All the films and novels of dark academia revolves around a group of guys and maybe a girl or two who are minor characters. Dead Poet’s Society, The Goldfinch, The Secret History, Kill Your Darlings all revolve around males. The only female-led dark academia film is Mona Lisa Smile. [edit: since I wrote this post, I’ve watched a few more female-led dark academia films such as Picnic at Hanging Rock and Mary Shelley]. We need to see more women in dark academia! Not just as minor characters or the ‘girlfriend’ or ‘wife’—not that there’s anything wrong with that—but as their own people. A female in relation to the world or another female instead of a female in relation to a male.
I want to see messy-haired girls, long-haired girls or girls with wavy, chopped bobs. Crimson-stained lips or pale lips, dark eyes with a galaxy of secrets swimming in the pool of iris. Anxiously hammering away on typewriters at odd hours of the night. Crinkled bed sheets. Candle-lit rooms. Silky nightgowns. Fluttering, coffee-stained pages fluttering around, dog eared manuscripts of Grecian tragedies, anxious lip bites and ink-stained fingertips. Reading French poetry, Sappho, and worshipping Aphrodite.
Girls of all ethnicities, sexual orientations, body types, you name it! Dark academia is seriously lacking in diversity. But then again Toni Morrison said, “If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.” So maybe one day I will. Maybe one day all the random sentences I’ve strung together that are scattered among my various notebooks will finally come together into a realized plot line for me to develop. Maybe one day I just might publish a dark academia book featuring women who are not all rich and skinny.
I usually read about mental health and a lot of obscure, dark academia topics because I love esoteric things, but with all that’s going on in the world now, I’ve undertaken to learn more about topics like racial justice, LGBTQ+ rights, and world hunger because as an artist, how can I not reflect what’s going on in the world? Visit dosomething.org to start making a change for a better future. Perhaps this is the start of my journey to becoming the author of a dark academia novel that is rich in representation…..
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