I agree that over-sexualizing Buffy takes away from her feministic force, but I disagree with the outlook that a woman is strong, intelligent, and independent can't also be beautiful. Sure, Buffy is attractive, but she is also much more than her pretty exterior; she is powerful and fierce, something that is relayed no matter the outfit she's wearing.
In society today, attractive women are often dismissed as being ditzy and helpless. This really upsets me. A woman's looks should not deter from her strength. Just because she cares about herself and wears nice clothes does not mean that she is any less independent, intelligent, or powerful than a "nerdier-looking" woman. Society's idea that attractive woman are ditzy directly opposes its idea about attractive men. When a man looks polished, perhaps wearing a business suit, he is automatically assumed to be more powerful than his less classily dressed counterparts. Society tells us that a man in a suit must be a man of power; he must be a CEO at a big company, a VP at J.P. Morgan, or at the very least, a wealthy small business owner. Attractive men are thought to be well-off, making them seem more powerful. This is in direct opposition to society's assumption that attractive women are ditzy and helpless rather than intelligent and powerful.
A woman's looks should not even be considered to measure her strength. For true equality in society today, we should look at distinct character traits and one's actions rather than looks and gender when determining an individual's capabilities. I didn't completely agree with our debate in class today. Sure, WB was influenced by mainstream society's views, but I don't think that there is anything wrong with having an attractive female be a feministic character. It defies common gender stereotypes, thus adding to the show's overall feministic appeal.