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Kelly’s Korner: The ‘friend zone’ myth debunked by superheroes

The entertainment industry has ruined us. Movies have heightened the stereotypes and clichés that are vaguely apparent in everyday life and have turned men and women into visions of what they’re not. Some of these stereotypes and clichés include the need for women to be saved by men, nice guys finishing last and the overused idea of being put in the “friend zone.”

I believe the cliché of women being helpless china dolls has been greatly perpetuated by the comic book industry – although there are women superheroes that help redeem this idea. Think about it: Superman saving Lois Lane, Spider-Man saving Mary-Jane — those women get held hostage faster than you can say, “Why is that superhero’s suit so tight?”

These situations are usually filled with the same “help me” semantics that make one roll their eyes before gripping the arm of their chair and screaming, “What are you doing? Stop messing around with the giant monster and help her!”

Superheroes are another great topic to show the cliché of nice guys finishing last. It took Mary-Jane forever to realize that her arachnid love interest was actually Peter Parker, but at least this is more understandable than Lois Lane and Clark Kent. Peter Parker had his face completely covered; Clark Kent merely took off his glasses.

It wasn’t until Kent put on a unitard, removed his hipster wide-rimmed glasses and started getting mistaken as a bird or a plane that Lois even looked in his direction. She was never suspicious of why her sweet friend Clark had the same body type, height and not to mention the same exact face as Superman — she was a journalist, for goodness’ sake.

The thought behind being “friend-zoned” is one of being romantically interested in a person who only wants to be friends. Basically any time one person has unrequited feelings for another person, they’ve been “friend-zoned”. Now the movie industry has slapped a name tag on it and has made it the basis for every teenage angst love story made in the last ten years.

Every one of these clichés could be made an example of from Superman. Nice guy Clark Kent finishes last because Lois Lane puts him in the “friend zone” because she is in love with Superman, who constantly saves her from peril.

Don’t succumb to these stereotypes. Don’t hide behind “nice guys finish last” and “help me, I’m helpless.” And finally, don’t trade in your glasses for contacts — they’re way too expensive and if you fall asleep while wearing them, they’re death to remove.

 Opinion columnist Kelly Schafler is print journalism junior and may be reached at [email protected]

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