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Creative Corner

Creative Corner: How Greta Gerwig Shaped My Adulthood

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Creative Corner is a space to share your creative writing at Roar! We hope you’ll enjoy the short stories we publish, all of which are written by current KCL students.

Growing up fantasising about being a Disney princess or Hannah Montana, I had a vague idea of who I wanted to be when I became a young adult. The concept of a young adult solidified in my head when I turned 18; it hit me like a truck and I thought “Oh crap, I am of that age now.” And I began to wonder if my life turned out to be what I imagined it would be. Did I wear those outfits? Did I have that many boyfriends? The answer was far from yes. Yet, I was speaking from a place of content. Now at 22, pondering upon what shaped me in the past four years, I see that it all came back to the media I consumed. Specifically, it came back to one woman, and I believe she read me like an open book.

I would describe this growth as a journey that began when I stumbled upon “Lady Bird” (2017). As an 18-year-old who was still struggling to live with her parents, that film came as a friend with a warm hug, validating my emotions and troubles. Lady Bird and her best friend would walk around the city looking at beautiful houses; I unknowingly mirrored that in my life. Dia and I would walk around the streets of Hauz Khas and look at the eccentric, structured, minimalistic houses and reminisce about Greta Gerwig displaying the same thing. These instances are endless. The mother-daughter relationship, the ambitious need to escape her city for growth—I understood her like a friend. Lady Bird gave me that missing piece to fit into the cavity of loneliness and aloofness I felt during my teenage years, which I protected as my safe space. I realised very recently that I had grown out of that state of mind and couldn’t relate to her anymore; part of me died when I accepted that reality.

However, I was not let down for long. I did not know about Louisa May Alcott’s “Little Women” until Gerwig’s adaption in 2019. It was the best birthday gift I ever had. I walked out of the cinema with such compassion and love for the art Greta created, but more than that: I was beyond ecstatic because I could relate to the characters so beautifully displayed on the big screen. I was shocked at how I empathised with Jo’s perspective on being part of relationships. Greta always manages to hit the spot.

Finally, the beautiful portrayal of womanhood is what deeply attaches me to Gerwig’s work. “Frances Ha” (2012), where she played a young woman struggling with adulting, reverberates in my life currently. The anxieties of loneliness and the struggle to pursue your dreams and manage relationships all laid comfort in the monochromatic scenes in the film.

Looking back on the pathway I chose to follow as a teenager, it seems as though I was walking alone. But it is only fair to give partial credit for companionship to Gerwig’s work.

You can send your short stories, poetry or creative nonfiction to [email protected].

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