Analysis / Girls Need Role Models

The number of female characters in works of fiction has increased in the past century, but rounded female characters have been slow to emerge. This is particularly true of children's media, which has few rounded characters of any kind.

The shortage of rounded female characters came about because the rarity of women in media meant that every female character would be a role model for many more children than a male one would. Accordingly, writers and producers were reluctant to portray female characters with any flaws whatsoever for fear that they would be encouraging these flaws in girls.

Children have relatively few problems relating to a Flat Character. But as people become older and more self aware they like their characters to have some depth, and this is where this trope can become a little frustrating. Moreover the actual value of a character as a role model is arguably dimished by perfection: real people undergo Character Development, but Flat Characters by definition do not.