Inspirational people surround us at every turn. To celebrate some of the incredible women who continue to motivate me on my writing journey I look at the women/characters who are my artistic inspiration.
Last time I honoured screen icon, Audrey Hepburn. You can read that post HERE. Today, I’m devoting the Monday Muse to a fictional character who taught me that being unique is the best way to be.
Molly Ringwald played the role of Andie, in Pretty in Pink, a 1986 American romantic comedy about social cliques in high school.
As a member of the ‘Casper’ squad (invisible to most) I drifted through my school years without too many issues and I emerged at the end reasonably unscathed and raring to get on with my life. However, throughout the majority of my life I’ve always had this feeling that I don’t quite ‘fit in’. Maybe this is a writer thing? I did spend most of my time in my own head inventing stories!
I know those feelings of inadequacy or isolation are still a concern for today’s teenagers as they strive to find their place in the hierarchy of high school. Molly’s character didn’t succumb to any of the social expectations. She was true to her beliefs and true to herself.
In the film, Andie expresses herself by how she chooses to dress. Not opting for the glamorous designer gear but picking her handmade outfits for their sense of fun, style, and practicality. I loved this about the character.
As a youngster I didn’t pay much attention to the fashion trends (apart from neon leg warmers – it was the 80s!), and yet I still floated through life without any true identity. I see images of Helena Bonham Carter and long to be that bold and unique. In my head, I’m a lone hippie with long skirts and bells at my ankles. In reality, I slip into my jeans and a t-shirt and melt into my Casper role once more.
When I write my YA books, I create characters who fit into the outcast scenario. Young protagonists who don’t follow the rules and who stand up for what they believe regardless of the reproach from their peers. I write the characters that I long to be in real life.
It’s tough being a teenager today. Tough finding your identity amongst the Kardashian empire. Molly Ringwald appealed to my need to feel free – free to express myself, and free to be whom I wanted to be. Even if I only managed it on paper, she still inspired a huge part of who I am.
Has a fictional character influenced a protagonist in one of your books? Or maybe you loved reading about a fictional character and longed to be like them. I’d love to hear your thoughts.