Created By: MadeofAwesome on October 5, 2012

Strong, Independent Woman Syndrom

The writers work so hard to avoid writing a Damsel in Distress that they forget to make the love interest her own character.

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You're creating a movie, and you need a love interest for your main character. You don't want to make her a weak Damsel-in-Distress type, so you make sure she's strong and independent. She doesn't need to change to be good enough for a man, the man needs to change to be good enough for her.

The problem? You go a bit too far. You're so busy not making her weak, you forget to give her any character flaws. Or weaknesses to overcome. Or lessons to learn. Or struggles of any sort. Or any storyline at all, outside of her romance with the main character.

In short, you forget to tell her story, or even make her a three-dimensional character. She only exists to play a specific role in a male character's story.

Examples include Captain Americaís Peggy, The Muppetís Miss Piggy and Mary, and The Artistís Peppy Miller.
Community Feedback Replies: 9
  • October 5, 2012
    Um... isn't this Mary Sue or God Mode Sue, more or less? Also, it sounds like a complaining trope, which we aren't keen on these days.
  • October 5, 2012
    No, it's neither. And Strugeons Tropes are a reality and young writers should be warned about them.

    But, well, I disagree with the Peppy Miller example. She's... kind of flat... but then again most everyone in that film is, even the protagonist.

    But, yeah, female leads in Give Geeks A Chance plots tend to have this trait, as does many an Action Girl, but it's not like the male Bad Ass has a lot of personality either, as a norm.

    I think something good can be hammered out of this idea, but it might take work.
  • October 5, 2012
    ^ It's probably a completely different YKTTW as well so I don't see any point in keeping this one.
  • October 5, 2012
    @Drac Monster i think it would be the bitch/Jerk Sue, also i'm not sure, but think The Nostalgia Chick review videos may be a good place to search for examples
  • October 5, 2012
    I think this looks like some variation on Mary Sue. Please give some context for your examples. I'm not very familiar with Captain America, but Miss Piggy is no flatter than any of the other muppets (I love The Muppets dearly, but they're not exactly known for being intricately-developed characters), and I quite liked Peppy Miller's character in The Artist. I think her development was understated, but it was definitely present.

    Does this relate to Real Women Never Wear Dresses?
  • October 5, 2012
    I thought the point of Mary Sue was that the audience is supposed to want to identify with Mary Sue because she's so perfect. In this trope, it looks like the audience is supposed to want to identify with the male lead because he's got such a perfect girlfriend.

    Definitely looks like the beginnings of a good idea, although I'm amazed T.V. Tropes doesn't have something like this already!
  • October 5, 2012
    I think this is covered by Girls Need Role Models.
  • October 6, 2012
  • October 6, 2012
    <Mod speaking>

    This concept is covered in the tropes mentioned above, in ways that are much less vague. Discarding this.