No, Winx Fandom, Nex is NOT Too Arrogant For Aisha
Posted On September 5, 2021
“Nex is too arrogant!”
“He’s downright arrogant!”
Ugh. ? Well, I’d better add this to my “Common Arguments Against Aisha/Nex” page. It’s called “Aisha and Nex: The Most Underrated Winx Couple” now, but the content is the same. This post will be part of a new section.
Here’s something I hate about the “Nex is too arrogant” argument. Many Winx fans who use it also love Riven and support him and Musa as a couple. Who cares if he was too arrogant, too misogynistic, too angsty, too jealous, too uncooperative, too emotionally distant, too rebellious, too unsupportive, too wary, and too disloyal to be anyone’s boyfriend? Except a witch’s.
Oops. Too many qualifiers. ?
Anyway, despite his plethora of problems, they were patient with him for eight seasons. Eight seasons. They waited 15 years for this guy to clean up his act. That’s longer than the target audience of Winx Club has been alive.
I know why, of course. He’s a textbook example of the bad boy archetype. The appeal of a bad boy is he’s so screwed up, the audience wants to know what broke him and what (or who) can fix him. Usually, it’s some sensitive, gullible girl who becomes his emotional punching bag, but stays with him because they have “strong feelings” for each other.
People label Nex a bad boy, too, but he doesn’t meet the criteria. Sure, he’s got the perma-scowl, but he doesn’t kvetch about life, he doesn’t disregard society’s rules, and he doesn’t avoid human contact. Plus, to some Winx fans, he doesn’t pass the “too hot to hate” test, either. (Let’s face it: that’s a big reason Riven gets away with so much.)
So the Winx fandom decided Nex is a “thug” and gave up on him after one season — literally. Remember that Aisha/Roy fan who hates “math” (i.e., character analysis)? She admitted she’s watched nothing past Winx season six. Why? Because she was mad Rainbow wrote her beloved Riven out of the show. ?
I don’t get it. How can Riven fans criticize Nex for being arrogant, but overlook Riven’s arrogance — and his twenty other flaws? How can they dub Nex “wrong for Aisha”, even though they’re happy together, but call Musa and Riven “the best couple”, even though they have the most unhealthy, most unstable relationship in the entire series?
Arrogant, But Competent
What does “too arrogant for Aisha” mean, anyway? Let’s pretend it means, “Nex is too arrogant to build and maintain a loving relationship with her.” We know it doesn’t, though, since most of these fans avoid discussing the couple’s relationship. Instead, they rattle off things they hate about him or call him “a second Riven” as though that proves anything.
That fan I mentioned even admitted “it’s not really about Aisha” to her. Well, it should be about Aisha! There’s a difference between, “He’s too arrogant to date her” and “I hate him, so I don’t care if he’s a good boyfriend or not.” One is a claim that’s begging for proof from the couple’s relationship. The other is just a grudge. Rainbow has been trying to redeem him for a while now. If the Winx fandom refuses to forgive him and move on, that’s not his fault anymore.
Let’s focus on the “too arrogant” claim. Does Aisha and Nex’s relationship support it? No. They got into one stupid fight in Winx season seven over Squonk. Yes, he said that “just like a girl” line, which, of course, the fandom pounced on and decided it meant he’s a misogynist — and he needs to die. That’s right. People literally said they wished he’d die for that comment. ?♀️
Here’s something I want to add. Most of these lines and actions aren’t patterns of behavior — they’re closed-ended plot points. He says or does something stupid or annoying once and never again.
For example, in her YouTube comment, that same fan suggested Nex is “bad” because he breaks rules. He doesn’t, though; he did one time and hasn’t done it again. Aisha has broken more rules than he has! I guess that means she’s “bad”, right? Oh Nex, why would you date such a horrible person? ?
The “just like a girl” line is another example. He hasn’t said anything like that since, and honestly, I was surprised he said it at all. It felt like Rainbow just threw that line in to meet their “Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus” quota for the season.
My point is if you want to figure Nex out, why don’t you look at consistent behavior rather than one-off moments? Otherwise, Timmy’s a misogynist, too. And I guess he also has to die.
That’s another thing: the Winx fandom judges Nex more harshly for things other characters have also done. For example, another Winx fan on YouTube claimed he “stressed [Aisha] out” in season seven. Honestly, I don’t what the heck were they talking about. ?♀️ If it was the Squonk scene, the couple’s only unpleasant moment together that season, she was just annoyed with him. The only guy stressing her out was Squonk!
