Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Awesome Female Role Models- Rachel Berry

With the passing of Cory Montieth... I felt this week would be an appropriate time to feature one of my favorite women on TV.

Rachel Berry from Glee.

I know there are a lot of people out there who would disagree with me about Rachel being a good role model. Let me tell you - I understand.

Rachel is obnoxious, selfish, insecure, can't go two days without a man in her life, pushy, bossy, egotistic, and more. The list could go on and on about why she could be an awful role model for girls.

But I love her.

I love that Glee makes fun of itself...
For some reason, I just understand Rachel and where she is coming from. I understand being insecure, wanting to shine, and to try to be the best you can be.

First, Rachel knows what she wants. As a notoriously indecisive person, I admire this quality in people. From the moment you meet Rachel in the pilot episode, you know that she wants to be a star. The dream is to go to Broadway and win a few Tonys. Everything Rachel does is for this goal. There are times she loses sight of it, and gets insecure, and doubts her talent and dream, and there were moments when she was willing to give it up. Then the people around her who knew and cared about her the most brought her back to where her focus should be. As obnoxious as she is about this, it's what people love about her and support her 100%.

As the character Puck said in season one, "That Rachel chick makes me want to light myself on fire - but she can sing."

Next, Rachel learns from her mistakes. Sometimes it takes her to make the same mistakes over and over again, but she does learn and grow from them. Over the last four seasons of Glee, Rachel has dome some awful things to people in order to have her way. This is a character trait I will bring up time and time again while writing about these women. I'm not promoting being selfish or anything, but I do promote learning from your mistakes. We all mess up - big time. That's a fact of life. It's what we do about it that matters. When you watch the show you are constantly watching Rachel having to eat a piece of humble pie, apologize, and make up for her screw ups. Then after ward she comes out stronger.

In the most recent season, there's a point where Rachel's head gets humongous. I mean.... I was surprised she could walk through doorways. Even her best friend Kurt wants nothing to do with her. But then, she realizes what she's become and wants to do better. She makes Kurt keep her accountable for when that happens and to bring her back down to earth. We all have our major flaws, it's how we want to handle them that matters.

Rachel trusts people. Even when people are mean to her, break her heart, etc. she still is kind and wants to see the best in people. Through each episode she tries to bring the other members of the Glee club up, challenging them to do their best. Sometimes it is for selfish reasons, but I think she also genuinely wants every single member of the club to step up and do their best. At times this makes her incredibly gullible, naive, and and open target for cruel people to step up. She sets herself up for it sometimes. But ultimately, I love this in a person. It's better to trust and want to see the best in others than to be overly skeptical of those around you.

Rachel loves 100%. She never gives only part of her love or part of her heart, whether it's in relationships or in what she's doing. Yes, this gets her in trouble at times. (Um... Brody and Jesse are two great examples. Then that whole stint where she was willing to marry Finn and not pursue her dreams...) But at least she's willing to put herself out there. You can never say that Rachel doesn't give everything her all.

Rachel picks herself back up again. The first time she auditioned for college, she froze. She completely messed up her chances and then went into a depression after. Then she almost gave up her dreams to marry her high school sweet heart. But then she got the kick in the rear she needed and got another audition. She made them listen to her and she went on to do what she always said she would.

Rachel has to struggle with her views and opinions. This is one of the things I really loved about the most recent season of Glee when she went off to college in New York. She really had to figure out what she believed, why, and stick to her guns. She had to struggle with tough issues and finding out who she really was. And she did it, and came out strong and with conviction.

So there you have it. Why I love Rachel Berry. Yes, there are a lot of flaws in her that you need to look out for. But I think that's part of what makes her such a great character. She's real (even though many times in the show Glee, they purposelessly make them more like caricatures...) and shines even through her faults. She is an awesome role model.

What are your thoughts? Are you a Rachel fan? Are there other Glee characters you think are better?

1 comment:

  1. I am definitely a Rachel fan! You described her perfectly in this post!! I immediately went to your blog after tutoring, I was so excited!


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