On March 10 1997, Buffy Summers came rip-roaring into popular culture like few heroes before her. Why? Well, no one else was saving planet, studying, falling helplessly in love with boys, and managing to squeeze in a weeknight dance at The Bronze while also setting endless fashion trends at the same time.
Buffy The Vampire Slayer‘s very first episode aired 25 years ago and its impact is unbeatable.
Millions of fans across all ages were immediately gripped by the small town plagued by vampires, demons and even giant preying mantis, whose residents had no idea a sassy teenager was keeping them alive.
Sarah Michelle Gellar’s relatable heroin and her pals Willow, Xander, as well as Buffy’s watcher Giles were some of the most important role models of the 90s and, quite rightly, remain so a quarter of a century after we were introduced to them in the opening episode, aptly titled Welcome To The Hellmouth.
Over the course of seven seasons, Buff The Vampire Slayer tackles grief, sexuality queer relationships and heartbreak more effectively than any teen drama before it.
Subsequently, its legacy lives on with young adults still discovering the oracle that is Buffy Summers every day.
Metro.co.uk spoke to women who still feel the impact of Buffy in 2022
Natalie boasts an actual Buffy tattoo and lives her life by the Slayer’s pearls of wisdom
Looking at that time I was just there for the journey of it all. It’s only now when I look back at it and think about what it taught me about life and being a woman.
Something I live my life by is something Buffy taught me when she said ‘I’m shaking in my stylish yet affordable boots’ you can be who you want to be without compromising your femininity. She was always herself without apologising and as I grew up as a queer person trying to find my place it was always “I’ll change so I can fit in”, but why should I? If I want to wear pink outfits, be covered in glitter a lot of the time then I will.
And who is to say that that is ‘weak’ people assume so much by looking at you but they can’t tell if I’m a woman in STEM or a slayer. It doesn’t matter, you should be treated like you are all of those things regardless of how you present yourself. How you present yourself is an expression of who you are, it is not what you are.
Caroline thinks Buffy helped shape her identity as a queer woman.
Buffy first aired when I was eight or nine, but I didn’t have the pleasure of experiencing it until I was well into my teens. I loved the entire concept of it – the girl power, the fight for justice, the vampires – it was all so sexy.
I watched it the way most teenage girls did, swooning over Angel and then crushing on Spike without wanting to admit it. It wasn’t until the fourth season however, when Tara was introduced, that the show truly changed my life.
Willow’s relationship with Tara was my first real exposure to queer romance on television. They weren’t judged for their attraction to one another, their friends accepted their coupling, and it was perfectly okay for Willow to have dated men in the past. She fell in love with Tara the person, not the gender.
And it blew me away. Though it took me a really long time for me to accept my sexuality, Tara and Willow’s relationship was always cemented in my mind. it was tender and sweet, and it wasn’t over-sexualized either.
Naturally Tara’s eventual demise was devastating, but this revolutionary depiction of queer love allowed me to come to terms with my own experience of queerness, and shaped who I am today (married to a woman!)
Claire was inspire to learn martial arts because of Buffy
It was because of Buffy I wanted to learn martial arts and became a second degree black belt. If Buffy was strong and tough at her size, then why couldn’t I be too? This gave me a lot of confidence in my younger years to feel like if I ever came across trouble I would be able to defence myself.
It was really refreshing to see a small young woman, which I think gave women someone to look up to. It really made me feel, like I could achieve anything, just like Buffy did even though Buffy doesn’t have the perfect life. Yes, there are aspects of her life that are good like she has a loving mum and great friends but she had plenty of relatable struggles too.
I think throughout the show Buffy’s life is up and down as real life is, it’s this relatability that makes the show so popular. My life has most definitely been up and down. But Buffy always tries, and I guess that’s a good life lesson, always get back up and keep trying. I think I’ve become a strong confident leader because I had a great role model to look up to.
Buffy taught Lindsay to call the shots in her own life
I was 10 years old when i first saw it and honestly my first reaction was that it just felt badass. I hadn’t really seen women portrayed that way and it really stuck with me. It felt so fun and different, whilst also not taking itself too seriously.
Although, through several rewatches over time I saw there were indeed several serious themes. I don’t know how they manages to strike such a perfect balance of portraying some things so delicately whilst feeling so effortless.
I loved seeing what felt like for the first time a total rewrite of a script where women didn’t have to wait around to be saved. You’re in charge of your own life and you can call the shots.
Buffy taught Rachel that strong friendships are just as important as family
Buffy was really emblematic to me of a time when it’s ok to make mistakes. You’re an awkward young adult finding your place in the world, but actually you won’t get everything right and that’s such a key theme in Buffy.
You see a girl who in the first couple of episodes is almost a bit ‘bimbo’ and we see that flashback before she was called to be the slayer and she grows to become a strong mature woman who has gone through s**t. We all, hopefully, go through that phase to eventually become a responsible adult.
For me, one of the things I still hold very close to my own life is the value of friendship. There’s a whole episode dedicated to Tara, who doesn’t talk about her family because they turn out to be abusive and have been gaslighting her for her entire life. It’s such an important moment when the Scooby gang rally around her. You can have a chosen family and strong friendships are just as crucial as family.
Buffy is available to stream on Amazon Prime TV.
Original article at Metro
This article has been reproduced for archive purposes.