So far, I’ve been trying to avoid The Discourse™ on here—I think this is possibly the first potentially controversial post I’ve ever made on this blog, except for a couple political ones. I’m aware that what I have to say here might bother a lot of you, and if so, I’m sorry, but I think this is something that we really need to discuss.
The thing is, the love square has problems. (I’m not saying this as someone who ships something that “contradicts” the love square—I’m all for normalizing polyamory, and I don’t see a problem with the general idea of shipping somebody with two or more people.) But the specific dynamic between Marinette and Adrien has numerous issues, and I think it’s worrying that the fandom in general seems to ignore them. So I’m going to list some of them here.
The main source of problems with the love square is almost certainly Marinette’s attitude towards Adrien. It’s one thing to be attracted to somebody, it’s a far different thing to constantly obsess over them. Marinette obsesses over Adrien to the point where she covers her room with pictures of him and fills an entire calendar with the minute details of his schedule. That’s not cute, it’s incredibly invasive of Adrien’s privacy and boundaries, and it shouldn’t be treated as a lighthearted joke.
These examples are just part of a larger trend where Marinette treats Adrien as a prize to be won, and she can’t seem to accept the fact that he might not be interested in her. I can’t think of a single time when Marinette has cared one bit about Adrien’s interests or ambitions; she’s mostly just presented the opinions “he’s nice” and “he’s hot” without going any deeper at all. If Adrienette is going to become canon (which I’m sure it is eventually), Marinette needs to start respecting Adrien as an actual person.
A related source of problems is Adrien’s vulnerability. When he’s not presenting as Chat Noir, Adrien is very vulnerable, as can be seen in Origins when he arrives at school with Chloé as his only friend. This vulnerability is in no way Adrien’s fault, and he shouldn’t be blamed for it—the problem is the fact that Marinette never acknowledges it. Adrien’s especially vulnerable when he’s dealing with Ladybug, considering that she has a position of power over him—and also considering his own romantic feelings for her. This can be seen in the interaction between Ladybug, Adrien, and Lila—Ladybug refused to admit that Adrien could potentially make his own decisions, and she forcibly intervened, exploiting the power she has over Adrien. Ladrien already has the potential to become canon, given that the two of them are interested in each other, and if this happened without further development first, I can’t see how it could possibly avoid ending very badly.
There are many fewer issues when Adrien is presenting as Chat Noir—he’s said himself that as Chat Noir he feels less vulnerable and more like himself. (And yes, it’s another major problem that Marinette only has feelings for a version of him that he himself doesn’t like.) But I don’t really see many problems with Ladynoir or Marichat, although I do think they work much better as platonic pairings.
Considering the fact that most of the show’s audience is on the younger side (including lots of kids who are literally six years old), the fact that this is being presented as an example of an ideal romance is frankly quite worrying—Marinette’s behavior is in no way healthy, and shouldn’t be presented as such. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t ship Adrienette (or any other pairing in the love square, for that matter), but I think it’s very important to acknowledge that there are many problems that must be overcome before these two people can enter into a committed relationship.
(I’m aware I’ll probably lose a couple followers over this, but if you’re at all interested in discussing it, feel free to do so in reblogs, replies, or messages.)
This is my kind of Friday Night! Oh this is happening! Vegan “Honey” BBQ #BeyondBurger Meatloaf (@beyondmeat & @beefreehonee), @daiyafoods Mac & Cheese, & Collard Greens Style Kale with @miyokos_kitchen Vegan Butter (Vegan & accidentally Gluten Free) :g by The Comforting Vegan