Bob Belcher’s oldest daughter might seem awkward and full of angst, but I’d be proud to have a teenager with her confidence and sass.
Teens get a pretty bad rap, if you ask me. The prevailing attitude about them seems to be that they are texting, sexting, smoking, snorting, bullying, lying, thieving puberty monsters who hate you and really only exist to roll their eyes and confuse you with scary slang.
TV (and sometimes movie) teens are undeniably the worst. My little girl could grow up to be a knocked-up Amy Juergens, a sociopathic Regina George or a spun-out Effy Stonem. And sure, these are all fictional examples of teenage archetypes, but we’re meant to fear them all the same.
Well, I don’t. First, because teenagers aren’t really that awful after all — they’re as capable of empathy as they are of navel-gazing. They do pretty cool stuff all the time.
Second, because there’s a chance that my kid will end up more like 13-year-old Tina Belcher from Bob’s Burgers than Blair Waldorf from Gossip Girl. And you know what? I hope she does. Here’s why.
1. Tina is confident
Tina has her moments of self-doubt and self-consciousness, but when it really matters, she doesn’t let anyone else determine her worth.
2. She’s comfortable in her sexuality, even when it confuses her
Teen sexuality is tricky territory for everyone, but Tina seems to know how to navigate it just fine. She doesn’t care if she’s judged for her newfound desire to make out with zombies or crush on her capoeira instructor. She just rolls with it.
3. Tina is humble
Sure, she’s awesome. But she’s never arrogant about it.
4. She’s not afraid to talk to her parents about her problems
Tina won’t hesitate to let her parents know if she has an embarrassing rash or a weird zombie sex dream, if she thinks they can help her out. Better too much information than not enough, I say.
5. Tina is creative
Tina sticks to and nurtures her interests even if they fall outside of what her peer group might consider “normal.” That requires a pretty strong sense of identity.
6. Tina has a great relationship with her dad
Listen: You don’t have to have an active dad in your life to be a kickass teenager, and I say this from experience. But Tina and Bob have an awesome dynamic that anyone would envy.
7. Tina is smart when it comes to her romantic prospects
Teenage romance is so intense that it can be easy to overcommit too soon. Bravo to Tina for keeping her options open.
8. In fact, at 13, she already knows what’s most important when it comes to love
9. She won’t allow herself to be bullied
It takes a lot of guts to stick up to someone who focuses an epic laser beam of jerkitude on you, especially as a teenager. Tina won’t stand for it. She knows life is too short.
10. Tina has an appreciation for the finer things in life
Image: Nothing Butt Tina Belcher