So maybe I’m a bit late to the party, but I’ve recently become obsessed with the Manic Pixie Dream Girl trope and its negative affect on the way men perceive women and women perceive themselves.
The more I learnt about it the more angry I became but as this anger slowly faded away; the realisation came over me that on some unconscious level I’ve always tried to emulate this trope, on some subconscious level I was conditioned to believe this was the only way to get a man to fall in love with me – on some unconscious level I thought that this was the only way I could be happy.
Through this, I attracted men into my life that needed healing. Most of them wanted to “Become alive again!” or were going through some identity crisis which on some unconscious level they made my responsibility but as these relationships grew deeper, I would start to feel a sense of discomfort and disconnection. I didn’t feel seen by these men, and every time I tried to step out of this role, I was either punished by anger, silence or just pure misunderstanding – “You – you mean to say that you’re an individual with your own thoughts and needs?” Shocker.
A lot of the men I attracted into my life seemed to be attracted to my impassivity and recklessness which weren’t actually very healthy for anyone. A lot of them were bored and felt stuck in their lives and the trope I carried out had them convinced that they were in love with me – but they were in love with an illusion.
Sadly for them, I spend most of my weekends alone watching terrible TV and stuffing myself with junk food. Illusion shattered.
I now realise why I was so unhappy in those relationships. I didn’t feel seen, and the thing is I can’t really be that angry at these guys either because how was anyone supposed to see me if I hadn’t learned how to see my real self?
From a very young age I was told how pretty I was, how all the boys would be running after me, how many hearts I would break and then sometimes they would say as an add on an, “Oh and you’re really smart as well!”
This made me feel like my intrinsic value lay in men’s perceptions of me. Instead of looking inside for my value I placed it onto the “male gaze” as they would say. There was also this constant cognitive dissonance in me to prove to myself that I wasn’t just a pretty face. It was this constant pull between manic pixie dream girl and a reactionary identity where I wanted to grow my legs hairs out and burn my bra. Neither of those people are me.
To be honest, I’m still figuring it out, and beyond the Manic Pixie and male gaze jargon, at the end of the day, it seems like most of those men didn’t fall in love with the real me but rather a person I thought I was supposed to be.
I’m beginning to try and look inside myself and find out who I really am. I am not a healthy person when it comes to relationships or really a person who someone should be dating, I’m a love addict and I have many toxic and slight borderline traits. I care about people deeply but I can be really cruel when I’m deeply hurt. I jump from people pleaser to crazy bitch in a second. I can be really moody and distant.
I am far from perfect. I am aware of this and I’m not ready for a relationship so please, my apparently endearing eccentricities are not an invitation for your wounded masculinity to find refuge.
At the end of the day “I’m just a fucked up girl who’s looking for my own peace of mind.”