Also, that subplot didn’t last long. It ended two episodes later (episode 10), and Aisha and Nex got along great for the rest of the season. All the other Winx have endured more stressful periods in their relationships, yet the fandom didn’t write off their sweethearts as bad boyfriends.
Speaking of which, good luck finding a partner who never stresses you out. It’s not limited to one personality type, either. Helia stressed Flora out with that Krystal business in Winx season five. He didn’t mean to, but he should have been clear about his relationship with her.
So, no, that’s not a dealbreaker. It’s an expectation everyone should have. Your significant other will stress you out sometimes, and if they haven’t yet, just wait till you’re married. Kids and bills have a way of fraying people’s nerves.
Anyway, things have gotten better between Aisha and Nex. In Winx season eight (roughly a year later), they’d become more affectionate with each other and learned to handle their conflicts more maturely. Was it out of character for them? No. They didn’t act much different from last season — they just seemed closer and more patient with each other.
Silvan, Aisha’s “Too Arrogant” Boyfriend
If you need an example of someone who really was “too arrogant for Aisha”, check out Winx comic #71: “Il Coraggio di Aisha” (Aisha’s/Layla’s Courage). Her boyfriend Silvan was a piece of work. I talked about him in that post about her comics-only love interests, but here are a couple of ways he differed from Nex:
1. Silvan got jealous of Aisha.
Aisha and Nex compete against each other sometimes, but just for fun. Outside of sports, they’re a team. One partner’s success is the other’s success. He appreciates her abilities and strength and supports her goals however he can.
But not Silvan. Whenever she showed him up, he tried to squash her confidence to keep her beneath him. He even stole the credit for her ingenuity.
2. He prioritized his career over her.
Nex makes Aisha a priority in his life. You know that gif up there from “New Magic Harmony” (Winx season 7, episode 25)? He was saying, “I’ll come and see you soon, Aisha. Don’t worry.” The Italian version was more specific. It translated to something like, “I’ll come back soon to get together with you, Aisha.” So, he was fixing a date with her.
He also attended the Andros Foundation Festival in Winx season eight. So what if he’s not from Andros? Neither are her friends. But because it mattered to her, it mattered to him. That’s what lovers do for each other: they invest themselves in each other’s worlds if they can (literally in this case).
But all Silvan cared about was becoming a pilot. Not even dates were important to him. He stood Aisha up frequently and made excuses when she complained.
Long story short, Silvan was too self-centered to make time for her or appreciate her awesomeness. But Nex doesn’t have those issues. His arrogance hasn’t messed up their relationship. It causes problems now and then, but no more than another character’s flaws.
The Point of Character Flaws
The Winx fandom acts like Rainbow put Aisha with Nex because they wanted her to date the wretched guy imaginable. (He doesn’t even come close, but oh well). They even claim it’s some sort of problematic statement. But the writers simply did what trillions of others have done: pair flawed characters who can help each other overcome those flaws.
That’s it. Seriously. Fiction is full of these relationships, platonic and romantic, some involving characters with much worse traits than Aisha or Nex.
Remember that blogger I cite all the time? She noticed this setup right away and brought it up in her review of “Bloomix Power” (Winx season 6, episode 4):
Whilst Nex lacks sympathy and tact, Aisha is quick to sympathise with people and knows how to handle other people’s feelings. Her tough and no-nonsense attitude would put him in his place and prevent him from being rude and insensitive….Nex knows he’s a jerk and subconsciously wants to improve himself. As a result, he feels attracted to her because he knows that being around her would make him a better person!
I don’t agree with everything she said about Nex, but at least she got the point of his and Aisha’s relationship.
Let me make something clear. I’m not saying love changes you. That’s a Hollywood myth. A relationship can’t change you, but a person’s love and influence can make you want to change. It’s a subtle distinction, but it’s important.
Come to think of it, isn’t this why the Winx fandom wants Musa to stay with Riven? They think being around her can help him become a better person. Why couldn’t that be the same with Aisha for Nex? ?♀️
Make up your mind. Do you want Nex to be a better person or not? If so, he’s got the environment he needs right here. Aisha is part of it. Why don’t you want him to stay in the best place for him?
Flaws Are Just Differences
I’ll use this quote again:
Flaws aren’t real. One of our biggest mistakes as a culture is accepting that we have “flaws”. We indeed do not have flaws. We have differences: we have different paths of learning and growth. Why do we continue to perpetuate the degradation of our culture by accepting this mindset? There’s no such thing as a flaw in a system where perfection does not exist.
