Yo any artists looking for an art prompt i really need some positivity for my boy Nino. Me and Tides were talking about how since Adrien is default viewed in the canon of the show as the example of ‘attractive’ (literally being called such things as ‘perfection’ by multiple people) so that Nino is sometimes shoe horned as the ‘ugly friend’. Like, on multiple occasions Nino compares himself to Adrien and places himself below him, almost absent mindedly like its just kind of a fact, which is the reason i characterize Nino with low self confidence and personal image. He doesnt think he’s ugly, he isnt super down on himself, he’s content and doesnt really think about it, its just a passive fact in his head like ‘Yeah, adrien is better than me. Thats fine’ in vague non addressed terms. its unconscious and an accepted fact of his, because his best friend and person he is closest to is literally stated as physical elite, and since Nino is his physical opposite in almost every trait (except the fact that they are both tall) Nino would automatically and with no bitterness have it reinforced that he ISNT attractive, because hes nothing like adrien who IS attractive. So what im saying is, that in the characterization of the show it would be most accurate to have Marinette and Nino be the one with image issues. Adrien is certainly awkward enough for that but he’s been taught his whole life that he is good looking, and Alya has a lot of personal strength. Marinette is insecure but has a good support network, and characterization wise it would be unlikely for Nino to ever bring up personal image or style with any kind of sincerity. He’d make a joke out of it and be like “Who cares about clothes? Doesnt really matter,” or whatever and he’d be pretty chill about it, but thats because he probably has a casual acceptance of where he rates himself in relation to his friends. But he has multiple times compared himself to Adrien and (Tides and I agree) it would be a huge character development about personal image if it were addressed in the show which i think it should be. Adrien is placed on a huge pedestal, i think it would be a big deal for him to have someone he cares about feel worse about themselves because of that, and realize that his best friend had been comparing himself to him and in his mind had come up short. That would be an excellent episode to progress that friendship and have Adrien (a lead in the show who would carry a lot of weight with young audiences) reinforce that there are many kinds of attractive, not one exact specification that you have to meet (ex: thin, fit, pale, tall, etc.) People are really diverse and Nino should feel good about himself and find confidence about himself through that.
This was kind of spurred on by me drawing that picture of shirtless surfboarding nino awhile ago and having my mom walk in to say “Is that Nino? Why did you draw him like that, he’s not that attractive. He’s sort of the awkward one isnt he? I thought Adrien was the attractive one” and like.
It so just goes to show how much of a protective mom i am with him, because i was legit like “There is more than one kind of attractive and he has a lot of fantastic traits and he has every right to feel CONFIDENT AND-” like. I had to stop and remind myself, “He’s not freaking real, its cool, you’re cool.”
But its the idea of it. i want it addressed in the show so badly, it would a great message for children and capitalize on the great diversity already present in the show. So I really want to see stuff like that.
TLDR: I really want to see more positive Nino stuff about him having confidence and finding self confidence and reinforcing that there are multiple kinds of attractive and just because he doesnt look like Adrien or have Adrien’s situation or wealth or what have you that he isnt any less than his best friend because he is at a very INFORMATIVE TIME OF HIS LIFE AND I THINK WAY TOO MUCH ABOUT HIM DEVELOPING OR ALREADY HAVING IMAGE ISSUES BECAUSE OF THIS.
All i want for christmas is Nino starting to develop confidence in his personal image. Literally anything, him having literally no idea what to do when a girl flirts with him for the first time. His friends positively reinforcing that he is a good person and actually ALL of the friends encouraging each other and reinforcing that they are all great and have really strong positive traits. Nino admitting to Adrien that he doesnt think alot of himself and Adrien reacting VERY STRONGLY and making a huge effort to make Nino understand that he is totally awesome and special and important and that he loves him.
This is why i love Model Nino so much okay.