Well, after reading a lot of stuff, although there is a lot of diversity regarding male characters. But in a lot of stories where the female is the centre, there is this trap that it falls into.
That the ideal man is someone who accepts the heroine, who is strong yet kind, and in all ways perfect. A gentleman in all ways, with almost no flaws. Looking perfect and awesome. And I see how worrying it actually is.
What happened to actually giving them a personality, and making them charming using the actual traits they have. What happened to their vulnerability, their weaknesses, their flaws. And most importantly, what happened to their life outside of their love interest.
And this is often the man who will get the girl at the end of the day. What happened to portraying men as real people, rather than perfect prince charmings who will save the girl, but still respect her. Especially in Chinese dramas. It has gotten to the point that I’m actively avoiding them. (That’s another post for another day.)
I want to see real boys, real men, with their own struggles, demons and stories. Not prince charmings cardboard cutouts, because those are impossible. And those are not a reality. They satisfy the fantasy, I get it. But it is just so annoying that boys sometimes are reduced to guardian angels, when they could be three dimensional characters.
It will give the story a depth, allow the female character to learn and grow independent. Because not every time a guy will save her, or drop everything to help her when they hear she is in trouble. Because that is just unbelievable, really really unbelievable.
And that also turns me off, as much as strong female characters do when they are narrow. Because this is incredibly narrow, and unrealistic on so many levels. We should never think of an ideal man and write them to that expectation. We should always think of them as real people first, who do care and will fail.
And that they won’t always save the girl, they will lose at some point. That is what I want to see. And this is where I say, make them weak at some points, strong at others.