Exploring the psyche of the meh emoji, Gene

Gene is a multifaceted protagonist who teaches audiences a valuable lesson

Exploring the psyche of the meh emoji, Gene

Selinna Tran, Life Editor

The protagonist of “The Emoji Movie”, Gene, is more than just a character in a film. He is the protagonist of our lives. He is a representation of all of those loners, nerds and plain ol’ outcasts we can all sympathize with.

Gene is an American hero and fights the uphill battle of fitting into a society that wishes to ostracize anyone that is different from the status quo. It is hard to progress as a society when we are stuck in egregious social practices of conformity and fail to celebrate the power of our differences.

That is why popular culture and media require the necessity of having a powerful protagonist. Gene fulfills this role within “The Emoji Movie”.

Now, there are many critics and naysayers that will look into “The Emoji Movie” and fail to see the subtle message that the film seems to portray. Many look at the film and see a childish animated movie that has little to no meaning.

For the wise, “The Emoji Movie” is a perfect mirror that we can hold to our very own society. Any flaw that movie watchers want to point out in the film represents a flaw that is present within our own community. Gene is the main proprietor of these harsh expectations to which society has subjected him.

In the film, Gene is supposed to represent the “meh” emoji and emotion, and he is required to fulfill this identity at all times. However, our protagonist is not one to allow society to put him in a box.

The psyche of Gene is multifaceted. It is not that Gene desires to be rebellious and to overturn societal standards. If anything, he works to change himself and everything he believes in so that he can be a part of the ‘great’ system.

However, his tenacity and will are both aspects of his character that won’t allow him to be put into a box.

On a deeper level, Gene was probably named to be representative of the genetic traits that we all possess and believe define us. Where “The Emoji Movie” excels is its ability to supersede these notions of genetics and inherent traits. There is more to one’s character than the role that we are assigned to fulfill at birth. Gene exemplifies just that.

The progression of the film follows the progression of Gene’s identity and his growth to love who he is: “malfunction” and all. That is something that we need to learn, to love who we are without any reservations or preconceived notions. Thank you, Gene, for teaching us this. Thank you.