‘Pretty Little Liars’ Crush Quiz
As a younger person, the best part of teen magazines was always the quizzes about relationships and crushes and how to know if your partner likes you. But, as a queer women, those quizzes were also irritating for how heteronormative they were: these were quizzes for girls who liked guys, and that was never me.
Just this past week, Seventeen magazine posted a Pretty Little Liars (PLL) quiz, to determine “Who’s your Pretty Little Liars crush?” And when this popped up, nostalgic for my quiz days, I paid attention, because, of all quizzes, any one about a PLL crush should be inclusive for queer women too. After all, PLL includes a lesbian character, Emily, who has a girlfriend, Paige.
But, not at all publications seem to think that a TV show having a lesbian character still means there’s no reason to mention Emily’s queerness anywhere in the publication. This past summer, an US Weekly PLL special issue pretty much erased Paige from the issue, an edition which included pin-up posters of the other liars’ boyfriends, but no Paige. Had Shay Mitchell herself not mentioned in the interview that Emily was a lesbian and dating a girl, it wouldn’t have even made the issue at all. Highly disappointing.
Like this US Weekly special and every single teen focused quiz about significant others I have ever seen, my fear was that Seventeen would do the same thing—erase Paige and therefore all of the queer women PLL represents so well every week. So, I had to of course take the quiz…
The first good sign is that Paige was pictured, teeny-tiny with other boyfriends from the show, Caleb and Toby, near the title of the quiz. And, the quiz itself used gender-neutral language in most of the questions, such as “Significant Other”–or S.O.– instead of just ‘boyfriend’ or language that implied a male.
But, question 6 of the survey tanked the good progress. Asking, “Which celeb would you want as your prom date?,” all three answer choices were male. This is a disappointing question because queer women might want to take a female celebrity to prom, but that wasn’t even an option.
My final quiz result was Toby, but I went through the quiz a couple more times with random answers, and behold, Paige absolutely can be your crush according to this quiz. Seventeen did not erase Paige, which is encouraging. While question 6, where you could only choose a male to take to prom, should have also included an equal number of female choices to be a really inclusive survey, or that question left out entirely, at least it’s possible to get Paige as a result, and the language surrounding this result is positive–she’s an “awesome GF.”
Of course quizzes like this are not really that important in the grand scheme of life, but all the little things add up. It’s reaffirming for young queer women to be included in even the most normal experiences. This absolutely should include quizzes that can be answered with choices that represent their life without having to pretend to be somebody else for even one question.