When researching for my Buffy the Vampire Slayer paper, I came across a website that gives “AKA’s” to all of the characters of the show. It documents every name that the character has ever been called either by themselves or others and the episodes in which it happened. This is a pretty remarkable resource for studying the characters in Buffy, as it provides a general idea of how they view themselves and are viewed by others in the show.
For example, Willow has positive vibes coming from her AKA article as she is mainly called names like “a bad ass Wiccan,” “goddess,” and “a bookworm.” Buffy, on the other hand, definitely has a dark list of names about her. Not only does she call herself some pretty nasty things, but she is also hated and ridiculed by many characters on the show who are not necessarily the supernatural enemies that she fights. Some examples of these colorful names are: “the manic depressive chick,” “a stuck up tight ass with no sense of fun,” and “a psycho bitch.” I find it interesting that she is so easily criticized; you would think that as a main character, a superheroine nonetheless, she would be loved and appreciated by the hundreds of people she has saved, right?
The more I thought about it, however, the more I realized this is almost always the case. People hold those in authority, those with power, and those in the media to a higher standard automatically. Everyone goes berserk when a government official or celebrity has some kind of scandal, but barely reacts when it is their neighbor committing the same crime because “of course they would make that mistake, they’re only human.”
Should we hold those with the ability to be influences to the rest of society to a higher standard than those who don’t? Buffy, an example and role model to many people (her sister Dawn for example), is shown as a very real character with both rational and irrational characteristics. She is obviously flawed, like all humans, but is still set to hold these near perfect standards by herself and her friends. Do you think it is right that she is so targeted for her failures because others will follow suit? Or do you think she should be allowed the same amount of slack as everyone else?