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This week, I dedicate “We Can Do It!” to the one and only Buffy Summers. Next Tuesday (Dawn’s in trouble? It must be Tuesday) marks 11 years since the series that inspired my life ended. So this one is for you, Miss Summers.
The Slayer, The Chosen One, The Buffster
Super Strength, Prophetic Dreams, Major Agility, Quick Healing, and being the most Bad-Ass female of all time (ok, that one may be biased)
This one is difficult. Should I start with the history of Buffy herself? Or with the history of how Buffy came about and where she has gone since? Let’s start with the latter:
Buffy was originally Rhonda the Immortal Waitress. If you Google that, you will find some very interesting fan-fiction. It’s true. Anyway, Joss Whedon, creator of all things holy in my household, was fed up with blonde girls dying in alleys, so he decided to make “a seemingly insignificant female who in fact turns out to be extraordinary.” From there, Buffy Summers was born: a high school valley girl cheerleader who finds out she actually is The Chosen One, the one to fight the vampires and the forces of darkness. A movie titled Buffy the Vampire Slayer was made in 1992 (the first movie I saw in theaters) starring Kristy Swanson as Buffy. After flopping and becoming the butt of many a joke, Buffy was reincarnated in the 1997 television series. The TV series Buffy the Vampire Slayer was not a flop, however. It ran for seven seasons and spawned its own spinoff, Angel. Today, Buffy still lives on in her comic book series, currently in it’s 10th season.
Buffy herself? That is a long story. I mean, she has been around for almost 22 years (Oh My God, my hero is almost 22 years old, and I remember when her story began). Buffy did start out as a valley girl cheerleader. She was vapid. And then suddenly her world changed, when she met her Watcher. What’s a Watcher? Well let me tell you, reader. A Watcher is someone who watches… er… trains the Slayer, the only one in the world, to fight vampires and other baddies. Anyway, her Watcher, Merrick, came into her life, trained her for a bit, and then died. Buffy ended up having to save her school, Hemery High, by burning down the gym, because of asbestos…oops, vampires. After being a tiny little arsonist, she was expelled and forced to move to the small town of Sunnydale, where in my opinion, is where her real story begins. She begins her sophomore year at Sunnydale, meeting friends Willow and Xander, beauty queen Cordelia, her new Watcher Giles and her lover, Angel. We follow her from the time she is 16 to 22 in the series and watch her grow up, fall down, fall in and out of love, fight for her life and the lives of her friends and family and along the way, we learned what it means to be a teenager, a young adult, a friend, who our families really are and a woman. Yup, thats Buffy’s history, in a very tiny nutshell.
Why is she important?:
Buffy changed the way we think of women. And she changed the 90’s. Yeah, we were all about Girl Power back then, but in the 90’s, that was fairly new concept. Now it is more readily accepted that girls are superheroes, too. And not just superheroes, but ones that can still be pretty and feminine, if they so desire. Buffy started that revolution of being fierce and fashionable. She also made it ok to be smart. Its true that Buffy may not be the best student, but she is witty and can outsmart her opponents. For like 7 years she was able to outsmart her opponents. That’s a long time to outsmart people who can eat you for lunch. Buffy was a poster girl for being yourself and being strong, launching her portrayer, Sarah Michelle Gellar, into stardom. Being the poster girl for 90’s Girl Power? That is important. Now writing about why Buffy Summers is important can take up a book. In fact there are books about it. But since this is a blog post, I want to keep it short and sweet, so I’ll end there, but before I do, there is one more reason why Buffy Summers is important. She saved the world. A lot.
What she means to me:
What does Buffy mean to me? How much time do you have? For times sake, lets just say, she means everything. Maybe not as much as, say, my family, but she is pretty darn close. Buffy was the person I could look up to when I was growing up. She was the inspiration for more than just my outfits and my haircuts, although she was pretty important for that, too. Buffy helped me realize that I was smart and strong. I could be independent and I could speak my mind. Most importantly, she made me realize that I could be a hero. To this day, Buffy is still a big part of my life. As a grown woman, I can look back at the things the blonde teenager went through and compare it to my own life, wondering, “What would Buffy do?”
photos belong to Mutant Enemy
written by Adrian Puryear