Can we stop treating Adrien’s character like he’s a delicate child?
It’s really concerning me how his character is handled, and it’s something I only touched briefly on before but I think this is something that really needs to be addressed, and that’s how this character is written to be far more delicate and breakable than he actually is in canon, and that he’s somehow incapable of doing wrong.
It just seems like lately people are confusing Adrien’s sweet and mellow personality for a docile, shy pushover, and exaggerating insecurities of his that he only ever displayed having in a mostly normal way that teenagers tend to. He looked at Marinette owning at Mechastrike and wished he was as awesome as her, and as silly and over dramatic as that was coming from a boy who’s room is lined with trophies in more than one area, I think everyone at one point has looked at someone else and aspired to be like them, maybe even felt a little inadequate in comparison. It’s perfectly normal. Beyond that, Adrien’s issues always dealt with feeling lonely and frustrated with his controlling father. But all of these issues he takes control of, you only need to look at how he signed himself up for school in order to break out of his dad’s confines and make his own friends.
Then there’s Chat Noir.
I’m sorry, but no one acts like Chat Noir does and has no self esteem; I’d say he even has it in leaps and bounds, he’d have to to flirt and posture the way he does constantly. I think it goes without saying that being Chat Noir was only ever Adrien’s chance to let loose and act carefree, which is hard when he has to keep a more put-together image up for his very controlling dad. And I would consider his entire run as Chat Noir so far as an act of rebellion, defying all the caution and restrictions that surrounded him for a time. He’s taken his life in his own hands because he was capable of doing so, and none of that reads to me like a character who needs coddling by the fandom or people within the fan artist/fan author’s universe. Comforting the character is one thing, treating him like a delicate flower that needs constant praise, who’s feelings need to be considered above everything else less he breaks is another.
Which leads me, as ever, to Marinette/Ladybug, and how she’s treated in consequence of Adrien’s babying.
Marinette/Ladybug is capable of being a jerk to him, according to fandom, and it’s a loved trope. Either Ladybug’s being rude and inconsiderate of Chat Noir or she’s berating herself for not thinking of him first and always. That last bit in particular is something in fanworks I’m increasingly having an issue with. It manifests in different ways, a common way being Chat revealing to Ladybug a little of his home-life to her, causing immense guilt on her part as if there’s anything she could have done about something she previously had no clue about. It puts an unbelievable amount of pressure on her to reveal her identity when she’s not suppose to be doing that, and making her out to be an inconsiderate partner for not ever considering his feelings.
This all comes back to Adrien’s treatment as fandom’s child who needs constant coddling and needs to be put first; being capable of showing disrespect or causing harm in any way is hardly ever considered for him because of that.
But Copycat exists.
Fandom keeps missing what a jealous, possessive brat Adrien is capable of being, because this aspect of his personality has been lost in the veil of pure innocence that’s been put over him. I have to ask though, how many forgot he lied to Theo about being in a relationship with Ladybug? And then never owned up to it? Because for all everyone acts like he’s a pure ray of sunshine, particularly one that would never mistreat Ladybug/Marinette and is always considerate of her, that was a slimy thing to do to her. That isn’t to say Adrien is a Grade A jerk because of his actions in that episode, but it does show a far less innocent aspect of his character that’s rarely explored because everyone’s too focused on babying him.
Ultimately, Adrien is a very strong person, he’d have to be to live in the conditions he does and continue to be as sweet as he is. He rebelled against his dad in big ways, like being a superhero and going to school, and smaller ways, such as shaming his dad the entire episode of Jackady. The insecurities about himself as a person are minor and normal, hardly something that cripples him to the point where anything other than praise/ comforting words would break him, and to continue to treat him like this porcelain doll is a great disservice to his strength of character and forces other characters to walk on eggshells around him or come off as unfairly rude and inconsiderate.