I have watched a lot of television in my short lifetime so there are a lot of shows that I really enjoy and love. So, when I was given this topic I couldn’t help but think of the following four shows and as we go along, I will tell you how they relate to this topic.
Four shows/movies that more or less made my childhood and early adolescence are; Shallow Hal, Johnny Bravo, Beauty and the Beast (the cartoon version) and John Tucker Must Die. Besides the obvious fun plots that these shows have, they all have one common thread. The characters that make up the central plot have a problem with narcissism. It is a chronic problem at least at the very beginning of the show to the middle of the show. They were all presented to us that way and as the audience, we are generally expected to accept them the way that they are and in turn hate them. But if you pay attention long enough, there are clues that are dropped during the movie about the character that gives us clues as to how they arrived at Point Narcissism.
Narcissism, quite simply, is the notion that there is none equal to the self. Everyone else outside of the person is lesser than. But if you think about Narcissus, who is the root legend of this disease (yes, it is a sickness), you would understand that there was a certain progression. Narcissus denied every one of himself. He thought that no woman was good enough for his good looks. The argument could be that he was very picky….at the beginning of the story but with each denial, we realise that he’s a bit of a prude and then a bit of a snob and then a big jerk. Anyway, at the end of it all, he sees himself in a pool of water, falls hopelessly in love with himself and eventually dies/turns into some kind of tree.
He denies himself of everyone because he holds such a high ideal of himself. But I don’t think that it is just that. I think that Narcissus loved the attention. He loved being the centre of attraction and him being able to reject people empowered him at least in his mind. What happened was that there was one person that wasn’t giving him that level of attention – himself.
With this in mind, let’s explore the effect of change in relation to narcissism.
Sudden Increase In Popularity
I believe the closest character to Narcissus is Gaston from Beauty and the Beast. Easily. The only difference is that Gaston managed to convince himself to be in love with himself. There are some clues as to how Gaston got this way and they were revealed very early in the show. Gaston was physically superior. If you look at everyone else in the town, the men are either very old or very caricature-like. Disney made it too easy for him to be the centre of attention. Added to that, he was a town hero. Killed a couple of wild animals here and there and basically puts hearts in the eyes of the town.
Now there were probably dozens of hunters in the town. Let’s be serious – as provincial as Belle’s town was, everyone could not be bakers, butchers and librarians. But, with his build and his looks, he took the occupation to a whole other level. I’m willing to bet if he was a good-looking coward he would have gotten zero attention. In fact, he would have been seen as a bum. What changed for Gaston was the level of his notoriety. This more than kicked off his narcissism. Thus, an effect of change in reputation from non-existent to celebrity status can bring on narcissism.
Family Obligations or Expectations.
Hal Larson, in my mind, was also pretty narcissistic. People who know the movie “Shallow Hal” may not agree but I have a reason for saying this. Hal thought himself above anyone who didn’t look like a Victoria Secret model. That is a form of narcissism. Not being attracted to someone is one thing but outright rejecting someone that doesn’t mirror this idea that you have in your mind is indeed narcissistic. If you paid attention to my explanation of narcissism, you could understand where I am coming from with this. Hal wasn’t so in love with himself that he lost touch with reality but he was that much in love with himself that he dared not go below what his standard was.
But Hal didn’t bring this on himself. He had some help with this one. Hal made a promise to his dying father that he would only date women of a superior physical quality. This is the wish of a parent that he was trying to fulfil. How do you deny a dying parent? So, Hal had to carry out this wish for his father just like anyone of us would if we were about to lose a parent. Life happens and that can also trigger narcissism.
“John Tucker Must Die” is one of the typical American comings of age movies. Mean girls, mean guys and everyone in between. John Tucker is just between Gaston and Narcissus. He uses the fact that he could get anyone that he wanted to get everyone that he wanted. Need we say more? He was wreaking havoc until a group of girls who dated John and suffered the consequences of the hump-and-dump tactic that he was using to come together and put a stop to him. They created the perfect girl out of a nobody to ruin him by depriving him of the attention that he craved so much It’s a good thing that they did because we got to find out that John was only like that because he had a reputation to keep as head jock and him trying to be this predator was a shell so that he would never be hurt or be seen as vulnerable. In his mind, that’s what women liked probably because that is what the media that he was exposed to, taught him. This was a lost young man who was afraid of being seen as less than.
Unresolved insecurity is very much a cause of narcissism and strangely enough is a common cause of a very toxic mental condition.
Not Enough Guidance Or Honesty From The People Around You
Sometimes, narcissism can be borne out of the fact that we just don’t know any better. My cartoon crush (for various reasons except for his looks), Johnny Bravo, is the epitome of the previous statement. Johnny is a complete narcissist. He thinks himself some sort of god in human form. His mother coddles him senseless half of the time and the other half just doesn’t pay attention to him or his behaviour. The people in this town don’t seem to know how to tell him that he’s a narcissist. Little Suzie loves him, Carl believes himself to be Johnny’s best friend and Pops is overly consumed with making money from his dinner. Johnny has no guidance whatsoever. How do you know if you’re doing something wrong if no one ever tells you?
There are people who don’t get called out on their narcissistic behaviour and they remain this way, destroying themselves and annoying others. No change and no room to change or no motivation to change can also bring on narcissism and it can be the worst form of narcissism that there is.
Triggers of narcissism, if not controlled, can turn the nicest people into some of the most pathetic creatures on the planet. The onus is on the sober-minded to clutch them from the abyss once we realise that this is the road that they are travelling down and rescue them before it is too late.
This Exotic piece was written by: Kershelle Mike.
She is the brain behind the; “The Angry Marketer” & “Textbook Rantings” blogs.
Her inclination for teaching others simply has led her to create two blogs – one that offers simple but helpful design, start-up and marketing pieces of advice to novice bloggers while the other contributes to the global discourse on important, and sometimes touchy, current affairs. By doing this, she hopes to prove that intelligence level should not solely be determined by a piece of paper but rather in addition to what is demonstrated by the paper holder.
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