TV Trop: Damsel in Distress

Author of the article: Tatiana Zhakova
Journalist, linguist, teacher of storytelling with 10 years of experience
In 2015, she created and promoted her project about Nizhny Novgorod, after which she created the author's course "Storytelling: How to Tell Your Story" on its basis. More than 4,000 students have taken the course.

A linguist by training, she is very quick to master new fields. Now she is actively studying screenwriting and storytelling in films/series, about which she writes in the blog of her project.
Damsel in distress is a stereotypical image of a woman who is in distress and needs to be rescued by a hero. This image has been frequently used in movies and literature, especially in fantasy and adventure movie genres. Most often this image is presented as a beautiful but defenseless girl who is kidnapped or has her life threatened. The hero, usually a man, must rescue her and defeat the villains to bring calm and safety back to the world.
An example of such an image is Princess Leia from the famous Star Wars saga. Leia was repeatedly in trouble and needed to be rescued by Luke Skywalker or Gunn Solo. In the movie Aladdin, Princess Jasmine was kidnapped by a genie and needed to be rescued by Aladdin. Another example is Ella from the movie Cinderella, who was locked in her room by her stepmother and was waiting to be rescued by Prince Charming.
Superman is constantly saving Lana Lang, Elizabeth Swan is in danger, and Lucia from the White Lotus already even knows how to use this trope to her advantage.

Although nowadays the image of the damsel in distress is often criticized as outdated and sexist, some movies and books still use it in their plot. It can also be seen that modern movies are trying to move away from the extreme and show women in a more active role, not just as victims.

In the cartoon Hercules, the main character Megara talks about damsel in distress like this:
"I hate being the one who expects to be rescued. I'd rather deal with my own problems. I don't want to be the damsel in distress."

With these words, Megara expresses her independence and strength of character, emphasizing that she does not want to become a victim of circumstances and is willing to fight for her freedom and independence.