People & Inspiration

In Focus: 5 Teenage Characters Who Broke TV Stereotypes

In Focus: 5 Teenage Characters Who Broke TV Stereotypes

 

There's no denying that the TV industry is flourishing more than ever these days. And what we love about the series that we're getting hooked on is how revolutionary the characters are. We've been used to seeing stereotypical characters growing up—from the gullible cheerleader to the bully jock. So it's simply refreshing to see those who are breaking the mold for a change!

The best part about these characters is how relatable they are to our own unique journeys. To show our appreciation, we listed down below five characters who have broken stereotypes for the better.

1. Cheryl Blossom from Riverdale

We first knew about the sassy Cheryl Blossom in the Archie Comics, but she got a better story when Netflix released a dark version of the classic comic in the form of Riverdale. She's the head cheerleader of the River Vixens and a self-proclaimed Queen Bee at Riverdale High School, but what makes her character more impressive is how she breaks the classic mean girl archetype! Despite her branded clothes and smoking red lips, Cheryl is sensitive and is not afraid to admit when she's wrong. She cares deeply for the people she loves, even if these people kept on hurting her.

 
 
 
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2. Payton Hobart from The Politician

Netfix's The Politician gave us a power-hungry character named Payton Hobart, which in the first few episodes portrayed as a rich gay nerd bullied by his brothers. But, of course, he's way more than that. After showing us his true colors as an overconfident student, Payton broke the gay nerd stereotype. Spending his time unapologetically focused on getting what he wants from the world as he campaigns to become his high school’s president, Payton is being backstabbed not for being a gay-nerd, but for making selfish decisions. Payton is the queer anti-hero we’ve always needed to be inspired by in our journey to reaching our goals!

 
 
 
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3. Steve Harrington from Stranger Things

In the first season of Stranger Things, the show introduced Steve Harrington as the most popular guy in his school, packaged with good looks and a terrible personality. But unlike every high school heartthrob, we saw that Steve is more human than we thought. Despite his insecurities, he genuinely cared about the kids, especially Dustin, whom he treated like his little brother. Steve has proven that he's willing to put himself in danger to protect his friends. He also didn't get the girl in the end, but, honestly, we're rooting for Uncle Steve way more than anyone in this show!

 
 
 
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4. Eric Effiong from Sex Education

While the main character of the show Otis is incredibly relatable himself, his best friend Eric Effiong steals the show by being confidently himself. Unlike in other TV shows where the gay best friend is portrayed as a supporter and stands as the show's comic relief without a background story, Eric is someone who's finding his place in the world while embodying the confidence we're trying to carry every day. Plus, the fact that his father isn't your stereotypical close-minded parent who violently abuses their gay child gives us even more hope for the acceptance of the LGBT+ community today.

 
 
 
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5. Kat Hernandez from Euphoria

The popular series Euphoria realistically depicts teenagers at their absolute worst, and this includes being body-conscious, which they explored more with the quirky and curvy Kat Hernandez. She wants to change her reputation at school, but rather than having a makeover by losing weight, she started doing videos to explore her body and how she wants it to look. She might have a cam-girl persona, but this helped Kat to be more confident with her body in real life.

 
 
 
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It's nice to finally see and look up to characters who are dynamic in the most relatable ways. With these kinds of representation, who can now say that too much TV is bad for us? Here's to more game-changing roles and admirable actors on the small screen!

ALSO READ: The Six Fix: These Fictional Femmes On Netflix Are All About Girl Power

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