With the release of Bob's Burgers season 4 finally on Netflix, (and binge-watching all of it last night), I have to point out that this show has some of the most gender-positive animated characters in the history of television. Every character is different and weird in their own way and they all have an equal purpose on the show. Each episode makes me love each character more and more. The Belchers are a great example of a family that is loving and supportive, with imperfect parents and children that defy gender roles. Naturally, each Bob's Burgers fan has their favorite character in the show, but in this article I will be focusing on the amazingly awkward Tina (my favorite character). Here's why she is a great role model for everyone:
1. Even though Tina is awkward, she is also confident. She accepts who she is and is not afraid to share her interests with others. She has shown multiple times that being a dork or a geek is nothing to be ashamed of. It's actually something that should be embraced. In a world full of people pretending to be someone else, Tina is a prime example that being yourself is all you need.
2. She has taught us that the only person in charge of your life and your happiness is you. Tina doesn't allow people to define her or change who she is. She is her own hero.
3. She is an eternal optimist and always finds the good in every situation. She sees the opportunity in every difficulty and even though she doesn't have the best of everything, she makes the best of everything. That doesn't mean she doesn't fall apart from time to time, because she does, but she is able to learn from her mistakes and move forward with a better attitude and with more confidence.
4. She perfectly represents an awkward teenager going through puberty in a way we can all relate to. Every single teenager, of every gender, has had to deal with the crazy hormonal changes that come with puberty. Tina's blunt sexuality, is never seen as a joke, but as part of her personality. We laugh at her but we also root for her because we identify with everything she is going through. At an age where nothing holds you back more than your own insecurities, Tina is brave enough to embrace the changes and frustrations that come with being a teen.
5. She loves, supports, and trusts her family. She is a great sister to her younger siblings and a wonderful daughter. She is always there for all of them no matter what. She is always honest with them, accepts them for who they are, and protects all of them against anyone who wishes them harm.
6. She's not afraid of going after what she wants by being goal-oriented and determined. She knows practice makes perfect and giving up is not an option. She's taught us that even if you stumble and fail, you can still get back up and try again. When people challenge her attributes and skills, she always does her best to prove them wrong. She is also not afraid to make the first move, therefore breaking gender stereotypes and demonstrating that girls can also be dominant figures.
7. She is able to stand up for herself and others. She might be shy sometimes, but when she needs to defend herself, she steps up and does it. She also knows that being mean is not the answer, therefore she always finds ways to speak her mind with respect. She lets people know that just because she is nice, it doesn't mean she is weak.
8. She never misses the chance to make people feel special and to encourage others to be better. Even when people around her have negative attitudes, she's ready to step in and make them realize how amazing they are.
9. She is honest and humble. For Tina, telling the truth is very important, even when doing so could affect her. She thinks with sincerity and acts with integrity. She respects everyone. A character that chooses honesty over deceit every single time, is an amazing role model in every aspect.
10. She is a modern feminist hero. Even though she is boy crazy and has a big obsession with Jimmy Jr., Tina doesn't allow that to define her. She knows what she wants, is comfortable with her sexuality and always stays true to herself. She sees everyone as equals and at the same time is proud to be a girl. She's not constrained by gender stereotypes and doesn't play the damsel in distress. She can rescue herself. She is the perfect example that you can be a feminist, be boy crazy, and enjoy being a girl, all at the same time.
Keep being the amazing role model you are Tina! And remember, don't have a crap attack.