Name: Buffy Anne Summers
Location: Sunnydale, California
TV Show: Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Actor: Sarah Michelle Gellar
As pretty much anyone who knows me knows, I love Buffy. Buffy is pretty much the TV show that made me want to be a writer. There are vampires, and cool demons, and witty dialogue and a whole bunch of kickass women. It was also one of the first fantasy shows I ever watched.
As a little girl, I was totally addicted to fantasy, particularly the high fantasy books my father read me (hello genetic Tolkien obsession). The one problem with them? There weren’t really any female heroes, or if there were they had somewhat diminished roles. I would argue with you til the cows come home (and still will) that none of these books are sexist, rather just books of their time. But I still missed having a female hero that I could look up to.
I was just about to turn thirteen and my best friend started telling me about the show her father had just introduced her to. It was set in a high school. It was a fantasy. Best of all, it had a female hero. And not just any female hero, this was the type of girl who I was used to seeing falling over while running and being lured into dark alleyways, and here she was, not only fighting for herself but kicking her attacker’s butts. For the first time, I saw a woman being one of the most physically capable characters in a show. It was pretty amazing.
On top of being a great warrior, Buffy also grows into a great leader as the series progresses. At the very beginning of the show, she starts out facing her destiny alone but very quickly finds a few friends, as well as meeting her watcher and mentor Giles (Anthony Head). Her group (affectionately named the Scoobies) only grows as the show does, and by the seventh season, Buffy is leading an army. While she often makes mistakes (emotional intelligence is definitely an area Buffy struggles in), she sticks to her convictions and ultimately puts others needs above her own.
I think that leadership is ultimately the reason I was so drawn to Buffy, who despite her flawed leadership, still inspires friendship and faith in others. Even if she makes mistakes, and she does often, she is able to recover from them and ultimately come back stronger. It may take her time, and help, but Buffy always eventually deals with what the world throws at her. It’s that quality that makes her an inspiration for me, and for many others who love the show, and definitely one of the best TV heroines.
Of course, I can’t mention Buffy without mentioning two of the other amazing women on the show, Willow Rosenberg and Tara McClay. They’re two incredibly powerful, strong and emotionally intelligent characters (someone has to balance out Buffy), both of whom make priceless contributions to the show and are very much kickass heroines in their own right.