In “Cinnamon Rolls, Sinnamon Rolls, and Capable Killers: How to Categorize Your Fav” the author gives the following description for the “True Cinnamon Roll” (which falls under the “Looks like a Cinnamon Roll, Is Actually a Cinnamon Roll” part of the meme):
A true cinnamon roll really is as innocent and well-meaning as they appear. They can be completely naïve or somewhat sly, or may have the most common sense of the group, but most importantly they are more of a nurturer and healer than a fighter.
Throughout much of the Star Wars fandom in the wake of Star Wars: The Force Awakens male lead Finn (played by John Boyega) has been assigned the marker of the “True Cinnamon Roll”. Here’s the thing, I get where it comes from and as with Bodhi, I think that it comes from a well-meaning place but doesn’t bother to reckon with intersectionality or the reality of how Finn is treated by a significant portion of fandom both on and off of Tumblr.
Despite being the male lead of the film, Finn is not the most popular new male character in the fandom. He’s not the most respected. He’s not even the most written about. Right now on the AO3, Finn is the sixth most popular character represented in the fandom with 7150 appearances so far.
(Minor antagonist Armitage Hux (who only had about 3 minutes of screentime in The Force Awakens) has over 3000 more tagged appearances than that. I’m never going to stop having a problem with that.)
Let’s look at that definition of the true cinnamon roll again.
At first glance, Finn being equated with a trope predicated on innocence seems pretty great because we live in a world where Black people are assumed guilty even in situations where they are the clear victims of violence. However, fandom doesn’t exist in a vacuum and what appears to come in good faith frequently… doesn’t.
Just because some people honestly view Finn as a cinnamon roll character while not forgetting his character from the film and related supplemental materials, that doesn’t mean the entire fandom does.
In viewing Finn as “a true cinnamon roll”, fandom ignores his actual characterization. Most frustrating, is that many members of fandom ignore that he is a complex character who is literally trying to find his place in the world. It’s a way to look like they care about Finn as an archetype (who is so pure, so perfect, and so put together, that the fandom simply must fall for “bad boy” characters like Hux or Kylo) without needing to care about Finn as a character.Read More »
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