John Green reveals the super awesome, super feminist inspiration behind ‘Paper Towns’
Paper Towns is just months away from hitting theaters and fans of the book have been making pilgrimage to young adult guru scribe John Green, bearing praise for his YA universes and seemingly-endless questions about every. single. aspect of them. For his part, Green is more than happy to oblige his fans’ requests for new tidbits about his work and has been talking with fans in every corner of the Internet.
Last week, he participated in a Twitter Q&A about Paper Towns, where he dealt with the obvious, loosely-veiled criticism questions, like, “What do you think of Cara Delevingne as Margo?” (Which is code for WHY IS A MODEL PLAYING MARGO WHEN FANS ALL KNOW THAT’S NOT RIGHT AND HOW DID YOU BETRAY US AND LET IT HAPPEN???) Green’s classy answer was a simple, respectful and awesome, “I’m so grateful to her and excited for everyone to see her as Margo.”
We all knew Green wasn’t going to diss Cara as Margo. He loves the project, trusts the filmmakers and, most importantly, respects Cara. But some of the questions from the Q&A did lead to delightfully surprising answers. When one fan asked what inspired Green to write Paper Towns, she was probably expecting an answer about high school nostalgia, grappling with trying to find your place in the world or even a line about loving mysteries. What she (and the rest of the world) got was one of the greatest and most feminist answers possible. Read it for yourself and prepare to feel your heart flutter with John Green love:
Green definitely deals with this head-on in the novel. The protagonist, Q, idolizes Margo and loves her from afar, but, by the end of the novel. he realizes that he doesn’t know the girl of his dreams at all, outside of, well, his dreams. Q’s friend Ben faces the same issue when he starts dating (SPOILER) super popular and super pretty Lacey and realizes that the idea of dating her is far different from the reality of dating her. He has to get over the girl he imagined and fall in love all over again with the real girl.
It’s a great message and one that Green seems really dedicated to driving home. If his books can teach a generation of guys to see women as humans and not objects (and a generation of girls to stand up and insist on being seen as humans and not objects), then it’s worth rereading his entire catalog every single year.