Is Hollywood Afraid of Independent Women?

Often, it appears as though Hollywood movies illustrate their female leads so similarly. The ever-so-original damsel in distress who is awfully sad and stuck in a complicated situation waiting to be saved. That is, until a strong and handsome man appears by magic and sweeps her off her feet.

Although not every movie follows this specific routine, it wouldn’t be farfetched to say this scenario is all too common for the majority of movies. Girl is sad. Girl needs help. Boy saves girl. They fall in love. The end!

Yes romance is lovely but the reality is that we’re all not waiting in an ivory tower waiting to be saved. This doesn’t portray  women truthfully. So, why is Hollywood continually portraying females in this way?


Independent Women/Hollywood - Two Cool Girls
Photo by Kendyle Nelsen

Raising Independent Women

What irritates me is Hollywood’s – and some of society’s – mediocre attempt at appreciating independent women. Personally, this celebration feels dishonest and the effort of liberalism is frankly embarrassing.

I’ll tell you why.

People teach young girls how vital it is for them to be resilient and in charge of their life. Nevertheless, this is all lost when she appears, out of the shadows – fearless, individualistic, powerful and making her own money. People seem to, almost immediately, distance themselves.

Surely, this contradictory behavior may just completely confuse your women into knowing exactly what to believe or strive for?

People teach young girls to be self-reliant but still many cultures, even now, order them to marry rich.

People teach young girls to follow their career dreams, however, if the profession they choose is male-dominated then many still judge. Would people judge her decision as much if she wanted to pursue a profession as a makeup artist rather than a bricklayer?

People teach young girls to be independent yet countless songs have lyrics about needing a man. Mariah Carey’s track ‘Boy (I Need You)’ sums it up perfectly, ‘I can’t help it when I’m not around you (boy), ‘Cause all I ever seem to do is drift away in dreams about you, ‘Cause when I’m without you (boy), It always seems like (boy, boy, boy, boy), Part of me is missing, baby…’ Women don’t need a man, they never did.

I think it’s time to give young girls a reality check. Let them know how difficult it can be being a woman in this political world they will soon possess. Explain to them the challenges they may face. Then, teach them to always rise above it. That way she’ll become a force to reckoned with; an independent and out-spoken woman. That’ll have Hollywood shaking in their boots!

Thus, what is causing Hollywood’s incapability and reluctance towards appreciating independent women fairly? Apprehension? Judgement? That still begs the question; why is Hollywood and much of the world so threatened by independent women?

Independent Women/Hollywood - Sassy Girl
Photo by Roman Drits

Because independent women don’t need your permission  

When a man doesn’t ask for consent it’s viewed as a strategic attempt of authority; think back to aspects of the film 50 Shades of Grey and you may agree. However, when a woman does the same she’s viewed as overbearing, unfriendly and snobbish. I like to think of Meryl Streep’s character in The Devil Wears Prada, here. Both men and women credit Meryl Streep’s self-governing and straight-forward approach as bad from the start.

It appears that Hollywood’s understanding is that when a woman is assertive she is arrogant and when a man is assertive he is powerful. Confused? Me too.

Independent women do not ask for your permission nor do they need to. Contrary to popular belief, they can do what they please. It isn’t necessary to agree or disagree with their opinions either; they can make up their own mind and stand by what they says regardless.

Why is Hollywood still afraid of women who are like this? I think I know. Independent women are not scared of or intimidated by Hollywood’s judgement. The repercussions that follow, to them, will be worth it.

Because independent women don’t require your validation

Independent women are not reliant on praise from others. They know their self-worth and are confident within themselves. They create their own happiness. The reap what you sow saying is true and they live by it.

Of course, occasionally, a compliment or some extra reassurance is great. Although it’s not needed, it doesn’t mean it’s not nice to get sometimes. But, that’s not the point. The point is, is that independent women believe in their abilities. They know when they are doing well and do better if they must. They are not dependent on people raising them up and opinions, good and bad, don’t keep them up at night. Even Hollywood’s judgments don’t get under their skin and that’s impressive!

Independent Women/Hollywood - You'll Get It Eventually
Photo by Nigel Tadyanehondo

Because independent women don’t care if you like them

An independent, free-thinking, determined, authentic and clever woman knows that not everyone will like or accept her. Although this is human nature, as not everyone can like everyone, the knowledge of this doesn’t bother her like it may do others.

From my own experience, the idea of someone not liking you and you not liking another – and coming to terms that that is okay – gives you this sense of control and freedom. My world felt so much clearer after I learnt this and I’m sure other women, as well as men, have, and would, feel the same.

Independent women are never going to take the simple route to success. That’s why Hollywood is afraid of them. The inspirational dream-chasers and game-changers of this generation working towards righteousness and freedom.

So, that’s it. Maybe one day Hollywood won’t see independent women the way they have chosen to for decades. Then, women may be in for a chance of being treated the same way that men are. Until then, I would let Hollywood be afraid, based upon what I’ve written in this article, they have every right to be.

No one who followed the rules ever ended up in a history book anyway.

Post Author: Elissa Cynamon

Elissa Cynamon
I am a fashion graduate passionate about establishing a career in journalism. You’ll regularly find me writing poetry, going to dance classes or baking delicious vegan treats for my friends and family. More often than not, with a chai latté in hand. Follow me on Instagram @elissadanielle_

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