Inspirational quotes and blind captions 2

Hello, I am a 22 year old with a vagina and my detest for the venomous poison that is female-pandering romanticism can rival your biggest cynic.  All the strength that was supposed to be used for my upper body is concentrated in my eye muscles to accommodate all the eye rolling I have to do.

I am an emotional creature.  My tears are both loud, unashamed and carry with it the intense melodrama of all the Nicholas Sparks adaptations combined.  Way too many people have seen this spectacle of my pink-complexion and snot stained, monkey-face.  Kim Kardashian’s ugly crying face has a bitter rival. There’s probably no reason for me to be embarrassed by anything anymore at this point.  That being said, I’m excited to bludgeon the flimsy flattery that are the well-written romantic verses which are ultimately hollow and meaningles. I’m sensitive to even the most subtle of insults in real life but paradoxically cold to emotional-manipulation in any form of media or writing.  I prefer my emotional manipulations to be done by people close to me (or a least in my physical vicinity) thank you very much.  At least they have the decency to make a personal effort.

This is basically a criticism of quotes that seem perfectly charming and swoon-worthy but suffer from a lack of real genuineness and ascribe to some manic pixie dream girl narrative.  These are for the decorative muses and not for the real person behind the eloquent phrases.

Let’s get started.

This one is the most difficult to criticise because I want to give it poetic license and I am genuinely envious of the imagery used here.  I completely understand any defenders of it. I particularly like the comparison to a shy butterfly.  It conjures up an image of a person, beautiful in their fragility, unaware of their natural grace, daintily opening themselves up to only a select few.

However, I don’t find it romantic. This is the kind of quote which is in desperate need of context.  Since I don’t have any context I want to discuss its problems as it stands in isolation.  This is somebody looking at a girl through a rose coloured lens.  It’s a very Disney princess, virginal, precious flower kind of picture.When I read this I picture Snow White singing to birds or Cinderella talking to animals.  It drips with connotations of youthful innocence and purity and that is precisely why I don’t like it.  It’s easy to love the angelic face of the virtuous. Loving someone through all their quirks and faults is the real difficulty.  There really shouldn’t be a criterion to follow on who you love but rather the inner workings of attraction and affection are complex and erratic.  You may chase after people who don’t care about you. You might realise you don’t really know the person you’re with.  Flaws sneak their way out of the trappings of facade, fear and inexperience.

You can’t love the idea of someone with their promise of good-heartedness that spills out enough to complete your missing pieces.  You love the actual person with their broken parts and you conjoin your fragmented selves and face all the barriers and curveballs life throws.

So this one has very similar ideas to the previous except it’s far worse.  The above has at least some semblance of an actual person with personality and it is far more creative.  Despite my critism of it, there’s certain people who would definitely not come to mind when picturing that girl with “nature tucked into her front pocket”.  This one is very one-dimensional in that, the “eyes of innocence” or the “face of an angel” could be whoever you want it to be regardless if that person is actually ‘innocent’ or possesses ‘angelic’ qualities.  Pretty eyes and a pretty face may mask any sin or controversial quality.  I’m also not quite sure what the “personality of a dreamer” is exactly.  I know that my blog is called Only in Dreams and dreaming is heavily embedded in both my life and my writing but it is undoubtedly a universal quality.  Everybody fantasises because everybody has desires.  Therefore, I don’t know what exactly qualifies one to have the personality of a dreamer and this is probably the most obscure and shallow description of someone I have read.  Also we all have pain.  Every single one of us.  I don’t like to qauntify pain because I would argue that I feel more deeply than most even though I have far less problems than most.  The unfortunate thing about pain is that it needs to be felt and dealt with, no matter how seemingly trivial the cause may be.

This one is a bit too easy in that you read it and feel like you’ve heard this sentiment far too many times before.  The girl with the beautiful soul.  I’m not saying I disagree.  Personality is ultimately what makes a person attractive.  The ideas in this quote are half there.  There isn’t really anything new or interesting. If you look deep enough, you can find someone’s sparkle.  It’s the specifics of that sparkle that makes a person shine and this quote doesn’t go there.

These three aren’t so much bad but rather whose problems are more to do with their vagueness. That’s basically where their ingenuity lie: descriptive enough to appear meaningful but empty enough to apply to basically anyone. Kind of like something you could copy and paste into a greeting card.

Let’s have a proper look at this quote.  It’s very passive, particularly Cinderella-esque and appeals to self-victimisation.  I don’t want to say that people like this don’t exist, because there really are your God-given gems who restore your hope in humanity.  However, I don’t like the idea that this is a type of person.  I don’t know if I really see anyone being this kind of self-sacrificing saint all the time.  I think that we are all capable of strength that seems to surpass our previously-thought limitations and even your biggest asshole may have a story behind them.  I think we can all be this person and maybe we were this person at some point in our lives.  Life is tough and we all have some kind of weight on our shoulders.