Nex’s arrogance isn’t a chronic disease he can never recover from. It’s a temporary roadblock in his path to becoming his ideal self. Aisha is now his companion to help him get past it.
He does the same for her with her flaws. It’s funny how the Winx fandom puts her on a pedestal above him when she’s no better. She can be reckless, impulsive, stubborn, bossy, impatient, rebellious, mistrusting, and even arrogant. Why can’t her boyfriend be as imperfect as she is?
All Things Considered
Last week, after an unpleasant interaction with my sister, I vented to our brother. We’ve made the poor guy our mediator. Kinda embarrassing since he’s the youngest.
What don’t I like about her? One, she’s one of the most self-absorbed people I know. All she talks about is herself and her interests, and when the conversation is not about her, she checks out or steers it towards her. She also interrupts me a lot (but she gets mad if you interrupt her).
Two, she holds a grudge like a lake holds water. She gets revenge, too, often by doing the same thing you did to her (even if you didn’t mean to). Yet she thinks she’s the most mature of the three of us.
Last but not least, she’s a control freak. She denies it, of course, but anyone with half a brain can tell. If something doesn’t go her way, or someone tells her what to do, she throws a tantrum. And when she asks you to do something, she wants it done immediately or she’ll assume you won’t do it.
I ranted about her until my brother cut me off and said:
She’s also a really nice person who’s just trying to live.
I froze. Why was he defending her? He’s lived with her, too. He knew I was right.
But after I pushed past my knee-jerk reaction, I realized what he meant. He didn’t deny her flaws or annoying behavior — he said “also”, after all — but he wanted to remind me she’s not some kind of demon and the personification of evil. She’s a person like me, and I’m no better than her. I drive her nuts with my flaws, too, but we’re both trying to navigate life as best we can.
My brother added:
She’s a decent person, all things considered, if the worst thing about her is she has a bad attitude towards other people. She could abuse drugs.
It feels naïve to say it could be worse (although it’s true), but I want to focus on those three words in the heading: “all things considered”. No, he didn’t mean the radio show. He meant taking everything about a person into account, instead of fixating on individual traits and behaviors.
There’s plenty to love and admire about my sister. One, she’s creative. A few years ago, she was accepted to a prestigious art school in Canada, but she had to turn them down because she couldn’t afford the tuition. ? Still, I was proud of her and glad someone recognized her talent.
Two, she’s one of the most affectionate people I know. She loves hugs — she’ll squeeze you till you break into a smile — and like everyone else in the world, she lights up when she hears the words, “I love you.”
Also, when you’re sick or upset, she’ll do whatever she can to help you. I had food poisoning a few weeks ago, and she made me chicken broth (since I couldn’t eat solid food) with ginger to settle my stomach.
Finally, she’s determined. If she wants something, she’ll do whatever it takes to get it. It’s something I’m jealous of since I’m the opposite: I get analysis paralysis and don’t act until it’s too late. But she doesn’t let opportunities pass her by, even if that means pulling all-nighters to finish her portfolio or attending multiple networking events in one day.
That drive, combined with her creativity, makes her an excellent planner and manager. She’s organized a school event and created and taught classes for kids at our local library.
Taking The Bad With The Good
I asked earlier why you Riven fans love him even though he’s arrogant (and other things). Well, I know why: you don’t reduce him to his flaws. You give him permission to be normal — to make mistakes, say and do things he shouldn’t, be angry, make people angry — because you know there’s more to him. His positive traits and behavior matter to you as much as his flaws and misbehavior.
Why won’t you give Nex the same freedom? There’s more to him than arrogance, too. He’s a strong leader, he values teamwork, he cares about Aisha and his friends, he’s brave, he’s affectionate, he’s supportive, he’s encouraging, he works hard, he risks his life for others every day — need I go on? (Oops, too many qualifiers again.)
Those traits and behaviors are as much a part of his character as his flaws. When you take all of it into account — the bad and the good — you can tell he’s not a “thug”. He’s not an “egomaniac”. He’s not a “villain in disguise”.
He’s just like you and me: a really nice person with a few shortcomings, who’s just trying to live his life and find happiness and fulfillment.
Like I said in my last post, I hope in Winx season nine, Rainbow gives Nex a backstory to help humanize him. He deserves a second chance, and so does his relationship with Aisha. They’re on the right path, both together and as individuals. I just wish the Winx fandom would cheer them on.