For those unfamiliar, Buffy the Vampire Slayer was an American television series that followed Buffy Summers, the most recent young woman known as “The Slayer”. The series received critical and popular acclaim, often being considered one of the greatest shows of all time. Most importantly, it was a show that promoted female strength and power. To this day, Buffy is a symbol of female empowerment.
It wasn’t just Buffy’s physical strength that inspired many young women, it was the fact that she was a complex character who went against most stereotypes of “damsels on distress”. For a younger generation, it may be easy to dismiss Buffy as being a 90s show, with dated themes, ideas, and special effects. However, with its strong emphasis on feminism and its capacity to portray women as inherently strong, Buffy is a timeless and true example of girl power.
This show is important to me because I grew up with it, and with Buffy as a role model. The show demonstrates capable women who display strength and agency, but also depicts them as complex and in no way perfect. This is an important aspect of role models, as the media tends to put out idealized representations of girls and women. Most people cannot live up to these “perfect” representations. To depict characters that not only fight evil but also fight their own internal problems and struggle with life, responsibilities, and emotions was important in shaping the kind of person I am today.
Although the finale was nearly 15 years ago, the messages it provided and the female empowerment Buffy represented are still applicable to current times.
Girl Museum Inc.