me: *wrote a meta about victor a few days ago*
me: *writes another meta about victor fucking immediately*
I’ve been on a hell of a writing kick lately so here we are. I addressed this sort of in my last post about Victor, but I REALLY want to give it it’s own post so without further ado, let’s get into this.
The topic today is self-worth. Or, how Victor’s and Yuuri’s concept of themselves is the same yet drastically different.
Yuuri is incredibly easy to address because his expression of anxiety and self doubt is incredibly stark. Also, we get to be privy to his thoughts more than any other character’s, so pretty much everything that directly bothers him we already know about. Yuuri is a perfectionist, he doubts his choices, his abilities, his worth (not just as a skater but as a person), I think he believes himself to be plain and not particularly attractive, but that’s more speculation on my part based on his chronic anxiety. It’s an Anxiety Thing™.
(If you’d like to see more extensive thoughts and evidence about Yuuri’s anxiety, I wrote a thing here to backup my statements)
Yuuri is also rather expressive, while Victor just, isn’t really.
Sure, he’s goofy and bubbly, but he hides behind walls of pleasantness and restraint. I’m sure it has to do with media training, considering how long Victor has been in the public eye.
What I mean to say here is that Yuuri and Victor experience two different facets of self doubt. Yuuri can’t recognize his abilities, doesn’t believe in his own potential, can’t accept his achievements, etc etc. But I think Victor can do all those things. Victor knows his skills, he knows he’s essentially the best around, he knows he’s attractive and sought after. Victor knows this and can accept it. Victor’s biggest issue is his belief that if he doesn’t keep up a mask, he’s unlovable.
I think it’s been implied that Victor isn’t close to many people at all. When the video of Yuuri skating his routine went up, Victor seemed to easily jump on the next plane to Japan. He had no qualms and was clearly excited to leave. It’s been suggested in multiple fics (one off the top of my head being pt3 of Even Ice Gods Can Melt…what a fucking amazing little series, please go read it) that the only things in Russia Victor felt truly attached to were Yakov and Makkachin and Victor took Makkachin with him…
He interacts with several people in the skating community friendly enough (Stephane in ep12, those 3 girls in Russia Jackets in ep4), but the only person he seems to be friends with is Chris. They seem to know each other well and clearly get along wonderfully.
We don’t really see Victor interact closely with others other than Yuuri, Yuri, and Yakov. Yakov seems to be a father figure while I think Victor views Yuri as sort of a younger brother. However, he still runs out of the country, essentially forgetting about Yuri, so there you go.
Right, so. Victor isn’t close to many people. Humans are social animals, we need to have frequent, positive interaction with others to maintain mental–and, subsequently, physical–health. If you don’t get these interactions, it’s easy to form misconceptions about yourself. Such as, if I can’t get close to or speak to others, there must be something wrong with me, right? Or, no one knows what I’m actually like, and that’s probably for the better.
Both Yuuri and Victor struggle with the idea of love and support. Yuuri, as he says in ep5, couldn’t feel the love and support around him for a very long time. Victor, as he says in ep12, felt that he had to work completely alone to advance himself. I think this implies that Victor deliberately pushed people away by keeping up this pleasant mask and never allowing them to see in any deeper.
Yuuri’s distancing is incredibly physical (actually avoiding people, literal pushing, curling up, etc.) while Victor’s is more emotional (he doesn’t physically avoid but exclusively emotionally walls off).
I keep coming back to this mask of publicity pleasantness. It’s what got me thinking about this idea in the first place. In that Victor meta I linked to up there, I talked a bit about the beach scene, among other things. Victor names off a ton of options to gage what Yuuri wants him to be. It doesn’t occur to Victor to be himself until Yuuri asks him to. It doesn’t occur to Victor that he could be desired as himself.
He has this media image that people are accustomed to: handsome, elegant, playboy, pleasant, a gentleman, etc. This is what Victor is liked for. He probably hasn’t dropped that persona–at least for an extensive amount of time–in front of others for a very long time. It occurs to Victor to be whatever Yuuri would like, and it doesn’t cross his mind that Yuuri just likes him.
I love Victor and his character arc so damn much. Really looking forward to this movie–whenever it’s coming out–to see if they look further into this insecure side of Victor.
(I feel like this post is just me rehashing stuff but like I really adore how Victor is written and idk how to shut up)