Thank you for your additions to the Chloe post. I didn't know how to word my reservations about a redemption arc for her and then you did it.
i’m not saying it can’t be done, but i don’t think ml has the scope or the skill to handle it well — and it really feels like every show lately subverts/plays with their alpha bitch trope? (or at least the ones i’ve seen lately: gravity falls, dude that’s my ghost, spectacular spiderman, ouat, teen wolf, etcetcetc — even bonnie from kim possible and diamond tiara from mlp had their moments, iirc)
idk, at this point i’d really like to see the bitch character played straight, and chloe’s…
tbh chloe’s kind of flat. she does things because the writers want her to do things, and 99% of the time, the writers want someone to get akumatized. that kind of fits her into the narcissist model pretty cleanly — her reasons given don’t need to be any deeper than ‘she wanted to’ and ‘but other people didn’t do what she wanted.’
it’s not that she’s completely incapable of caring — she probably cares about ladybug, andre, sabrina, and adrien to some extent — it’s that their needs and emotions don’t blip on her radar. (they don’t need to, because she’s more of a plot device than a character, but in the context of the argument…)
she’s just a teenage girl, but even as a teenage girl, that’s a huge amount of innate empathy to lack.
teenage girls (all teenagers and young adults, really, in my experience) tend to get wrapped up in their own emotions and problems and do tend to place those emotions and problems as higher priority than anyone else’s, but even then most of them could look at their sobbing best friend and say ‘shit man you’re not feeling so good today, i’d better lay off.’
like. they might not know quite how to lay off, or how they react might not help, but generally seeing someone they care about display a strong emotion tends to garner a reaction of some sort.
chloe, as far as i’ve seen, doesn’t react. as far as i’ve seen, nobody’s ‘human’ to chloe except chloe.
‘well, she could’ve learned that behavior from her mother’ falls really flat to me because i know people who were trained like that — my grandmother and my sister’s bio mother especially were really frickin awful people — and it fucked them up but it didn’t kill their empathy.
now, my brother’s friend — an aspie in a similar situation — was pretty chloe-like.
—right up until he got out of his abusive home life and had the energy and peer pressure to be nice again.
but chloe isn’t being abused. at worst, she’s neglected. she could be looking for validation, but she goes to school (and has been for at least four years) and she’s surrounded by examples of how to get that validation without hurting people, and she seems to neither notice nor use any of them.
and i’m pretty sure it’s because she doesn’t realize she needs to; nobody’s ‘human’ to chloe except chloe, and that’s… well, i’m pretty sure that’s the definition of narcissism.
(as a side-note: she doesn’t really seem to be looking for validation either — her reactions and self-respect seem to be static no matter how people react to her. she’s the subject of everything from frustration (marinette), tolerance to gentle censure and rejection (adrien), pure rejection (ladybug), coddling and affection (her father), adoration to hatred (kim/dark cupid), pure adoration (sabrina), pure censure (alya) — right down to actual killing intent (evillustrator) — and chloe remains just as sure of herself as she started out.)TL;DR right now chloe’s a plot device with narcissistic patterns, and i don’t really see how a show like ml could pull off a decent redemption arc in the format that it uses. also i’ve had a void of unabashedly bitchy antagonist characters and would appreciate this one staying that way.