Sometimes I wonder if maybe we’ll ever get back together, and then I realize that we’ll never really be over, in a way it hasn’t changed, but in some ways, it has, it’s not that we aren’t meant for each other, I think it’s just maybe we aren’t ready for forever.
Here’s the thing about the “Don’t be a Bella, be a Katniss” meme going around; it’s wrong, but people are saying it’s wrong for the wrong reasons. We want to compare Katniss and Bella with how “strong” they are and how each is valid in their own right because of that. Wrong. Bella is not strong, Katniss is not strong. Yes, they risk their lives for people they love. That’s strong, but it’s a strong act. As people, these characters aren’t inherently strong. Bella needs Edward, so much to the point that being without him makes life seem unworthy. Katniss is jaded, to the point that she pushes away everyone to keep to herself. And then after the games, when she finally lets Peeta in, she’s never truly happy. The games ruined her. So let’s not talk about Strong Female Characters.
What bugs me the most about this meme is how it’s pitting two great series against each other. Two series, which I might add, that have nothing in common. We could talk about love triangles but that’s so common these days that I don’t even count it. Also, it’s pitting two women against each other. And these women are also nothing alike. Bella clings to Edward because he shows her a better world than her own. Katniss runs away from boys because the thought of getting married and having kids in her world petrifies her. But why is Katniss Strong, then? Here’s why, because even though she ends up with Peeta in the end, it’s still not a happily ever after. Katniss is Strong because her story isn’t a love story. Bella is Weak because her story is. This is how we define strong vs weak in YA literature and it needs to stop.
Neither Bella nor Katniss are perfect. Neither of them have it all figured out by the time their respective series ends. But both women have figured out a way to live their lives with the lot they’ve been given. To me, a Strong Female Character should be one that inspires me to live my life to the fullest. Both Bella and Katniss do that. So to that meme I say, why? Can’t I just be both?
And today when you walked by and didn’t even bare to look at my face, I felt my heart break. You don’t know how much it hurts to see the person you care about more than anything else in the world, pass right by you by like you’re not even there.
If you’ve ever tried to fight tears on the bus ride home, and failed. If you’ve ever lied about why your eyes were glazed over, and you were believed. This one’s for you. If you’ve ever stopped listening to your favorite band because he liked them too. If you’ve ever hated a girl you didn’t know because he picked her over you. This one’s for you. If you’ve ever wished you were weak enough to cry in public. If you’ve ever constantly hid behind laughter and smiles. This one’s for you. If you’ve ever bit your lip to stop it from quivering. If you’ve ever walked with your eyes planted on the ground. This one’s for you. If you’ve ever stared into the darkness before sleep, trying to avoid the ‘what’s if’s’ and ‘if only’s’. If you’ve ever listened to totally different music, but ended up thinking about him anyway. This one’s for you. The girl who doesn’t get the guy. The girl who still lives her life to the fullest she can. The girl who gets up every day and doesn’t give up. This one’s for you, because it takes so much to be that strong.