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Popular Young Female Characters Are A Metaphor For Women In Recovery

Hollywood has produced a new and encouraging trend: ferocious, fierce, aggressive, empowered female characters. The likes of the increasingly popular “Eleven”, played by Millie Bobby Brown for the Netflix Original Series Stranger Things is becoming normalcy in the media. Women, who are always cast-typed and stereotyped in the media are thrilled that there are powerful female characters front and center of television series and films. Heroines are finally seeing their day as heroes take a back seat. However, there is something missing, something that is missing all too often from women’s lives, and this lack of character development holds a metaphor for women in recovery. While these female characters are relentlessly awesome, they are also chronically silent. It seems, according to Hollywood writers, that women cannot be both- they cannot both speak and be highly developed in character as well as be physically heroic and powerful. Like Ariel in the little mermaid trades her beautiful voice for legs, Hollywood is trading heroine-ism for character complexity.

Bustle touches on this in their article “The Problem With All The Badass Little Girls Taking Over Hollywood Movies”. “Hollywood has a bit of an obsession with young, female characters who use their fists, not their words,” the article explains. “The quietness of these girls doesn’t detract from the power of their actions,” the author importantly notes. Empowered, physically capable female characters is a good thing. However, “… their lack of communication takes away from their complexities as characters, and as such, they become completely defined by their bold, often violent behaviors, rather than simply enhanced by them.” Women are too familiar with being defined by one thing and one thing only, then having the rest of their beautiful, complicated, complex, wonderful selves silenced in other ways. The author explains that a female heroes “…who are allowed to be strong and smart and determined” are so rare, “why should the ones we have only be defined by their physical prowess, when they have the potential for so much more?”

Women in recovery learn to identify themselves as “addict” and “alcoholic”. Every woman in recovery, and every woman outside of recovery, is forced into different identifications. Mom, athlete, chef, house cleaner, bill payer, and so much more. Woman are more defined by what they do, more specifically, the purpose they serve, than who they are. Beyond who they are, women are rarely recognized for what they think, what they feel, what their opinions are, what they come up with in their imagination, what they fear, what they admire, and more.

Women who come to recovery as a result of drug and alcohol addiction have often lost their voice. They have lost their sense of who they are, being only defined by their addiction and alcoholism, or other areas of their lives. The true, exquisite nature of who they are as individuals, as well as women, are lost. As Bustle notes, their potential is lost. Recovery, and the journey of sobriety, rewrites these character archetypes. Treatment, therapy, and the full experience of becoming well again fills in the blanks and lushly embellishes on the outer shell of definition. Women in recovery are no longer a skeletal shadow of their former selves. Instead they undergo a deeply colorful renaissance and become fully developed characters of their choosing. Women in recovery realize that they do not have to be one or the other. They can be exactly who they are. They can become exactly who they want to become. They can speak their voice, be heard, and be bold. Women in recovery are true heroes, in their own lives and the lives of many others.

You are the hero of your own story. Women in recovery are writing their story every day. At Villa Tranquil, a unique transitional living home for women in Jupiter Farms, Florida, women are writing compassionate, confident, authentic details into their lives. Independently owned and operated by clinicians, our program helps women build their lives, heal their past, and work toward their sober future. Call us today for information:  214-799-3080