She-Ra: Why Representation Matters
I usually like to use the platform that is this blog as an opportunity to discuss topics we did not have the time to cover in our podcast. But I find myself unable to discuss anything other than the refreshing representation of diversity found in She-Ra and the Princesses of Power.
I grew up with She-Ra, loved her strength, her loyalty and how she stood up for what she believed in. Yes, the original She-Ra was little more than an extended toy commercial, but 3 year old Marika did not know that, nor would she have cared to know. In a child's world of Saturday morning cartoons, She-Ra was the only show to have a strong bad ass princess as the main protagonist. She was my hero. She had the power.
This new iteration of She-Ra however, is far more powerful than anything I experienced as a child. Aptly renamed She-Ra and The Princesses of Power, this Netflix/Dreamworks production has something seldom seen in children's programming: a diverse group of women, from all racial and sexual backgrounds, working together to support the other and achieve greatness.
The stories are more fleshed out, the characters have more depth and although I am certain there is a line of toys out there waiting to be purchased, there is something more earnest about the world presented in She-Ra 2.0.
You see, She-Ra is not the only princess with power. Her queer, BIPOC, curious, adventurous, brave, intelligent, open hearted, open minded gang of cohorts offers a new vision to today's children: it's not about one person having power. It's about the collective strength we find when that power is shared.
Much in the way that another beloved Geek Steep show ended (Buffy the Vampire Slayer spoilers ahead!), true power is the ability to recognize the strengths that lie in the diversity of our collective. Harnessing that power towards a cohesive outcome can make us all better. It's not about the individual, it's about all of us. Buffy ended her run by sharing the power of the Slayer with all the potential slayers on the planet. She-Ra unites all the princess from the far corners of Etheria to defeat the evil Hordak. Both are successful. Both recognize that supporting your fellow women not only empowers yourself, but brings balance and peace to us all.
I'm so happy that my daughters have this show to watch. They may not see the importance of the message it is trying to convey, but that does not matter. What they will see is the normalization of diversity. It's strength. It's beauty. It's necessity. And hopefully, it's inevitability.
We have the power. No one gave it to us, it was within us the whole time. Let's take on the world.
Teas drunk while recording:
Kelly: Dessert by Deb Jasmine Rainbow Punch
Marika: Bird + Blend Aniseed Balls
Teas drunk while geeking: :
Marika: Chroma Tea Blends Aquamarine