Why GenZs and Millennials are all about ‘Main character energy’—and here’s how to channel yours

She’s a 10...and she’s the leading lady of her life!

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The ‘She’s a 10 but...’ trend went viral last year and one of the positive aspects of it was people sharing their not-so-perfect quirks and traits. The thought behind the trend was that you are a 10 nevertheless because everyone has imperfections. It made people feel comfortable about their flawed personalities. In another version of this trend, people started making reels about how a woman is a 10 but not treated like she was, and reels or not, it is true for a lot of women. Sometimes, we tend to forget that we are the leading ladies of our lives, and we deserve to be treated like the main character. Nothing less will do.

I was a teenager when I watched The Holiday—when Arthur tells Iris, “You, I can tell, are a leading lady, but for some reason, you are behaving like the best friend,” it stuck with me. Like Iris, I, too, was behaving like I am starring in someone else’s movie. Since then, I decided that every time I behave like a supporting role, I will remind myself to bring my main character energy back on.

Back then, it wasn’t called ‘main character energy’—this is a term that has come to the forefront only recently. But that’s the thing about labels; they help you define a phenomenon, become self-aware, and motivate. Today, there are more than 170 million videos tagged with ‘main character energy’ and it is clear—Gen Zs and Millennials want to own it!

What main character energy means to Gen Zs and Millennials

The pandemic caused a major shift in the perspectives of people as they re-evaluated their choices and started putting their happiness—the real, peace-inducing kind that makes your soul dance—over everything else. This has led to increased individualism in the younger generation. According to research by YPulse, 55 per cent of Gen Zs and Millennials see themselves as the main character of their lives. Two in five youngsters believe in being the protagonist of their lives, i.e. prioritising their happiness. More than half of the youngsters believe this mindset helps them be their best selves.

Pakhi Gadh, a 21-year-old content creator believes every person is a main character in their own life and they can bring that energy in the way they find suitable. “For me, main character energy is just an extension of loving yourself and knowing what you deserve,” Gadh says.

Maahi Shah, our in-house Gen Z writer says, “Main character energy could mean a lot of things, but, for me, it's a lot about being confident, treating yourself with kindness and love rather than negating yourself or putting yourself down. It means eliminating self-doubt and overcoming insecurities.”

It is evident that bringing your main character energy isn’t only about changing a POV to get on a trend, but also about making choices that encourage self-love and self-acceptance and thus, a happier existence.

How to channel your main character energy 

Own your imperfections 

In Friends, Rachel is a messy roommate, Monica takes cleaning a bit too far, Chandler jokes in the most inappropriate moments, Ross has a thing for dinosaurs, Joey doesn’t share food, and Phoebe thinks her mother reincarnated as a cat. All the six main characters are far from perfect, but it doesn’t stop us from loving them and relating to them. Similarly, you need to love yourself, and know that everyone has quirks, and yours make you, you!

Learn to say no 

You can’t prioritise yourself if you say yes to everything. The habit is deep-rooted in the desire to people please, but a major part of self-care means you have to say no, you have to walk away when something doesn’t bring you joy. If something drains you or if you feel you are getting less than what you deserve, flip your hair and walk away.

Be more aware of your needs

Sometimes, we spend so much energy fulfilling someone else’s needs that we end up neglecting our own. For instance, if a person you like needs more space, you end up accommodating them even if it means you are constantly compromising. Bring your main character energy to the table and ask yourself what your needs are and if they are being fulfilled. If not, you know you are meant for bigger and better things!

Invest in yourself 

You can spend all your time and money on things that offer you no growth, but that will just be a waste of resources. Some part of your resources should go into unwinding and indulging, but a major chunk should go into things that help you evolve. For instance, paying attention to what you eat, treating yourself to a good workout, going out on a solo date, learning a new sport or an art form, and more. Do things for yourself, for your soul, and for whatever that will help you evolve. That’s the main character energy we love!