-old girls? I think not.
Now, thankfully, there have been a few films that have been able to show young girls that not every relationship should be like that. In 2012, Lionsgate released “The Hunger Games,” which was based on Suzanne Collins’ novel. Although there was a love story in the plot, the heroine Katniss was more focused on her family than a boyfriend. The story was about a young girl finding her voice in a world that is broken beyond repair—not about how much she loves her boyfriend.
Just recently, Divergent—a movie based off Veronica Roth’s novel—showcased another example of how young women should be showcased in the media. The protagonist is 16-year-old Tris, who is forced to make a choice that changes everything she knows. Throughout the novel she finds love in the male protagonist, Four, however; Tris’ story is about finding her place in the world not finding love. The story line with Tris and Four adds dimension to the plot but it is not the center of it.
These young women have been able to become role models for young girls. After so many horrible portrayals of how a girl should be—it’s refreshing to see a positive image. These heroines are what young girls should be looking up to—not a girl who revolves her life around a man.