John Green talks about the problem with putting a girl on a pedestal
We are VERY excited about the book-to-film adaptation of John Green’s Paper Towns coming to theaters near us all on July 24th. Quick question: can there be a John Green movie that comes out every summer for the rest of human history? Just putting it out there.
John Green sat down with cast and crew members of the adaptation this past week at BookCon to talk all things Paper Towns. As the Hollywood Reporter informed us, one of the best takeaways from the talk was when the beloved author talked about the protagonist of Paper Towns, Q, and his intense crush on the mysterious Margo, whom he sees as his “miracle.”
“When you watch the actual movie, you see that Q’s miracle isn’t Margo, and treating a person as a miracle is always a mistake,” Green explains. “At times, Margo is unfair to Q, but it’s also unfair for Q to ask Margo to be all these things to him, to build her up.”
In fact, Green explained that Cara Delevingne, the fast-rising star who plays Margot, “…understands the idea of being seen as a two-dimensional object more than anyone.”
Green went on to talk about the dangers of putting young women on a pedestal.
“We do girls a disservice by trying to romanticize them,” he insisted. “If you zoom out, you can’t know someone after three days in nine years. I think she says, ‘You don’t love me, you don’t know me.’ The way Cara said that, it choked me up,” he continued. “It said something about the way I’d imagine girls as a teenager, and how that was destructive to me and destructive to them. … Romantic love is not the only love that has value.”
Green hits upon something pretty powerful here. We often think about a destructive thought or act towards a young woman as coming from a place of hate. The thing is, we can also do damage to young women by putting them up on pedestals, forcing them to be fantasies and refusing to let them be people. Of course, being worshipped and adored sounds GREAT in theory, but if a dude is not allowing a girl to be a three-dimensional human being that exists in the real world, that’s actually not a great way to treat that girl.
Thanks John Green, for guiding us through the ethics of having crushes, you’ve given us some awesome food for thought and now we’re more excited than ever to get our Paper Towns on this summer.