(PCM) The first two seasons of Buffy the Vampire Slayer started off with this narration, “In every generation there is a Chosen One. She alone will stand against the vampires, the demons, and the forces of darkness. She is the Slayer.” This referred to Sarah Michelle Gellar’s character, Buffy Summers. I’d personally like to add “and Adrianna’s childhood hero” to that list of roles she fills.
Every boy has a character that he could look up to, plus there are so many to choose from: Superman, Batman, Robin, Ironman, Wolverine, The Hulk, or any of the red, black, or blue Power Rangers. (At least those were the male colors back in my pee-wee days.) Who do girls have to look up to?
For my mother, it was Samantha Stevens of Bewitched. In my eyes her use of witchcraft to help her husband out of every bind was disappointing, because she always quietly backed him, never taking the spotlight for herself; but nonetheless she was the one that saved the day… back in her day. Fast forward to our generation and many heroes today take the shape of human characters. Even the legendary Austrian bodybuilder”Arnold” could be seen as a hero, someone for the little boys to look up to as they watch his “Pumping Iron” film for gym inspiration.
For myself, it was a vampire slayer who brought me strength. I watched Buffy with my mother once a week for one hour in a gaze of joy and admiration. This beautiful pint-sized blonde was brave and heroic in the demonic realm, yet dealt with the typical teenage struggles up on earth. Of course, her dealing with these alternate universes could only be attributed to the brilliant creator Joss Whedon. He made her a superhero…who still had to go to class and take a physics exam. Brilliant!
Something about Buffy being a normal girl with her secret powers, helped the viewers relate to her. Even if she got bullied at school by the “popular” Cordelia Chase, she was comfortable with who she was and didn’t let it get to her. Sometimes I felt like I was Buffy, and in a one hour viewing, I’d gain the confidence to be comfortable in my own skin. Of course, I also finished an episode using my little brothers as punching bags. I guess it was a confidence-booster/martial arts lesson rolled into one hour each week.
The other day, Buffy was being shown on an all-day marathon. Since I have the DVDs anyway, I didn’t think it was beneficial for me to watch. I was wrong. I sat there for six (yes six) hours of back-to-back Buffy madness. After that, I got this strange warmth of nostalgia that came over me–the kind of feeling that you get when you visit your childhood home and remember all the memories just from looking at the front yard.
In a way, I felt rejuvenated. I went out that Saturday night thinking I could take on the world. This doesn’t surprise me, because I did the exact same thing in college. Whenever I felt down, or insecure I’d pop in seasons one to four (those were the best) and pick out my favorite episodes. After watching it, I’d feel… strong. It’s almost like Buffy’s strength helps to pull me along during my tough times. Since I identified with her growing up, I saw myself in her, so when I see her kick-ass, I want to too.
Of course, I can’t even kill a spider without screaming bloody murder. But, that’s a different story for a different day! 😉