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The Better Love

There are seven types of love according to Greek mythology. Eros is romantic love and Philia is platonic love to put it in simple terms. If any, which one is the better love?


Often, we see portrayals in the media where a protagonist will have to choose love over friendship, or in other cases will not be able to give the same time to their friends as they did before having a significant other. Such depictions almost pit one love against the other in this pathetic yet very human rat race for approval, affection, and validation.


I didn't know what to expect when I started watching Derry Girls, but I was more than pleasantly surprised to see five friends being absolutely chaotic and wild. Erin, Clare, Orla, Michelle and her cousin James, spend their lives under the British Army's hold on Ireland in the 1990s while navigating their journey as rebelling teens in a Catholic school.

At first, viewers might get frustrated with the "gullible", "childish" or just plainly "unreal" characters, but as the series progresses, we can't help grow fond of the girls and James. Each of their personalities are so well developed with giving respect to each character, even when they are obnoxiously picking on James for being English.


The careful attention paid to develop their strong friendship while of course, allowing them room for ups and downs with some bruises here and there. Michelle's character specifically is shown as very empowered and while she is always on the lookout for a boyfriend, her character is never shown to be any less than the others'. This then connects to how this is one of the very few media where we are not introduced to a significant love interest. Surely, due to the idiosyncrasies of each character's teen life there are elements of looking for romance but it is not the epicenter of the series.


Going off of our initial question then, is it possible for media to appeal to the viewer if it only really focuses on one love over another? If yes, then Derry Girls is the perfect embodiment of such an idea. If no, then Derry Girls is greatly lacking in a very important aspect. But the reality is that none of these is the right answer because the initial question is in fact a flawed one. This also then means that most portrayals we see in media with placing Eros above Philia are an inaccurate representation of love itself, because the truth is that no one love can be compared with another; each has its own place. There is no better love.


However, this does call for some skeptical thinking and raises an important point: if all loves have their own appropriate place, then there need to be more representations in mainstream media to move away from solely Eros-centric portrayals. If Derry Girls can give respect to the dynamics of such a complex emotion while highlighting one that is not commonplace, then so can other media.


To conclude, wholesome and pure friendships are just as important as passionate romantic relationships, and so deserve to have a little fantasy and romanticizing in media too.



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9 Comments


The lack of diversity in media representation is certainly evident when it comes to certain social groups but i never thought about it in terms of constructs such as love. But it is true when you think about it that only certain types of love have been deemed as socially acceptable and capable of media representation. Until recently, love for the same gender was not deemed to have social standing. Things are beginning to change but it is awareness like this that is crucial if we are to change our long-embedded way of thinking

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I lovee Derry Girls and I absolutely love your take on the idea of the better love and how we shouldn't compare the two. Completely agree with that!

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Thank you so much! I'm so glad you enjoyed it!

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Sara Arif
Sara Arif
Jul 07, 2021

I love this!!!

Friendships are so so important. I feel good friendships are what makes a person what they are today. This was a great read! I love how much you and I have in common when it comes to genres.

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Yes! It's truly amazing! And I totally agree with you on this because I wouldn't be who I am today without the help of my amazing friends

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Such an interesting read! I think the idea of platonic love vs romantic love is actually an implicit theme in most Pakistani dramas where the person has to choose one of them. Both co-existing is not shown. In fact, very pure and wholesome friendships are not shown in Pakistani media and instead friendships are shown to be a time pass and just surface level. While not all friendships may be deep and wholesome, some are and they should be celebrated on media.

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Yes! I totally agree with this. I would love a portrayal of both in one media product.

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safa.imran11
safa.imran11
Jul 07, 2021

I adore Derry Girls so much, and I love this piece!

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Same, and thank you!

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