So basically I’m trying to stress that we are all individual creatures and that these kind of half-there character descriptions can come across as impersonal as I don’t get a good sense of the actual person these quotes are based off.  If you’re going to describe someone, you need to  really go there.  Robin Williams’s story of his farting wife in Good Will Hunting is far more romantic.  It’s this very specific description of an embarrasing habit of hers that only he was privy to.  It’s about these tiny, cumulative moments that become so enriching that words like beauty, wit, intellect and even kindness become vague.  There’s always someone smarter, funnier, kinder and more beautiful but none of those people were his wife.  Nobody else could recreate that connection.  He misses his wife’s farts.  I can’t think of anything more wonderfully intimate as that.


7 thoughts on “Sweet Nothings

  1. Hey! When I saw the description of your post on the Community Pool I was a little skeptical about the content, but I have to say, coming over to read it was absolutely worth it. As someone who thinks that the romanticized images of fragile girls are ridiculous on account of being a feminist because I tend to believe us girls are ‘hell on high heels’ instead of ‘shy butterflies’, I totally agree with your concept and idea. It is a very fresh piece and extremely fun to read! Hope you keep it up! πŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

  2. First of all, love your writing style. A lot. I aspire to be that delightfully wry. Now, your post content. I liked that too. As a writer, female, and, I’d like to think, decent human being, bad tropes surrounding women make me sick. As the famous quote goes, “Romanticism is the opiate of the masses” (or something).

    (Fun fact: “It’s a very Disney princess, virginal, precious flower kind of picture” describes female characters typical to North Korean media–except replace “Disney princess” with “HEROINE OF SOCIALISM AND THE ANTI-IMPERIALIST STRUGGLE.”)


    1. Thanks so much! Bad romantic comedies or dramas are by far the worst genre for me because of how angry they make me. At least in a bad action/horror/comedy I can just fall asleep. That’s so interesting how the classic Disney princess persona is still alive and persistent, especially in different cultures. The precious flower, sweet innocent girl is also prominent in bad Indian soapies and bollywood films. I think it’s a very one dimensional old fashioned way of pushing this idea how girls ‘should be’. Girls are bad-asses. Women have a lot to deal with, even in our current postfeminist era. We have more control over our own agency and the choices we make than ever before. We don’t have room for the disney princess narrative.


      1. I am 100% all for bad-ass and believable female characters.Females that feel human and are neither on the extreme ends of the damsel or badass spectrum. Let your girl characters snort at their own stupid jokes. Let them have days where they’re shoveling food in their mouths (we’ve all been through that). Let them struggle to get out of bed in the morning because oh my god this pillow just feels so soft and inviting. I feel like the media needs to understand it’s okay for girls to be average and not ~special~. There is beauty in average.


  3. Heyyy !! I can’t believe this post didn’t show in my reader… I was really hoping for part 2 of your inspirational quotes and blind captions πŸ™‚

    I enjoyed this one thoroughly I have to say. I too am bored with the images quotes give us of women and of love, and your choice of the extracts from Good Will Hunting was a perfect counter example. Loved it!

    I also find it very annoying to see such statements as “She’s not beautiful like the girls in magazines. She has a beautiful soul.” It drives me crazy, because sure, personality and soul, if you believe in its existence, are far more important than looks. They give your eyes that spark; it’s in the way you move and you frown. But really… some men and women are like the men and women in the magazines and they are still beautiful inside… I don’t know if you agree, and I think it’s true especially of women, but I feel there’s a double standard surrounding the idea of female beauty. On the one hand, girls have to be beautiful (innocent or oversexualised, depending on the context). On the other, if they are indeed beautiful outside, they’re often seen as empty or dumb. It’s not always the case, but it happens a little too often. What do you think?

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That was my fault actually. This post was an earlier draft than my last post so when I published it, wordpress treated it as an older post. You make an excellent point about the whole virgin/whore complex. You’re oversexualised and subsequently seen as ‘immoral’ and objectified or infantilised into this innocent, pure picture which is equally as harmful as it implies obedience and submission. Then of course there’s the assumption that pretty girls have no substance and ugly girls aren’t worth the time. There’s this idea that if you care about looks, that’s all you care about. Then there’s girl on girl hate where even girls dismiss pretty girls as shallow, to make themselves feel better about not getting as much attention. I’m guilty of this because we’re bombarded so much with wanting to aspire to beauty that the default setting is to put down anyone seen as a threat. There’s also the issue that when a girl posts a lot of ”revealing” pictures, that’s basically all you get. It’s shifts the focus on her body rather than personality so it’s more difficult to see them as a ‘full person’. We need to make the effort to see everyone as individual people, with their own stories and wisdom to impart and to take the good with the bad.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ohh I see! It’s ok though πŸ™‚ I’m glad I could find it!

        Yes, I agree with you, we should all endeavour to see others as individual people. I was thinking just that the other day as I was sitting in a restaurant. There was a mother, her husband and two children sitting two tables away. She seemed angry with the kids and very upset, and so spoke very unkindly to her little girl. It kept me wondering what she could be going through that made her feel so irritable that day… I hope she feels better now…


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