Note: Before I start, let’s just clarify, chick-lit is NOT 50 Shades of Grey and when I refer to girls, I’m mainly talking about girls who read because they like to.
Every once in awhile, I go on a horrible chick lit binge. For instance, I just spent the last 2 days reading two chick lit novels and not doing much else. It basically is junk food for the brain, there really is no other way to put it! I’m always ashamed that I do it, but I invariably get into a mood where I want to read chick-lit. Now, other girls, most likely, don’t do what I do but I’m certain that a lot of them read chick lit. One thing we all have in common is – guys don’t understand why girls read trashy chick-lit.
I agree, it’s not literature and the word “lit” shouldn’t be associated with it. Most chick-lit is horribly cliched, full of lines that no guy would actually say, over the top declarations of love, has forgettable characters and needs minimal use of brain power. Nonetheless, give a girl such a book, invariably, she’ll read it and enjoy it. I’m not certain for all the reasons girls have to read chick lit but here are the reason I came up with.
1. Escapism: Give me any book that is not based in reality and I’ll read it. Don’t get me wrong, I love books like Remains of the Day and Black Swan Green, but if I were to choose, I’d always go with sci-fi, fantasy or something not very serious. Chick-lit is perfect for escapism. There’s no way any of that stuff happens but what’s the harm in forgetting your own life problems for a bit and reading something you know will always have a happy ending.
2. Humour: Good chick-lit (as oxymoron-ish as that sounds) is pretty witty. There are a couple of zingers. Subtle humour in Wodehouse and Douglas Adams is fun but so are the in-your-face one-liners by Meg Cabot and Sophie Kinsella.
3. For those who are Single/Broken-hearted: In the words of Obama – “hope”. I think chick-lit gives single girls and girls who have been dumped the hope that something good is out there for them.
4. For girls in relationships: Whether you’re in a good relationship or a bad one, chick-lit works for both kinds of girls. If she’s in a bad relationship it’s like the previous point, chick-lit gives her hope of something better to come. If she’s in a good relationship, it acts like a reaffirmation of how great life is.
5. Works better than a movie: Yes, girls like rom-coms as well. However, books work better than movies because you can put your own spin on it. In a movie you have accept what the director shows you. Whereas, chick-lit is open to a wider scope of interpretation AND provides, i think, more finality than most movies.
6. Unreal aspects we wish were real: Chick-lit is UNREAL. It’s actually laughable how unreal it is but I think we all wish it were true on some level. Like the plain, average girl is ridiculously attractive to some stud boy who is ridiculously chiseled. That everyone has gorgeous hair, flawless skin and perfect lips. Plus, the guy seems to always be quite rich. Unreal!
7. Living vicariously: As a gender, we’re romantics at heart. Even if it’s not a personal experience, reading/ hearing/ watching grand declarations of undying love, as over the top and corny as they maybe, makes us happy! Even if you’re bitter and cynical (and i’m quite close to that) deep down inside you know you’re saying “aww”.
That’s my take on the subject. So if you’re a guy and judge girls who read Princess Diaries or the Shopaholic series, etc. maybe you can take it easy next time. We all have our weaknesses!