I really appreciate Stephanie’s thoughts here on the impact that Gilbert Blythe (and Jonathan Crombie’s portrayal of him) had on her life. Gilbert didn’t ask Anne to change for him; he loved her unconditionally; he was willing to let her go, even though it hurt him, if she did not return his feelings.
Sometimes I think that it’s easy to devalue what actors do as trivial or not relevant to our daily lives. (Christians can be bad about this, I’ve learned.) But J. Crombie’s portrayal of Gilbert inspired young girls and told them that, yes, there are men who will love you and treat you well and respect your dreams and work. It spoke truth to them, a truth that many, many young women need to hear. That is valuable.