What You Do not Know About One of the Greatest Female Icons, Buffy Summers
The character Buffy Summers first appeared in the 1992 film ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’, portrayed by Kristy Swanson, as a conceited and somewhat stereotypical blonde California high school cheerleader that finds out she has been chosen to be a Slayer, or a killer of vampires, demons, and all things evil. The character was later portrayed in the 1997 television series of the same name, portrayed by Sarah Michelle Gellar, and which ran for 144 episodes. What you do not know about the character and her development may surprise you.
Buffy Summers was depicted as your typical California teen, enjoying her popular cliques and activities in her high school, seemingly without a care in the world, when it is revealed that she has been chosen by fate to battle the undead and all things evil. Buffy at first dismisses this notion but then finally submits to her training and accepts her fate; along with her friends, she fights the evils that are escaping from a portal to hell, over which her town is built. The TV series follows Buffy’s continued journey from high school through college as she continues to develop her powers and fight the undead while trying to have a personal life and justify her attraction to certain ones of those undead, including good-guy vampire Angel.
You may not think much of the vampire genre or may not have been a fan of the movie or TV show, but it may interest you to know how and why the character came about in the first place. Joss Whedon, the creator of the character, said he wanted to subvert the typical female horror film victim and wanted to create a strong female cultural icon. It only seems natural that he would choose a stereotypical blonde California cheerleader type to become the courageous fighter of the undead, and his success has been evident. In June 2010, ‘Entertainment Weekly’ ranked Buffy third in its list of the 100 Greatest Characters of the Last 20 Years, and AOL named her the sixth Most Memorable Female TV Character.
The Buffy Summers character still continues strong today even after the show has ended. There is continuous talk about additional movies or another TV series, and the character is also depicted in wildly successful graphic novels. She is considered by many girls to be an example of how women should be portrayed on film and in television; rather than being a weak and lovesick character that waits for her man to rescue her or that pines for true love, she is strong and decisive and independent. Think about this if you see a repeat of the ‘Buffy’ series or movie, and you may find her more relatable than you imagined.