I think its time that we kill the Prince Charming archetype. When you break it down, the very idea is toxic: A man that only springs to action after crossing paths with a woman he hardly knows outside of a passing glance and is smitten solely due to the beauty of the damsel in distress, or in more modern incarnations an empty one-dimensional foil that exists merely to rile up the love interest and provide some sort of conflict without any sort of depth.
That’s incredibly stupid. It doesn’t help that mass media has played a part in relentlessly pushing the archetype as the ideal male partner, even with the strides that are being made to make the idea obsolete.
From magazines to TV and even online advice columns, it seems that Prince Charming still dominates as the ideal, although they may not refer to it explicitly as such, choosing to use coded language to mask the fact that such an ideal is not only unrealistic, but that any man that doesn’t live up to those standards is less than a man.
In contrast, a character like Captain Harlock represents everything I want to be, a hero and a friend. Not a hero with superpowers, but someone that can muster the strength and conviction to fight against evil without fear and help his friends. That’s the kind of person I try to be every day. I may not always be successful, but every time I do manage is like a victory for me.
Even though Harlock himself represents another ideal, that of the stoic rebellious hero, he’s still flawed and imperfect since he has to be convinced that the humanity is worth saving. He initially only fights for himself and only after he listens and takes the words of his best friend and his other friends to heart does he decide to open up and defend humanity, discovering that his nobility and his friends shaped the hero he became.
Prince Charming has no friends, only being focused on the damsel in distress. Being solely focused on saving the damsel in distress is the wrong way to go about things, especially when once she’s saved, Prince Charming has nothing left to save. What kind of existence is that? If fitting into the outdated mold of Prince Charming somehow makes me an ideal man, then I want no part of it. I have no reason to fit into that mold when I don’t agree with those ideals. I’d rather be a hero and a legend instead.