Why representation matters
The moment you realise each year has been defined by an otp, their ups and downs and you learned so much from it that it changed your life forever:
2013: S.S Endurance
2014: Ellie & Riley | Korrasami
2016: My own life!
I know these ships are all f/f but believe me, each of these has been the reason I could get further into understanding myself.
Lara Croft has been my fave female character when I was a kid and teen; she was the coolest; a tomboy, an adventurer with plenty of skills, making a name for herself without the need of anyone else tagging along. Her relationship with Sam in the reboot was the reason I started feeling that “shit, all these things I’ve felt before - maybe I’ve been lying to myself all this time…maybe I’m not straight at all…but how do you define not caring about people’s genders and falling for the person and personality instead?”
Ellie Williams was further proof girls could be powerful and meaningful on their own. She survives the apocalypse, is a 14 yo badass and she inspired me to always fight for what I felt was right - my calling in life. Even if it didn’t happen in the end! And her story with Riley brought me joy and tears alike, knowing how much they meant for one another but also, how it never made it a big deal of their sexuality because the feelings and subtle gestures were all making their affection for one another clear from the start. Ellie and Lara were also the reason I became an archer.
Korrasami was going hand-in-hand with me accepting my sexuality. I saw these two badass ladies do all these amazing things and ultimately, even after years of waiting, they could let their life start properly and together. Asami didn’t stop caring about Korra when she was broken and needed healing - she gave her time, patience and when Korra felt better, they could start as if they never separated in the first place. It was so inspiring… I cried for days about the ending. It has changed my life for the better forever. I knew that things could sometimes take time, that not all starts were flawless and full of joy and also, that two women together were a force to be reckoned with.
Pricefield saved my life in a way, giving me a fandom and friends to love deeply…man, I’ll never be able to express how much their story, the depth of it all, means to me. It came to define the best part of my life, which by the way started with me wishing to drop out of Uni and almost ending that way too. Their story, love and determination is what had me pushing. For a while, Life is Strange was the only thing but ultimately, it led me to friends so dear and a relationship with a woman so wonderful I’ll never, ever, know how I came to deserve that. I just know it allowed me to take risks and steps toward my own happiness, ultimately the best months of my life, and my coming out to my parents. This ship was also the reason I seriously pushed myself to draw more and become a better human artist!
And now, Sanvers is happening. Supergirl is creating a healthy, realistic relationship between two adult women and their nearest and dearest. It is giving a valid reflection of how people feel in these situations, both Kara and Alex + Maggie alike and my god, I’ve never recognised myself in any series more than I have in this one. I love it more than I can express and I’m just so happy kids get to grow up knowing the values and love that stand as a base for this show.
I’ll be honest: I know that romance and/or being in a relationship isn’t for everyone. I don’t want this post to be gaycentric or anything. What I mean is; representation in media is so, so important! No matter if it touches upon sexuality, mental issues, gender identities, family problems or introduces a variety of dynamic characters of different skin colour, ethnicity and religion or the lack thereof. It’s important to show that everyone is different, that there isn’t a mold that we all need to fit. So many teens get to grow up finding themselves in popular media more and more often - but it’s still far from perfect. However, we are perfect just as we are and we shouldn’t need to feel pressured to be somebody else just because that’s what the world likes to watch on TV.
Tropes are an issue. Lack of variety in shows is another. Ace/aro characters are barely anywhere to be found and neurodivergent people are made to look like some freaky monsters while in reality being just as awesome, important and caring as the neurotypicals - just needing understanding from people who don’t feel or struggle the way they do!
Representation, guys. It matters. Proper representation saves lifes. It gives people hopes when they can’t make their lives better at the point in time. It helps them understand themselves. It educates people about people if done well!
Fucking sprinkle that stuff everywhere, it doesn’t hurt the media - it makes it popular and loved.
And if you read it all - thank you for taking the time